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  • Warning: Spoilers
    I switched off my iPhone to watch Ingrid Goes West, and at the end I didn't want to switch it back on. Sure, central character Ingrid Thorburn (Aubrey Plaza) is a psychopath - stalking and manipulating her social media idols until they befriend her, and then causing mass destruction for everyone involved. But she also evokes some sympathy, as a lost and lonely girl, with a poor grasp on reality, who happily clings to Instagram as her only source of love. Her target, blonde California instagram It-girl Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen), is a shallow shell of a girl who has no concept that her breezy internet money making project - posting photos of her sunny, product-heavy life and chatting online to a stream of fake intimate friends - has any consequences in the real world. It's a cardboard cut-out of a world, but to a smitten Ingrid, Taylor is the perfect person. After Ingrid steals Taylor's dog to get the credit for its return, Taylor quickly and unwisely accepts Ingrid as her new BFF. From there, it's a black comedy of errors as Ingrid tries desperately to cling on to Taylor's ultra cool, partying clique, while hiding her rotten soul and her true identity. Ingrid proves willing to assault and lie to anything and everyone in her way. The most poignant victim is her sweet boyfriend Dan (Jackson O'Shea), who is much too trusting and giving to deserve her. She almost destroys him, but like a puppy he sticks with her. The movie's ending is daring and very disturbing, but I thought it makes sense. I laughed, despite the horror. It perfectly summarises the possible dangers of social media, in that creating fake versions of ourselves, and friending hordes of dodgy strangers - or in Ingrid's case, mistaking social media connection for real friendship - can be intoxicating, but also as toxic as rat poison. In the end, Ingrid vows to 'be herself' in future. But that realisation comes without any solid guidance or human support, and having no other aspirations, she's sucked In to playing yet another online obsessive - the victim seeking sympathy. No doubt generating her own deluded stalkers. Her phone is still a menacing weapon of mass destruction. The cycle starts again. I almost screamed - it was like the ending in Notes on a Scandal, where Judi Dench casually latches on to her next victim, like a tiger stalking its prey.
  • The plot line and comedy/drama categorisation do not reveal much when it comes to this film. It is a good thing since it offers more than you would hope for. I would say it is more of a drama than a comedy, there are some quite serious issues covered in this story.

    Aubrey Plaza is great as Ingrid, she managed to find a nice balance between being unhinged, vulnerable, obsessed and yet her familiar facial expressions will sometimes still make you laugh.

    I believe that the obsession with social media was portrayed nicely here, I am sure you all know or knew someone who is practically glued to their phone and can't imagine lasting a day without it. Instagram, Facebook and other media can really make a person feel a bit depressed since everyone seems happy all the time, they eat at nice restaurants, travel to nice places, go to great parties where in reality it is all a bit phony which is another thing that this film shows. There are not many people who would post something sad because they are having a bad day or are going through a rough patch, the fear of being judged is always present and it would break the balance of everything being seemingly perfect with everyone. If you combine that with a troubled personality or a mental illness, the results can be pretty bad. And that basically describes Ingrid.

    It is a solid indie film with good performances and something to think about.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I love Aubrey Plaza she is so funny but in this one its a lot more serious.

    She is Ingrid and she is suffering from loneliness, and is a stalker.

    This was more of a drama for me then a comedy there are few bits of comedy but it felt a lot more like the downfall of man.

    Social media is a disease, being popular, its like online dating and the rest of the fake stuff people are exposed everyday. And why i keep my life private.

    In this movie you get to see how you think you have friends but they back stab you, and in most part most of us are left alone and can't count on anyone.

    The ending of this movie is more sad then ever when she attempt suicide and it fails and she gets all those vote on Instagram...... kind of lame Who cares about popularity when its all fake anyways.
  • Dark comedy with Aubrey Plaza and Elizabeth Olsen? Sign me in.

    But what I got, was definitely not a comedy. There are some laughs in this film, but mostly it's a heavy drama about unbalanced, desperate people. And a very well made one.

    'Ingrid Goes West' is so real, so brutal, that it makes the audience uncomfortable, but you still can't look away. This is what the world of social media is when taken to extreme. It's reality for thousands of people, if not for millions.

    Sad, yet important and powerful, look at our society today.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Aubrey Plaza is *always* fun to watch. It seems as if she can pull off any role thrown at her. The trailer for Ingrid Goes West looks like a comedy, but this film is deep.

