If you’ve had your fill of awkward comedies involving aimless men in their 20s searching for some meaning to their lives, why not flip your perspective?
A maturity-stunted Megan (Keira Knightley) arrives at a useful vantage point in “Laggies.”
She had to ditch everyone she knows (her fiancé, friends, family), latch on to a protective high school senior named Annika (Chloe Grace Moretz), and take this kid to meet her neglectful mother, Bethany (Mol).
Not even able to serve lemonade without a mild prompt from Megan, Bethany doles out gift lingerie to a daughter desperate for any connection. Megan observes this awkward exchange from a couch with decorative tortoises hung on the wall behind it.
Tortoises, the coincidental “spirit animal” Megan had to fib up for her fiancé, who thinks she’s at some week-long career retreat where they come up with lame motivations like spirit animals.
This wasn’t the life Megan wanted, but a young adulthood of indecision got her here.
A joyless best friend, Misty (Ellie Kemper), thrusts Megan into the rigid social life of Keeping up with the Facebook Joneses. In one scene, Misty chastises Megan for twisting the nipples of a large Buddha among friends who wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between a Buddhist monk and a Hare Krishna anyway.
Her boyfriend, Anthony (Mark Webber), is another living remnant from high school that has some middling commonalities to Megan. He’s nuanced enough to pop the marriage question to Megan in the proposal form of a low-key elopement.
However implausible the meet-cute scenario may be that lands Megan in the office of Annika’s discerning father, Craig (Sam Rockwell), the film uses the pairing well. Craig fulfills most of the rom-com love interest criteria, but he’s also an audience surrogate trying to determine who exactly Megan is — a question and answer she’s mutually pursuing.
“Laggies” is ultimately a film about personal development. You can make all the right decisions based on loyalty to family and friends yet still not figure out who you’re capable of becoming.
Perhaps working-class people will wince at Megan’s comfortable surroundings that allowed her to stagnate under a financially secure boyfriend and father. But these development problems are too universal to dismiss, and “Laggies” simply presents this story type in a lighter form.