Ingrid Thorburn (Aubrey Plaza) is someone who takes the meaning of social media friendship to the next level. Craving for affection/likes and mentally unstable, the young woman from Pennsylvania moves to the other side of the country to creepily stalk finally meet her new obsession: Instagram star Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen). Insinuating herself into the life of the online ‘influencer’, Ingrid will do anything to be part of Sloane’s life – absolutely anything…
Exposing the craziness of social media’s power over our lives is a challenge, and one that we indisputably need more directors to engage in. Recent movies like James Ponsoldt’s The Circle and Leo Gabriadze’s Unfriended tried and failed at intelligently and significantly convey a strong warning message, where – so far – only Black Mirror‘s episode Nosedive truly succeeded.
With Ingrid Goes West, Matt Spicer aims at generating the same awkward feelings as the dark series by hitting our buttons in the most uncomfortable way, but it remains to be seen whether his cautionary tale really managed to live up to our expectations or failed…
A wacky movie that doesn’t quite hit the mark
“Directed with light but not lethal touch,” Ingrid Goes West “shows a better understanding of the strange ways we allow social media to manipulate our emotions.” Spicer’s film is “hilarious, biting, and surprisingly moving,” but “in diving headfirst into the swamp of Internet addiction, its vision gets a little murky.” “The humor in this movie soon turns far blacker, uglier and clumsier as things spin out of control.” The director goes dark, “but in a way that violates whatever sense of reality was holding things together” in the first place.
But the cast’s performances make it worthy
“The script thankfully is as interested in these characters as it is in commenting on social media culture.” Aubrey Plaza “is marvelous in the title role, embracing Ingrid’s unflattering neediness with commitment that’s scary.” Portrayed via a “tortured performance,” her character is the kind that “certainly makes an impact.” And Straight Out of Compton‘s O’Shea Jackson Jr. “shines” as her Batman-obsessed landlord. The actor “proves he has various shades to his talent, turning in a hilarious and charismatic performance.” He “nearly walks away with the movie.”
Best quotes from the reviews:
“Ingrid Goes West comes close to saying something sharp about how social media promotes envy and the illusion of connectivity, but when a comedy chooses such an obvious target, it should have the courtesy to aim from an oblique angle.” – Ben Kenigsberg, The New York Times
“Aubrey Plaza’s most versatile performance to date.” – Adam Chitwood, Collider
“Ingrid Goes West mostly draws laughter, not blood.” – Michael O’Sullivan, The Washington Post
“A semi-ironic, yet still-empathetic “Single White Female” for the Facebook generation.” – Peter Debruge, Variety