    In a genius writing move, Ingrid is given almost no backstory, because it doesn't matter. She's as much a force as she is a person. Calculating, manipulative, expertly building an Instagram brand by leeching off a popular grammer, she represents all that is obsessive and voyeuristic about social media, taken to a toxic, narcissistic extreme. And, everyone is to blame except the lovable Dan, who is perhaps the most sympathetic character of all.

    The film is engaging all the way through as Ingrid rises, then falls, then explodes, then rises again, all of it fueled by her desperate need for validation by association. The story plays like a long metaphor, a morality play examining the social media phenomenon from several angles with power and a deftness that lands it's blows softly and unexpectedly.

    I highly recommend this film!
  • Aubrey Plaza has a knack for choosing the right small, just off the radar indie projects. In the past, she starred in overlooked gems such as, The To Do List, Safety Not Guaranteed and The Little Hours, which came out earlier this year. Ingrid Goes West is her most recent indie gem, and perhaps her best.

    Ingrid Goes West features Plaza as Ingrid (duh!), who has some umm… let's call them social issues. She equates passing interactions on social media as meaningful friendships. These virtual relationships quickly turn into real obsessions.

    Her latest target is a California Insta-girl named Taylor (played by Elizabeth Olsen, whose stock is rising rapidly of late), who responded to one of Ingrid's carefully thought out comments on her latest food photo. Taylor's winking advice to "check it out next time you're in LA" is all the incentive Ingrid needs. She grabs her backpack full of newly-received cash (no spoilers on how she got the money) and headed west to spy on Taylor/become friends with Taylor.

    Through some mild stalking and other questionable behavior, Ingrid becomes fast friends with Taylor. Desperate to win and retain Taylor's affection through any means necessary, Ingrid takes advantage of her overly trusting landlord/next-door neighbor and Batman superfan, Dan (played by O'Shea Jackson Jr. who is about one more praiseworthy performance away from breaking free from people calling him "Ice Cube's son" and just calling him O'Shea Jackson Jr.) At first, Ingrid pays little attention to Dan unless she needs something from him. But he soon shows her that he's the only one that truly likes her for who she really is. It's the most heartfelt moment in a movie that often hides behind its humor.

    Of course, with Ingrid things cannot remain rosy for long. She's a tornado of dysfunction and terrible decision making. Her dream world unravels and in the end the audience is faced with a rather confusing message about the value and dangers of social media.

    The movie's stars make everything work. Give credit to first-time director Matt Spicer too, but it's hard to imagine pulling off this level of emotional vacillation with any other group of actors.

    Especially in the opening 20 minutes or so, each passing moment evokes a new emotion so rapidly and seemingly randomly that it's almost as if Spicer was tossing dice and choosing a different emotion based on the roll. We dart between heartbreaking, heartwarming, hilarious, and shakily anxious. This is not a comfortable viewing experience.

    We catch of glimpse of Ingrid's humanity early on and she remains empathetic throughout despite behaving in mostly distasteful ways. Plaza deserves commendation for her performance, which is both nuanced and unhinged.

    Ultimately, Dan reigns as the most likable character, even if he may be the most naïve. In a story of full of phonies, he always stays true to himself. That has got to count for something.
  • I wonder at some of the savage reviews this film got on IMDb. It is no candidate for an Oscar but it is a pretty adequate description of the social media scene, has a reasonably ingenious script and is well acted. I describe it as a semi-black comedy because, very appropriately in an environment where nothing es what it appears to be, it is funny but not totally funny, a little tragic but not as much as it could be. Worth spending a while looking at it.
  • jellopuke28 April 2018
    While this movie might end up looking obsolete in a few years depending on where technology goes, sociologically, it's damn on point and prescient. Not so much funny as dark and disturbing, it did a good job of showing how empty everyone was, even the so-called "heroes." The ending was a nice touch as well.
  • shakercoola28 October 2018
    An American black comedy drama; A story about a woman obsessed with social media and her craving of recognition by others, who inserts herself into the life of an unsuspecting influencer. This stalker fantasy thriller is satirical with topical humor and emboldened by timely social observations. It strikes a fine balance between humour and horror. It employs an interesting visual style which is used to good effect. It's well acted and clever in its depiction of the disease of neediness and the self-obsessed but it falls short in its timidity to take on the bigger psychological problem of the character and this is evident in the way the film concludes.
  • Ingrid Goes West may prove to be the King of Comedy of the millennial generation. It is a charring and incisive black comedy that smartly uses social media as a means to explore the darker side of human nature – obsession. Anchored by a savagely funny script and a pitch-perfect performance by Aubrey Plaza, Ingrid Goes West is the deviously wicked, unflinchingly bitter, infinitely quotable knockout comedy that at least this writer has been waiting for all year.

