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Girl Most Likely: Blu-ray + Digital HD UltraViolet Review

Girl Most Likely (2013) movie poster Girl Most Likely

Theatrical Release: July 19, 2013 / Running Time: 103 Minutes / Rating: PG-13

Directors: Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini / Writer: Michelle Morgan

Cast: Kristen Wiig (Imogene Duncan), Annette Bening (Zelda Duncan), Matt Dillon (George Bousche), Darren Criss (Lee), Christopher Fitzgerald (Ralph Duncan), June Diane Raphael (Dara Brooks Whitney), Natasha Lyonne (Allyson), Bob Balaban (Maxwell P. Duncan), Brian Petsos (Peter Van Woodsen), Patricia Kalember (Virginia), Mickey Sumner (Hannah), Reed Birney (Dr. Chalmers), Nate Corddry (Larry Feinstein), Ronald Guttman (Armando), Sydney Lucas (Little Imogene Duncan), Cynthia Nixon (Herself), Marceline Hugot (Librarian), Mike Keller (NJ Cop "T-Rex" Rinaldi), Katie Webber (Britney Spears/Christina Aguilera Impersonator/Charlotte), Julia Stiles (Herself/Stage Imogene), Andrea Martin (Herself/Stage Zelda), Whit Stillman (Himself)

Buy Girl Most Likely from Amazon.com: Blu-ray + UltraViolet DVD + UltraViolet Instant Video

A comedian generally does not leave the cast of "Saturday Night Live" voluntarily unless they've got something better lined up. These days, seemingly the only better thing out there than writing and performing for NBC's celebrated,
long-running sketch program is a film career. There was little doubt that a film career was exactly what Kristen Wiig had in mind when leaving "SNL" in 2012. Wiig was riding high on the success of Bridesmaids, the acclaimed, Judd Apatow-produced 2011 film she co-wrote, co-produced and starred in.

Two and a half years since that Oscar-nominated blockbuster was released, Wiig has yet to experience anything else comparable on the big screen. She's shot down the lucrative, obvious route, opting not to make a Bridesmaids sequel. And she's yet to find anyone else as able to write to her strengths as herself and partner Annie Mumolo. Wiig has certainly kept busy with voiceover work, guest appearances, and supporting film roles. As far as leading lady duties go, though, there has only been Girl Most Likely, a low-budget indie comedy that languished in limited release over the summer.

Imogene Duncan (Kristen Wiig) is about to lose her boyfriend (Brian Petsos), her job, her home, and her mind in "Girl Most Likely."

Wig plays Imogene Duncan, a woman whose freethinking dates back to childhood when she questioned Dorothy's decision to return home as the star of a staging of The Wizard of Oz. Imogene's creativity as a playwright landed her grants and accolades, but her promise has faded and she no longer fits in her snobby, literary New York social circles. Things aren't great for Imogene, but they're about to get a lot worse. Her boyfriend (Brian Petsos) dumps her. She is fired from her job as a magazine blurb writer. Then, her convincing but not genuine staged suicide attempt gets her rushed to the hospital and given a psychiatric evaluation.

The hospital releases Imogene into the custody of her impulsive, irresponsible mother (Annette Bening), who brings her back to her childhood home of Ocean City, New Jersey. There, Imogene finds not only her socially awkward, animal-loving brother Ralph (Christopher Fitzgerald), but also Mom's new boyfriend George Bousche (Matt Dillon), who dubiously claims to be a CIA agent (and longtime samurai), and a young man named Lee ("Glee"'s Darren Criss) who's renting Imogene's bedroom. Imogene is eager to return to the city and her adult home, but she learns she's been evicted and has nowhere else to go.

While waiting to get her life back in order, Imogene spends time with Lee, a Yale-educated Backstreet Boys impersonator in a 1990s music tribute show, and with Ralph, who runs a crab kiosk on the boardwalk he won't venture any further than. Imogene also discovers that the father she loved who passed away when she was nine ("the George Clooney of fathers") is very much still alive and in fact a successful author residing in the city.

Reckless Zelda (Annette Bening) is sort of happy to have Imogene back in her life. Imogene's slow-witted brother Ralph (Christopher Fitzgerald) is still living at home and still a crab enthusiast.

The sophomore screenplay of sometime actor Michelle Morgan, Girl Most Likely is kind of meandering and episodic. It's also uniquely eccentric, most extremely in its bizarre stand-off of a climax. Nonetheless, it is a witty and amiable vehicle for Wiig to carry, a task she is entirely up to.
Though the film never commits to a tone, those it assumes are never too distant. As it moves from reveling in the lifestyle of Manhattan's culturally elite to the stagnancy of the New Jersey suburbs, it alternately feels like a grown-up fairy tale, an offbeat mumblecore product, and a television movie whose theatrical release is the byproduct of Wiig and her supporting cast's stature. In all of these forms, it remains agreeable as a venue for Wiig's comic voice and sympathetic but slightly screwy protagonist.

