It’s becoming more common that people will completely fall for someone online without knowing anything about that person except for the updates that they might post everything that will most likely be retweeted and/or liked no matter what they said. Much like our main character in Matt Spicer’s directorial debut Ingrid Goes West, it tough to gain attention from somebody on social media.
What’s the Story?: Ingrid Thorburn (Aubrey Plaza) is a mentally unstable woman who can’t control who she loves on social media and takes things too far. After the death of her mother, she becomes now obsessed with Instagram model Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen), she moves to Los Angeles with her inheritance money trying to become her new best friend.
Premiering at the Sundance Film Festival winning the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award, this probably wasn’t gonna be the kind of movie that’s fit for me. It’s all about someone taking an obsession For a black comedy revolving around the dangers of social media leading into our minds, Ingrid Goes West completely makes light with a situation that many would easily relate to.
Ingrid could’ve easily been an unlikable character to start out with since she pepper-sprayed a bride for not inviting her to her wedding. Haven’t gotten around watching her on FX’s Legion, but every person who’ve watched it said Plaza is electric. But her performance in Ingrid Goes West is the best thing I’ve seen from the Parks and Recreation alumni. With playing the title character, she represents the online stalker in all of us in trying to be just like someone who’s popular and become someone we really aren’t in real life.
Once she moves to L.A., she created a new persona to showcase the #blessed lifestyle she wants everybody to noise and she basically stalks Taylor quickly becomes fast friends without her knowing that Ingrid knows about her in advance with her hanging out with Taylor and her husband Ezra (Wyatt Russell), a painter with no real skills when selling them.
Spicer makes sure that we know that Ingrid in unstable, but it’s important to know where he’s coming from. This is a well-written by Spicer and co-writer David Branson Smith that delivered on a lot of funny moments and exploring the deep obsession in an accurate depiction. Many people are becoming celebrities on all forms of social media with so many followers on, in particular, Instagram– constantly checking every minute waiting for something new. If someone was gonna take a picture of fancy food that looks delicious, it’s probably not the best to try it for yourself when you don’t know what it is. For being considered as a stalker movie, this doesn’t fall under the crappy horror movies that don’t try anything new for the genre.
The ensemble still provides a worthy watching experience with Olson giving her best performance outside the MCU as the “influencer” Taylor. O’Shea Jackson Jr.’s performance as the Batman-obsessed landlord fan Dan was another big standout and it’s great to see him in another film after performing his father in Straight Outta Compton. Both of them had amazing chemistry and relationship with Plaza, respectively.
Honestly, the only problems Ingrid Goes West has is that Taylor’s crazy brother Nicky (Billy Magnussen) was pretty annoying the first few times he came on. It does go down a dark rabbit hole near the third act where it did start to get awkward.
From watching Ingrid Goes West, it’s come to no surprise that every single one of us is guilty of poking through our crushes without their knowledge. But it’s made clear that Spicer was able to craft a comedy with an important theme of addiction meshing with some historical moments with people you would be friends with. It’s a total shame nobody went and saw it because it’s definitely #underrated.
Ingrid Goes West was surprisingly enjoyable as it showcases the explorations of social media obsession in a relevant manner that’s due to the film’s screenplay and Aubrey Plaza’s outstanding performance. Grade: B+