    Ingrid Goes West follows an unhinged and frighteningly relatable social media stalker (Plaza) who finds a new obsession in the form of Instagram photographer and personality Taylor Sloane (Olsen). When Taylor likes one of her comments, Ingrid decides to cash what's left of her inheritance for a move to California. From there she insinuates herself into Taylor's life; trying desperately to assimilate to her new, chic So-Cal lifestyle while refusing the advances of her good-natured landlord Dan (Jackson).

    The inner torment that plagues Ingrid has an everlasting presence. You can see it in her eyes, her mannerisms, the way she obsesses and thrusts herself through the plot. She remains for the most part, an enigma but not the kind you can find intriguing or sexy. She's more like a void; desperate to distract herself from whom she really is with imagined perfect lives and even more perfect photo filters. To the brilliantly vulnerable Dan, she's suspicious; to the vapid Taylor she becomes a monster. Who is she really? She may not even know.

    Yet she's not exactly the epitome of an anti-social obsessive. She displays genuine emotional intelligence; even while getting caught up in her own whirlwind of manipulations. Her relationship with Dan provides a glimpse into what she's really about as well as affirmation that she wouldn't stop even if she wanted to. She's less Travis Bickle and more Gene Tierney in Leave Her to Heaven (1945), hopelessly looking for love in all the wrong places; not a sociopath but a histrionic.

    The satire of Ingrid Goes West has become a bit of a fault line between audiences, critics and critics of a certain age. Those inclined to think scrolling through your phone is an anti-social pastime are liable to think Ingrid Goes West pulls its punches. Ben Kenigsberg of the New York Times wrote the movie "comes close to saying something sharp…but ultimately cops out in the end." Similarly Rex Reed muses Ingrid Goes West "looks more like a tweet than a movie".

    I'd argue if you take away the trappings of modern technology Ingrid wouldn't cease to be, she'd simply latch onto and unhealthily exploit some other escape such as: radio (Play Misty for Me), books (Misery) or TV (King of Comedy). Sure it'd lack contemporary immediacy and older audiences wouldn't get that extra dopamine fix of laughing at "those stupid kids and their devices," but the painfully human insights would still be very much there.

    Thus as much as some would like Ingrid Goes West to be a savage takedown of hashtags, Insta-fame and avocado toast, it'd be more accurate to call it a lampooning of human behavior. It aims its sights at the insidiousness of exclusion, and how the need for validation can turn toxic. Additionally it holds up a mirror not just on us in a general sense but holds it up to you and dares you to look into the void. In the case of this movie the void looks like Aubrey Plaza. I suppose there are worse things in the world.
  • Ingrid Goes West is a pleasant surprise of a comedy movie, discussing obsessive personality in the social media-centric age we live in. Plaza's performance as the titular character is outstanding, with Jackson, Olsen, Russell giving great supporting roles that make their slice of Los Angeles feel extremely personal. To top off the experience, the cinematography is vibrant and the plot is a sweet balance between melancholic and hilarious. I recommend the movie to anyone looking for a unique comedy or commentary on social media.
  • Quinoa198419 April 2017
    How would Ingrid operate if not for social media? It occurs to me watching this movie that social media, especially Instagram where pictures probably tell much more about one's life (and with those ever-so leading tells from the little description under the picture, with those hashtags saying the most in the briefest visual communication), doesn't create people to become more isolated and depressed and incensed, but it certainly doesn't do much to help.

    In the case of Ingrid, she is someone for who following someone on Instagram is the lifeline into their lives, and if it doesn't create those who are on the outside and need help and don't have it, it exploits it for her. It's possible she could have seen the article about Taylor, the Elizabeth Olsen character - but it's not very likely *Taylor* would have become known as "The Best Friend," seemingly every-so hip and trending, but also a welcome mat for... those who are looking for a friend!

