Saturday, September 6, 2014
THE PRETTY ONE (2013)
Written & Directed By: Jenee LaMarque
Cinematography By: Polly Morgan
Editor: Kiran Pallengadda
Cast: Zoe Kazan, Jake Johnson, Ron Livingston, Frances Shaw, John Carroll Lynch, Danny Pudi, Sabrina Lloyd
When an eccentric and insecure young woman is mistaken for her dead identical twin, she seizes the chance to leave her pathetic existence behind and assume her sister's life. Through this absurd masquerade as "the pretty one" she finally learns to value her own identity
This is a strange film as it is very conventional yet the tone of the film stays so still and stiff to a degree
The film's Script was on the black list of 2011. He black list is a list of the year’s best unproduced scripts voted on by industry insiders. Usually the scripts on the list become hit properties after the list is released.
I can see this being a desired script. As it is charming an funny. Though for all the quirking tries I achieve it also seems like a story much more interesting on the page rather than acted out in real life.
As the film has a dream type quality. Where everything is so cute and twee and preserves a certain kind of innocence. Though once in awhile will remind you that this is supposed to be reality.
Even though some darkness pokes it's head. It is only as a plot pint to get the story moving.
As the film has no real villains, just characters who make bad decisions, but aren't evil at heart and I can admire the film for that.
Though the film has a message about identity and finding oneself. Not letting others define you. It seems like a film that was designed more than written. As the characters are just so cute and earnest.
Especially the lead who is almost a manic pixie dream girl if it wasn't for the film being about her finding herself
Zoe Kazan plays the lead role a well as doing double duty in the beginning playing her twin. He gives a hell of a performance so charming it's hard not to fall in love with her. She has a plain beauty that knocks you out the more you get to know her character. An innocence but yet also a fierceness to her. Especially in the funeral scenes. Everytime it seems like she is about to break she fights back. This is a star making role or at least Insuring that ah has a future in romantic comedies. Though it feels similar to one of the few roles I have seen her play before in the film RUBY SPARKS though she is just as remarkable and charming here.
The film feels a little like those films where someone finds themselves in a new body. With all these new sensations and loves they never loved an have to deal with. Like when she meets her sister's boyfriend and he is all over her and he doesn't know exactly how to react.
Jake Johnson is into the film playing her roommate and that is always a Joy when he is in a film. There is something about him that always interests me. Maybe his laid back slacker charm. He reminds me of actor David Krumholtz only Johnson seems more playful. I find interesting, he is in the film as the film could almost be a plainer version of the sitcom he is on THE NEW GIRL as also the lead here could be explained as adorkable.
While the film does flirt with reality. It is liked with a playfulness of a fantasy. Like her job of selling fantasy homes. Homes built into caves, elf houses or people to live in, etc. Her love interests sells and gives away used books that he is always also reading. They leisurely use their neighbors pool who remain faceless so we never have to get to know them or feel guilty using their wares.
After while the film overdoes cute and luckily around that time the film tries to become serious again.
The film is ok. As Long as you know what you are getting into.