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Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Laggies

February 8th, 2015

Laggies - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray

Laggies is a film that opened in limited release earning much better buzz than most films do. It opened well, but struggled as it tried to expand. Then again, it is a romantic comedy and those rarely do well in limited release. Did it fail to find an audience because it is the wrong genre? Or did the word of mouth kill it?

The Movie

We meet Megan by watching a video her friends recorded at prom. After that, the film jumps forward ten years to when Megan is 28. She still hasn't really grown up and doesn't have a real job. (She a sign-spinner for her Dad's accounting firm.) She's still close to the rest of her high school friends, but they have grown up while she hasn't. In fact, one of her friends, Allison, is getting married and this seems to be putting a strain on their relationship, as Allison doesn't think Megan is growing up.

Speaking of strained relationships, Megan is still with her high-school sweetheart, Anthony. He's also concerned that Megan's life isn't progressing as fast as it should, but tries to be supportive and encourages her to see a career counselor. Instead, she ducks out at her parents place. Her Dad is really happy to see her, but her Mom is just as frustrated with Megan as Allison is.

At Allison's wedding, two major things happen. Firstly, Anthony proposes to Megan. She's a little freaked out and tries to get him to stop, playing it off as if she doesn't want to ruin Allison's big night. She steps outside to get some air, but that's when she sees her Dad cheating on her mom.

After those two events, Megan just has to get out of there and makes an excuse to drive to the grocery store. Outside the store, she meets Annika and her friends, Misty, Junior, and Patrick. Annika claims they simply forgot their ID and ask her to buy them some beer, and some coolers, and some red wine, and some white wine. Megan sees through that right away, obviously, but she still buys them some alcohol, as a rite of passage. After buying the booze, Megan shows off what's left of her skateboarding skill before saying she has to leave. However, Annika invites her to hang with them and it's that or go back to the wedding, so she agrees.

When she finally returns home, Megan tells Anthony a story about realizing that she was too drunk to drive after she got to the grocery store, so she needed to get a cab. He was a little worried she ran off because he proposed, which is part of the reason. But Megan convinces him otherwise. She also convinces him she wanted to go to a personal growth seminar for a week. She's convincing, so much so that Anthony proposes again, and this time Megan accepts, because saying no would mean confronting her life and she's not ready for that. She's also not ready to be with her family, not after what she saw at the wedding. So what will she do?

It is at about this time that Annika calls Megan asking for a big favor. She needs Megan to come to her school to pretend to be her absentee mother and talk to the school guidance counselor. Megan agrees, but asks a favor in return. She needs a place to lay low and Annika's dad works, so he'll never find out. That plan doesn't quite work out. At all. Her father, Craig, catches Megan with Annika immediately, but doesn't freak out. However, after the pair go to a party he catches Annika sneaking Megan into her room for a sleepover. Obviously he isn't happy, but after talking to Megan realizes she's not a creep and after Megan convinces him she just needs a place for a week because her lease was over, he agrees.

Will the week away from her life help Megan turn around their life? Or will it complicate it more?

A lot happens to get to the basic setup of Laggies, that is Megan hiding from her life while hanging out with a 16-year old Annika. The biggest complaint I have about the movie is the slight nature of the movie. While watching this movie, I never really thought I was seeing a film that spoke to the innermost nature of humans. I felt like I was watching an extended sitcom episode, a really good sitcom episode episode. This shouldn't be too surprising, as the director, Lynn Shelton, has many sitcom episodes to her credits, as well as previous movies. Additionally, the film covers well-worn territory. This is not a surprise, as it is a romantic comedy and a coming of age. Those are two of the most common keywords in our database and both genres have a huge collection of clichés to pull from.

That said, while Laggies isn't deep or unique, it is very well made. Much of the success is due to the trio of lead actors. Keira Knightley is is excellent in this movie and is very believable as a young woman who is struggling to find her way. She also has amazing chemistry with both Sam Rockwell and Chloë Grace Moretz. This isn't really surprising, as these three actors are almost always excellent. Even when they are in a movie that isn't great, they tend to rise above the material. Given material that is good, and the characters they play are very engaging, and their collective performances are more than enough that the overall movie is worth watching. It might not be deep or unique, but the execution is strong enough that the end result is a great film.

The Extras

Extras begin with an audio commentary track with the director, Lynn Shelton. There are also a pair of behind-the-scene / making of featurettes. The first is a nine-minute more generalized featurette, while the second is a six-minute look at shooting in Seattle. Finally, there are six deleted scenes.

The technical presentation is excellent for a dialogue driven dramedy. The level of details is sharp, the colors pop, etc. It isn't the most visually stimulating movie I've seen, but there are also no flaws in the video either. Likewise, there's not a lot of flash in the audio track, but the dialogue is always clear and the surround sound speakers are used enough to not feel bare.

The Blu-ray costs $18, which is $5 or 37% more than the DVD. Paying $5 more for the Blu-ray isn't a bad deal, but the DVD is certainly cheaper than most similar DVD releases.

The Verdict

Laggies has three amazing actors playing three great roles and that adds up to a terrific movie. There are enough extras on the DVD and Blu-ray that it is easily worth picking up.

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Filed under: Video Review, Laggies, Jeff Garlin, Keira Knightley, Chloë Grace Moretz, Sam Rockwell, Lynn Shelton, Mark Webber, Ellie Kemper, Kaitlyn Dever, Daniel Zovatto, Dylan Arnold