    This is one of thoseultra-no-light-whatsoever-black comedies, and it's comedic because we can recognize that low pit of loneliness and despair and cringe along with everyone else as things become intense and estranged and obfuscation and the truth collide (or some of us can - if possible maybe some are secretly more like Taylor, hiding who they are to be much cooler than they really are - or even Taylor's significant other Ezra, who quits his job to become an artist but doesn't sell anything, or maybe Dan is more like it, the would-be screenwriter inspired by Batman Forever - stroke of genius, by the way, that he is *not* inspired by The Dark Knight - or maybe one or two are Taylor's brother Nicky, a real bastard who at least doesn't pretend *too* much about who he is as a character out of a Brett Easton Ellis novel).

    In other words, Ingrid Goes West does involve, on paper, one of those psycho-stalker women who we usually see becoming attached to the presumably more together other woman, but that's where the similarities between those kind of movies (mostly) end. The tone is set at the beginning for what one assumes is someone who is off the deep-end as Ingrid f***s with another girl on her wedding. Why this happens is less important than what comes immediately after as she's put into psychiatric care. Will she try to better herself? Hardly, but it would seem like she's not exactly dangerous... at least, not so right away. I'd say there's a bit of the Rupert Pupkin in her, but I'm not sure if she is precisely trying to be *famous* like he was, or has that goal - or, to rephrase it, the goals of Pupkin then and Ingrid now are and aren't the same.

    Ingrid sees a way of life and wants to have something as close to that as possible (through certain means that come through a believable plot contrivance, if that makes sense, she doesn't have to work right away and can use the pad via O'Shea Jackson's Batman friend), but it's more than anything about... being friends with someone. It's a fascinating dynamic since the movie is in a large way about her trying to figure out if what Taylor has is what she *really* wants or to have an authentic connection. While Matt Spicer's film (from his and Branson Smith's script) has a lot of wildly funny moments - sometimes through sheer surprise of 'That's genuinely f****ed' but also other times through the simple act of capturing behavior in a wonderfully, insanely exaggerated way - it's about deeper concerns that happen for people who don't, necessarily, have a psycho-stalker hanging around them in the LA hipster-ish-arts scene.

    The Instagram and social media aspect is the key; we use these conduits to connect together and, indeed, to show people how we're living our lives (sometimes, as is mentioned casually and briefly but importantly, sometimes if one is lucky one gets *paid* to post such things online like a sponsor, hence Taylor's photography), but it also lessens how to truly connect to a person. I don't imagine Ingrid's mother, who is dead by the start of the movie, used social media, and this is a relationship that mattered a lot and sort of broke Ingrid further than she had been before (I don't also imagine she was ever exactly part of any cliques exactly, but she did have *someone* to connect with face to face on a fundamental level). So by the time a final, crucial confrontation occurs, sort of right before the climax but in the midst of it, what both sides say is true about the other.

    Oh, and I should mention about now that the acting here is terrific. Plaza, to be sure, is the stand-out and continues a scorching-all-she-sees hot streak from her recent run on the show Legion (which, in a rather odd way, this *could* be a tangential prequel to, in way, maybe, sorta, I dunno), and she delivers on the awkward/harsh comic timing, and yet more-so on the dramatic level. But while without her, perhaps, the movie doesn't work as well, Olsen and Jackson and even Russell for a couple of crucial scenes stand out as well; Olsen, especially, gets to have a kind of character I'm not sure she's played before, or at least like this, and the layers to her are subtler to go for, and she digs in as much as she can (in a sense her character's most honest time, ironically, is when she's bonding with Ingrid on a drunken/coke-filled free for all, you'll find out why this is, and it makes for an awesomely peculiar dynamic).
  • With living in a world of technology of the internet and face book, twitter, iPhone, and Instagram this movie "Ingrid Goes West" is a good take and spin on the obsession that it has caused many as people will go to great means to be accepted and loved. It's a lonely world for some yet it seems that never goes away when the obsessions go to extremes. As some can never get enough or take no for an answer.

    Ingrid(Aubrey Plaza)is a lonely Pennsylvania girl who needs friends as she's rejected and bored and wants a change of pace and a new beginning, so when she notices an Instagram star on her iPhone out in California, you guessed it a trip to move to the west coast is on Ingrid's to do list! It's already a slow obsession to be a new friend to this social media star named Taylor Sloane(Elizabeth Olsen) as this attractive bright blond girl seems to have it! Ingrid has a dream come true by getting to meet Taylor and it seems like friendship is rolling along only it's not as each has a different lifestyle and social status. After Ingrid feels rejected and isolated you guessed it she becomes a stalker and it's a dangerous little cat and mouse game with Taylor and others around them.

