Damsels in Distress (2012)
Average Rating: 6.7/10
Reviews Counted: 129
Fresh: 97 | Rotten: 32
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 6.4/10
Critic Reviews: 41
Fresh: 29 | Rotten: 12
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 2.9/5
User Ratings: 12,395
Whit Stillman's Damsels in Distress is a comedy about a trio of beautiful girls as they set out to revolutionize life at a grungy American university - the dynamic leader Violet Wister (Greta Gerwig), principled Rose (Megalyn Echikunwoke) and sexy Heather (Carrie MacLemore). They welcome transfer student Lily (Analeigh Tipton) into their group which seeks to help severely depressed students with a program of good hygiene and musical dance numbers. The girls become romantically entangled with a
Apr 6, 2012 Limited
Sep 25, 2012
Sony Pictures Classics - Official Site
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"Freak" Astaire, Freak ...
Charlie Black, Professo...
Cortez Nance Jr.
Aja Naomi King
At the Dinner: Carolina...
Sincere Highway Worker
Jonnie Louis Brown
Fresh Highway Worker
Nigel Shawn Williams
Charlie's Friend 1
Edward T. Martin
Charlie's Friend 2
ALA Pamphlet Guy
D.U. Brother "hygiene"
D.U. Brother "boots"
The film would probably drag if it weren't so perfectly cast, especially with the gawky-beautiful Gerwig as its center.
Damsels in Distress ambles about amiably without much of a narrative: Plot has never been Stillman's strong suit, and in this film he seems particularly indifferent to its demands.
There's a self-consciousness to "Damsels" that takes away much of the fun.
While the comedy might be patchy, Gerwig and Stillman make for quite the two-step.
Although the themes of clueless rich kids acting boorishly are very much the same as in Stillman's biggest hits, 'Metropolitan' and 'Barcelona,' the light and breezy "Damsels" more than stands on its own as an Austen-tatious delight.
Why he would once again focus his imagination on another ensemble of shallow, self-absorbed characters that are all directed to speak like they were born in the same upper-class Connecticut suburb indicates a one-track mind, at the least.
One doesn't realize one has missed the airless irony of Whit Stillman until one sees Stillman's first feature film in 13 years.
And while it occasionally feels a little wobbly, it grows more sure of itself and richer as it goes along.
While the highly mannered banter on show here doesn't quite have the cutting ring of Whit Stillman's] epocal, yuppie-era conversation piece Metropolitan (1990), it brims with dry wit and wry observations about college life and awkward emotions.
Whit Stillman hasn't been behind a camera in 13 years and it's time to toss the old adage out, you can forget how to ride a bike.
This is a very funny movie, and in some ways a dirty movie, in the old Ernst Lubitsch sense of innuendoes standing in for outright sex talk.
'His wit largely depends upon the shape and cadence of the sentence and upon an eccentric and personal vocabulary.' This Britannica entry on Ronald Firbank (a novelist mentioned in the movie) offers a perfect summation of the sense of humor found here...
Stillman's return in "Damsels" ends up being like a friendly lunch with someone you used to have deep, all-night dorm-room conversations with back in college.
Stillman's script snarls with wit and snarky commentary on social organizations. He certainly has a unique style, and it makes me want to seek out his earlier films. Unfortunately, I felt like the film kind of petered out in the last act.
To refer to a film's olfactory properties is ordinarily associated with expressing one's displeasure, but to do so in regard to Damsels in Distress is to praise this cinematic aromatherapy's mood-lifting qualities.
It would be wonderful to report that Damsels in Distress marks a completely triumphant return for Stillman, yet while it's certainly recommendable, it falls short of his '90s output.
Audience Reviews for Damsels in Distress
- Rose: Priss is a rat; a bitch; a rat-bitch.
- Young Rose: What's your name.
- Young Rose: What's your name?
- Violet Wister: Our aspirations are pretty basic. Take a guy who hasn't realized his full potential, or doesn't have much... and then help him realize it... or find more.
- Violet Wister: Do you know what's the major problem in contemporary social life? The tendency to always seek someone cooler than yourself.
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