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This was a real disappointment from Noah Baumbach after the smart, insightful While We're Young (2014) and it leaves me questioning whether Greta Gerwig has any range as an actress. I was saddened as I saw a concept that could have been fun if stuffed into an episode of 30 Rock or Parks and Recreation stretched out to feature length and filled with gags that were initially funny but then became tiresome as they were used over and over again. This is one that I would not recommend people see as the director of the film has made far more interesting film that feel less ponderous and artificial while understanding the abilities and limitations of their actors.
Tracy Fishko, Lola Kirke, is a Barnard College student who yearns to be accepted by the Mobius Literary Society but struggles to find her voice or an interesting subject to write about. She becomes inspired when she meets her future stepsister Brooke Cardinas, Greta Gerwig, a shallow socialite of sorts living a seemingly glamorous but chaotic life in New York City. Fishko is immediately enamored of her even as she writes about her negatively in the roman a clef story she is penning. Their relationship comes to a head when Cardinas loses funding for the restaurant she wants to open, one of her many ambitions, as they arrive at the house of Cardinas' nemesis Mamie-Claire, Heather Lind.
Whenever you see a comically obnoxious character present in a film you understand that there is a certain artifice to the performance being given by the actor or actress portraying them but I feel that you still need to buy some part of the character. Gerwig's performance as Cardinas feels completely constructed and fake as you can see her disgust for her character and real personality seeping through. There was no point at which Gerwig's performance was remotely convincing and this made the whole film feel horribly smug and self-indulgent as she received a writing credit on this film and clearly felt that she could pull this off. I liked Gerwig in Frances Ha (2012) and Maggie's Plan (2015) but she does play a relatively similar character who appears to be largely what she is like in real life, many actresses do this successfully across multiple films but maybe Gerwig should stay away from trying to play different characters.
The film's plot was obviously trying to be reminiscent of a classic screwball comedy with a random assembly of people in an absurd situation. The problem is that we spend too much time with these people who are largely one joke characters in a comic situation that brings one or two laughs even as we spend an hour with this extended gag. The repeated popping in of Karen, Mamie-Claire's Asian friend who is waiting for her husband and wants various items of food, is a prime example of Baumbach thinking he could get too much mileage out of one joke and I was annoyed by her presence towards the end of the segment. Much like Woody Allen, who clearly influenced him, Baumbach has made some films that waste a perfectly good premise on a screenplay that feels underwritten and poorly thought out, this is one of them.
The bright spot in the film is Kirke who manages to play her character as the youth with low self esteem that can be unknowingly cruel in a surprisingly understated way. She feels like she would fit into Greenberg (2010), a better Baumbach film, nicely as a friend of Dave Franco's Korn loving stoner or as one of Florence's girlfriends. Kirke's performance would have been better served by a screenplay with as much nuance as she brings to her character.
I am glad that Baumbach has returned to form after this weak offering with The Meyerowitz Stories (2017) and although I disliked this film I would definitely watch it before seeing Black Panther (2018) or Seven (1995). If you want a really good screwball comedy I would recommend that you watch It Happened One Night (1934), You Can't Take It with You (1938) and The Philadelphia Story (1940), watch out for lots of well written gags and well cast performers.
As near perfect as film can get.
I've loved every Noah Baumbach movie I've seen so far (Greenberg, Frances Ha, The Meyerowitz Stories), but Mistress America just didn't do it for me. Not a single character was likeable for me, they were all either insufferably self-absorbed or quirky in that infuriatingly indie way. At one point a character is dancing merrily with another and shouts over the music, with no prior context whatsoever, "I watched my mother die". Who talks like this? I suppose this is my main complaint against this film, that it's a little too self-consciously indie. You never go full indie.
I like Greta Gerwig. I didnt like her in this though. Her wife/husband partnership with the director Noah Baumbach the movies are a little hit and miss and this one was a miss. The endless relentless uninteresting dialogue just did my head in. The mansion scene seemed to go on for eternity. Generally most of the characters were unlikeable. Oh Lola character mom (Kathyrn Erbe) seemed nice. Kinda similar vein to Woody Allen movie without the star names. Greta is a better actress than what she had to work with in this movie. Anyway I wouldnt recommend this one. One plus is that it is short (84 minutes). Another plus point the use of a song I hadnt heard for a while, OMD Souvenoir.
your tragedy is your armor..
For the most part of the time, one does wander that whether it is a movie or a special one-hour sitcom episode that is about to satisfy and clear each and every cliffhangers or lose thread of this hilarious tale. Mistress America works most of the time for its smooth and short runtime along with some of the smartest and newest idea which was to create a sitcom within a feature that is not only driven by raw natured mentality but also by its petty perspectives. Noah pulls it off again with this far fetched and as usual eerie script and maintains his statistics on being at the top when it comes to family drama along with the help of Greta as a writer-actor who surprisingly is flat out funny in each and every scene. Mistress America as said earlier is a two-part episode of a sitcom in which the makers is busy prepping up the characters for the audience in the first act just to explode the can of laughing gas in its second one which along with fast paced, short runtime, amusing but genuine characters and wizened concepts antes up the film than expected.
Mistress America is smartly written, blending funny dialogues with coming-of-age drama that translates the messiness of life - bringing out the best from outstanding performances from Greta Gerwig and Lola Kirke and spot-on direction from Noah Baumbach.
It's a beautiful movie with great performances by both Greta gerwig and lola kirke.
This movie features two young women talking endlessly as they meandered through the self-absorbed and largely pointless New York singles scene. It strongly reminded me of a Woody Allen film.
Achei um filme legal...que tinha potencial mas....apenas legal também, mais uma vez. ehehehehe
Cliched story about two New Yorkers who decide to make a day of seeing what they like about the city. For a story like this to work you need two really good actresses. But I didn't like Greta Gerwig in this myself. Cute but boring. A better movie about New York is Breakfast at Tiffany's.