    Overall good film that looks at how social media and the need for acceptance will drive someone to go to many means and they will do anything it's an obsession that will lead even close to death. This is a film to check out as it's in step with our current times.
  • This film's portrayal of obsession and social media taking over modern lives and interests is spot on, and overall it's thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish. Just know what you're getting in to!

    Too many of the lower reviews are complaints that the film was too dark and not funny enough - this shouldn't reflect on the overall score. The writers had a point to make and they made it well while creating something that is entertaining even at it's saddest moments. It's a far more powerful movie than a lot of people seem to expect but that's not a bad thing. And don't even get me started on the people taking the comedy as some sort of twisted justification for the darker aspects, this film is not at all defending online obsessions or humouring the idea that online attention is important at all. It's simply shown to us from Ingrid's (well-established) sick mind.

    If the premise interests you at all then it's a safe bet you'll enjoy the film, just don't expect a light afternoon comedy based on a dark concept, it is very much a miserably solid display of that dark concept with comedic aspects lining the fabric.
  • Tak00513 October 2018
    In effect this movie is about a young woman with mental health issues who is obsessed with social media and stalks a particular person. It has been billed as a "dark comedy". It is not. Regardless of how it is portrayed obsessed mentally ill people are not amusing.
  • jon.h.ochiai27 August 2017
    Warning: Spoilers
    "Ingrid Goes West" is shocking, disturbingly hysterical, and resoundingly sad. You laugh in uncomfortable familiarity and experience touching compassion in one of the year's best and darkest movies. Aubrey Plaza and Elizabeth Olsen are stark, fearless, and human frailty in this cautionary tale of the darker obsession of social media. There are no great heroes in Director and Writer Matt Spicer's "Ingrid Goes West". There are a lot of the people we know.

    Aubrey Plaza plays the lonely disturbed Instagram stalker Ingrid Thorburn, who methodically insinuates her way into the life of Social Media "It Girl" Taylor Sloane, played by Elizabeth Olsen. Taylor is famous for being essentially famous, with 1 million followers. Ingrid actually moves to Los Angeles using her inheritance of $63,000 from her late Mother, when she discovers that Taylor lives in Venice, California. She wants to friend the object of her obsession, confusing "likes" as an actual invitation of friendship. This may be the cautionary tale of having the "virtual life".

    Spicer and co-writer David Branson Smith evoke brazen humor and explore perhaps the darker side of desperation and wanting to be loved. No one is likable in "Ingrid Goes West". But we have empathy for Ingrid's suffering. Plaza's Ingrid is social pariah, and seems both sociopath and psychopath. Plaza is so bold as Ingrid lies to others, and displays total disregard for right and wrong. Ingrid has little remorse for her actions, and less compassion for others.

    In the opening scene, Ingrid pepper sprays Charlotte, played by pretty Meredith Hagner, for not inviting Ingrid to her wedding. Turns out that Ingrid was only a "friend" on Instagram, she really did not know Charlotte at all. As a result Ingrid is sentenced to a psychiatric rehabilitation facility. After serving her time she is released to go home. Ingrid discovers her new object of obsession in Taylor (Olsen). So Ingrid goes west to be with her.

    Out west, Ingrid rents a house in Venice from Dan, played by charismatic O'Shea Jackson Jr. Dan might be her one true ally, may be even become a friend. Dan is a coke head, landlord, and aspiring screenwriter with a new "Batman" treatment. At least Dan has a hero, unlike anyone else in the movie.

    Ingrid and Taylor's superfluous friendship eventually flames out. In catharsis at Taylor's desert home, both confront each other's lies and inauthenticy. Taylor says, "You need professional help!" She is right. We laugh hysterically at the inane exchanges and selfish action of both Ingrid and Taylor. But as sincerely embodied by Plaza, Ingrid needs help. Plaza captures the quiet desperation and loneliness of the girl, who simply wants to be loved, yet has no idea how to do so. Plaza is compelling in Ingrid's fear just to be herself.

