Spicer's debut feature follows Ingrid, a lonely, mentally unstable woman in her late 20s who takes following Instagram 'influencers' to a whole new level by quite literally stalking them in real life. It's not long before she decides to move out west to sunny California where she hopes she hopes to befriend LA’s hottest social media star, Taylor Sloane.
After much sleuthing and some low-grade kidnapping (technically dognapping) Ingrid eventually succeeds in ingratiating herself with the blonde and bubbly Taylor. What follows is a life of pool parties, road trips, brunches and selfies. Lots and lots of selfies.
Things start to take a sinister turn once Taylor’s brother Nicky (a suitably odious Billy Magnussen) discovers Ingrid’s phone and reveals that she is nothing more than a crazed fan-girl and a poser — a nobody masquerading as a 'somebody.
The point that Spicer makes, with considerable heavy-handedness, is that Ingrid is actually no different from Taylor and everyone else who engages in conspicuous living; everyone who cultivates a persona for the benefit of thousands of anonymous fans.
It’s a valid message, but one that is executed with a lack of nuance and wit. Spicer’s cliched cultural touchstones — avocado on toast, small dogs, and girls saying ‘like’ every other word — seem like the kind of broad references a stuffy Daily Mail journalist would make when writing a piece of diatribe about millennials.
Things don’t get better, or sharper, with an ending that at best is weak and at worst sets a potentially dangerous precedent for younger, impressionable viewers.
The most problematic aspect of this film though is that it expects us to spend two hours in the company of a host of incredibly unlikeable individuals. Ingrid’s personal woes — there are allusions to her recently deceased mother — could have been moving, but Plaza plays her with such a dead-eyed vapidity that it’s hard to care.
Elizabeth Olsen seems to have fun playing an overgrown sorority girl, but even her acting talents cannot invest us in this entirely vacuous character. In fact, O’Shea Jackson Jr., who plays Ingrid’s boyfriend Dan, is the only character who seems more developed than a two-dimensional walking punchline or admonition.
|What||Ingrid Goes West film review|
|Where||Various Locations | MAP|
17 Nov 17 – 17 Nov 18, TIMES VARY
|Price||£ determined by cinema|
|Website||Click here for more information|