The diverse background of directing duo Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, which includes acclaimed Harvey Pekar biopic American Splendor, the dramatic HBO telemovie Cinema Verite, and the Scarlett Johansson movie The Nanny Diaries, serves as a good indication of the different forms this film takes. At times, Girl is a little too quirky for its own good. For example, Ralph, who has built a fiberglass mollusk exoskeleton called The Human Shell that he wears on his back while exploring New York City for the first time, is a character who doesn't really exist in our world. But we don't mind spending time with him. The film's comedy is never too broad or flat to threaten our investment in Imogene's story. And though her journey ultimately doesn't really lead us anywhere, it's a fast, diverting, whimsical jaunt you don't regret taking.

While Wiig's next big screen appearance will come as the romantic lead in Ben Stiller's Christmas Day tentpole The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, you can now experience Girl on the appliance that first brought Wiig fame courtesy of Lionsgate's now available DVD and Blu-ray releases.

Girl Most Likely: Blu-ray Disc + Digital HD UltraViolet cover art -- click to buy from Amazon.com Blu-ray Disc Details

1.78:1 Widescreen
5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio (English)
Subtitles: English, English for Hearing Impaired, Spanish
Not Closed Captioned; Extras Not Subtitled
Release Date: November 5, 2013
Single-sided, single-layered disc (BD-25)
Suggested Retail Price: $24.99
Blue Eco-Friendly Keepcase in Cardboard Slipcover
Also available on DVD ($19.98 SRP) and Amazon Instant Video

VIDEO and AUDIO

Girl Most Likely looks good on Blu-ray. The 1.78:1 widescreen presentation features a pristine element and good detail, though black levels are slightly lacking. The 5.1 DTS-HD master audio soundtrack is solid, with dialogue remaining crisp and substantial throughout while being complemented but never overpowered by score and some needle drops.

Ralph ventures out further in the Human Shell. Screenwriter Michelle Morgan describes the autobiographical elements of "Girl Most Likely."

BONUS FEATURES, MENUS, PACKAGING and DESIGN

The Blu-ray's extras begin with a short gag reel (2:29) that finds Wiig and castmates goofing around.

"Life in the Human Shell" (3:14) tags along with a shelled Ralph (Christopher Fitzgerald) as he makes small talk with inanimate objects, takes a yoga class, and draws reactions from unshelled pedestrians.

"Making Most Likely" (8:44) is an ordinary making-of featurette collecting thoughts from writer Michelle Morgan, producers, directors, and the cast. It's noticeably lacking behind-the-scenes footage.

In this deleted scene, Imogene (Kristen Wiig) realizes she's going to need more than her allotted one police station phone call to reach her father. Imogene (Kristen Wiig) is awoken by a hermit crab crawling on her oversized "Friends" T-shirt in the Blu-ray's top menu montage.

Finally, three deleted scenes (2:39) show Imogene trying to get a ride out of the casino and
making her one police station phone call, plus shallow friend Dara (June Diane Raphael) schmoozing with Padma Lakshmi, whom the Internet tells me is a cookbook author and host.

"Also from Lionsgate" repeats the disc-opening trailers for Much Ado About Nothing, Thanks for Sharing, Friends with Kids, and The Switch, and promo for Epix HD. Girl Most Likely's own trailer is sadly absent.

The menu plays a scored loop of clips between white bars. The disc supports bookmarks, but does not resume playback.

The eco-friendly blue keepcase is topped by a slipcover and holds an insert with your code and directions for the complimentary UltraViolet download that supposedly expires November 2014.

Lodger Lee (Darren Criss) uses a coin flip to determine whether or not he drives Imogene (Kristen Wiig) into New York City. George "The Bousche" (Matt Dillon) claims he is a samurai and a CIA agent, to Imogene's doubts.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

Kristen Wiig fans are definitely encouraged to give Girl Most Likely a look. This indie comedy is uneven and at times wildly so but it remains enjoyable on the strengths of the actress and her good supporting cast. Lionsgate's Blu-ray is underwhelmingly light, but the feature presentation doesn't disappoint. It warrants at least a rental.

Buy Girl Most Likely from Amazon.com: Blu-ray + UV / DVD + UV / Instant Video

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Reviewed November 14, 2013.



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