    Spicer poignantly displays the profound depth of shallowness in the life of Taylor and those closest to her. To that end Elizabeth Olsen is amazing. There is the scene as her Taylor confesses her dream for buying the house next door to Ingrid. It's a lie. Olsen plays it straight up, with subtle mesmerizing awareness. I think this is Spicer's commentary on the whole vapid nature of social media obsession, where the surface trumps all else. In the brilliant pool scene Taylor's distraught husband Ezra, played by vulnerable Wyatt Russell, tells Ingrid how everything on Taylor's Instagram posts are "the best". Obviously, not everything can be "the best". But we get the clue that neither is Taylor or his marriage.

    Conflict arises when Taylor's painfully shallow brother Nicky, played by whimsical Billy Magnussen, outs Ingrid as Taylor's social media stalker. Spicer and Smith's narrative turn is somewhat contrived here, yet leads to both the touching and ironic.

    Near the end, Plaza is heartbreaking as Ingrid records her selfie video. She says, "I'm a loser…" No, Ingrid is not. She does horrible things to people. She suffers, is lonely, and can't love herself. No, she is not perfect. She is human.

    Perhaps, that is the morale of "Ingrid Goes West". We should all have compassion for others, because we really don't know what's going on inside. Although, "Ingrid Goes West" will make you simultaneously laugh and squirm, it is so worth watching. The darker side of humanity is still humanity.
  • Ingrid Goes West

    The upside to Internet stalking is that you don't have to hide in thorny bushes anymore.

    In fact, as this dark comedy points out, you don't even need to disguise your voice nowadays.

    Subsequent to her release from a mental institution, social media stalker Ingrid (Aubrey Plaza) finds her latest online crush in Instagram star Taylor (Elizabeth Olsen). With a large inheritance in tow, Ingrid relocates to LA and worms her way into Taylor's trendsetting world.

    But when questions concerning Ingrid's life arise, she must convince her stoner landlord (O'Shea Jackson Jr.) to pose as her boyfriend in order to keep her ruse going.

    A brutal critique of humanities vanity in creating false realities online and the sad sack followers that swoon over every corporate sponsored post, this sardonic production also has a number of outstanding comedic performances to help get its point across.

    Moreover, online fame is as lucrative as real fame except you get paid in bitcoin.

    Green Light

    vidiotreviews.blogspot.ca
  • So I've just seen this movie and I can say that it is somehow disturbing and I had an unpleasant feeling during the movie. This is an actual issue these days. I think that the final point of the movie was that it's actually all about that one person that loves you (and in this case: saves you). Important movie. Something has to be done because technology is taking over and it's just not worth it.
  • Chessurrr5 August 2018
    The main thing is that it's objectively a good movie: the acting is good, the movie looks like it was made for Instagram (obviously, the point), the issues raised here are very relevant nowadays. To sum it up, it is a good movie.

    Still, I cannot say I will ever want to watch it again or that I enjoyed it that much in the first place. The reason for that (my incredibly subjective reason) is that there is nothing that revealing. The issues raised in the movie (loneliness, social media addiction, its shallowness, and the users' search for that shallowness and faux perfection) are all "right", they are all serious problems able to ruin lives or at least distort your view of life. However, most of us clearly understand it, and thus the plot was perfectly predictable because it's a mirror of the current situation in the world - how can it not be predictable?

    Summing it up, despite all the highs of the movie, to me, it looked like a high schooler's moralistic essay: all the right thoughts, all the right intentions, but far from being as non-conformist or groundbreaking and revealing as the author believes.
  • Ingrid Goes West is a drama that focuses on a young woman who has recently lost her mother and becomes obsessed with filling the void she has left behind by finding a best friend trough stalking trendy bloggers on Instagram. This is the way she discovers Taylor, one of these trendy bloggers, who is situated in LA. In pursuit of what she believes will make her happy, Ingrid goes to California to find Taylor and befriend her, only to find out that this Instagram celebrity's life is basically one big lie.

    Even though the message of the movie is a powerful and important one, highlighting that the age of being who ever you want to be is literally here because an impressive Instagram feed can fool everyone into thinking you live the perfect life, it still feels like it has been said so many times before. I couldn't help but be bored at certain points, because by the time Ingrid has befriended Taylor you basically know what will happen, it was just too predictable for my taste.

    I want to point out that something being incorporated in films many times before is absolutely not a bad thing, and the philosophy behind the dark side of social media craze is a very interesting topic, but if it's done it needs to be done right and bring a fresh perspective, something I feel this movie just could not deliver on.

    I will give it points for good acting and a good script, but other than that there is not much more worth giving credits for.
  • "Ingrid Goes West" is a devilishly dark comedy about how the quest for social media fame can be taken to monstrous extremes.

    Aubrey Plaza plays Ingrid, an emotionally unwell young woman who is struggling to recover from the death of her mother. Painfully lonely and friendless, she insinuates herself into the lives of people she admires via social media and then proceeds to freak them out when she becomes too possessive. As the movie begins, she's done this at least once already, and the rest of the movie shows us Ingrid going about doing it again, uprooting her life and moving to Los Angeles so that she can stalk her favorite Instagram friend.

    The tragedy of the film is that, of course, Ingrid can be genuinely likable. She uses duplicitous and creepy means to establish a relationship with said Instagram friend (played by Elisabeth Olsen), but once she has it's the strength of her personality and the fact that she's a genuinely fun person that keeps the friendship going. But a casual friendship isn't good enough for Ingrid. In the world of social media, where everything must be the best. thing. ever., she wants to be Olsen's best, only, and truest friend, and it's her obsessive fixation that eventually does her and her friendship in.

    "Ingrid Goes West" takes things a little too far in its efforts to be satiric, and it goes slightly off the rails by the time it's done. But I really liked how this film captured the relationship certain people have with social media. If Ingrid were to put half the effort into sorting out her actual life as she does into manufacturing a fake one, she might go a long way to improving her lot.

    If nothing else, "Ingrid Goes West" is certainly a movie for our times.

    Grade: A-
  • I like Aubrey Plaza. I just wish I could like her more. I've been a fan since seeing her on TV's "Parks and Recreation", but her movies have been quite the mixed bag. For every "Dirty Grandpa", "Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates" or "The Little Hours" she does a sub- standard movie like "Safety Not Guaranteed", "The To Do List" or 2017's "Ingrid Goes West" (R, 1:37). I don't think it's really her fault. As an actress, she's attractive, daring and, most important of all, talented. The type of character that she often plays on TV and on film (her unique comic combination of attractive, anti-social, sweet, sarcastic, sexy and uninhibited) usually puts her in films as daring as she is. And that's the risk. Sometimes those films work and sometimes they don't (and sometimes they REALLY don't). The thing is… she's always good in them. Even if the movie is no good, she's interesting and entertaining to watch. Unfortunately, her charm and chops aren't enough to keep the comedy-drama "Ingrid Goes West" from going south.

    Ingrid Thorburn (Plaza) is a loser. Even she knows it, but she doesn't know how to behave any differently. She gets her sense of self-worth by mattering on social media. We see her crying as she watches live online updates of the wedding of someone whom she considers a friend (but who only responded to one of Ingrid's online comments). When Ingrid can take no more, she crashes the reception and sprays mace into the eyes of the bride for not inviting her to the wedding. After a brief stay in a mental hospital (seen in a music montage), she writes letters to the bride, blaming her mother's recent death for her unhinged behavior. There is no response to Ingrid's letters. No matter. Ingrid has found a new obsession. She reads a magazine article about a social media influencer named Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen). Ingrid comments on one of Taylor's posts and… Taylor responds. (Uh-oh.)

    Ingrid receives a check from her mother's life insurance company (about $60,000) and she moves to L.A. in order to meet and befriend Taylor. Ingrid rents a room in Taylor's neighborhood from an aspiring screenwriter (and Batman obsessive) named Dan Pinto (O'Shea Jackson Jr.), cyberstalks Taylor, visits Taylor's favorite restaurants and shops in Venice Beach, reads her favorite books and plots to work her way into Taylor's life. Lurking outside of Taylor's house, she sees Taylor and her husband, Ezra (Wyatt Russell), get into a car and leave. Utilizing an unlocked window and some dog treats, Ingrid dognaps their beloved terrier, Rothko, and waits for the "Lost Dog" posters to go up in the neighborhood.

    When Ingrid brings back Rothko, Taylor and Ezra can't get her to accept any reward money, so they show their appreciation by inviting her inside for dinner. In spite of the couple's obvious shallowness and pretentiousness, Ingrid ingratiates herself with them – especially Taylor – with whom she becomes instant besties – and a part of her online life – and gains followers of her own. But then Taylor's brother, Nicky (Billy Magnussen), shows up for a visit. He sees right through Ingrid and eventually calls her on her B.S. (even though he's as much of a jerk as she's a psycho). Meanwhile, Taylor links up with an even more famous social media influencer (Pom Klementieff) and begins neglecting her newfound friendship with the very clingy Ingrid. All of this drives Ingrid to increasingly serious and even dangerous actions.

    Watching "Ingrid Goes West" is more uncomfortable than entertaining. Plaza does what is possibly the best work of her career, Olsen gives a typically excellent performance and Russell, Magnussen and Jackson are all very strong, but they're serving an awkward and mostly unfunny story. Movie Fans will likely find Ingrid's actions as shocking and pathetic as intended by director and co-writer Matt Spicer (making his first feature), but aren't likely to enjoy much of it. This film works fairly well as a satire of social media fame, but it's a slog to get through and takes us to an ending that can be seen as either inspiring or highly irresponsible. Plaza deserves better and so do Movie Fans. "C-"
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Old goats like me who had a Spyder bike with playing cards in the spokes, posted letters without zip codes, and knows that Elgin-2745 is a phone number do not get this generation. Take phones: to us they are devices used to speak privately (pre-NSA) to other persons over long distances, not substitutes for maps, post cards, or movie screens, and what's wrong with a flip phone, anyway? Other than the town gossip, we did not live on our phones. But you guys do. Specifically, you live on social media, which is the modern equivalent of a party line (you don't know what a party line is? Punk.). You claim to have 675 friends. No you don't. You have two. The rest are stalkers.

    Ingrid Goes West is about one of those stalkers, Ingrid Thorburn, played by Aubrey Plaza (the cute version of the Shadow King in Syfy's Legion). She is a wacked-out cyber troll who believes she has close personal relationships with anyone she "likes." After spending several months in an institution for a rather unfortunate incident involving one of those "friends," Ingrid latches on to a hippie chick (we're using my generation's terms, okay?) in Los Angeles named Taylor Sloane (played by the Scarlet Witch) who innocently replies to one of Ingrid's posts, which is a reply to one of Taylor's posts showing her breakfast. Right there: who takes pictures of their food and sends it to everybody? Certainly not us old goats.

    Ingrid converts her mother's inheritance to cash and moves to Los Angeles, renting a townhouse owned by Batman. Well, not really, it's owned by Dan Pinto (played by Ice Cube, Jr) who is a Batman-obsessed screenwriter wannabe working on a script for some unofficial Batman treatment…in other words, fanfic. Ingrid then sets out to make her imagined BFF her actual BFF through stalking and dognapping and dinners and binge drugging and stealing Batman's truck and even buying the house next door. Hilarious, right?

    Depends on your generational viewpoint.

    From theirs, this is a comedy of errors and mistaken identity and farce and misstep, like The Big Lebowski. From mine, it's tragedy, and not even tragicomedy, although there are some rather funny moments. The underlying tone is menace and insanity and desperation. Everything is fake, from Taylor's bohemia to her husband's artistic ability; everything is performance art, from shopping to girls' nights out, and it is all displayed worldwide one selfie at a time. The only real person in the movie is Pinto, who has a legitimate, heart-wrenching reason to become Batman. Ingrid, trying to keep up with her new "friends," escalates things to the point of near- murder.

    Ingrid becomes undone when Taylor's brother steals her phone and discovers her scamming, but, really, why was that necessary? A simple Google search would have accomplished the same thing; indeed, would have disclosed her previous incarceration because she doesn't use a fake name. Why not? Because Ingrid and everybody else inhabit an alternate reality (which used to be a science fiction concept) so insular that anyone who replies to your post must be you. A generation that considers itself internet hip is internet stupid.

    And internet redeemed. When Ingrid's lies finally unravel, she does not get what I expect; she gets, instead, what she expects. I scratch my head. You cheer.

    The space between us.
  • At first blush, 'Ingrid goes west' very much sounds like a predictable dime-a-dozen indie dramedy: A young woman drops her life to move out west and befriend a beloved social media starlet. It sounds like the sort of movie that I'll watch willingly, but probably won't think about much afterward.

    Yet that simple premise belies a narrative that is better, deeper, and darker than I could have possibly expected based on advance press. 'Ingrid goes west' came and went with seemingly little fanfare, and that's a mistake, because I think it deserves a much larger audience.

    There's nothing that particularly leaps out at me in terms of the music, direction, or cinematography, though it's all quite fine. The screenplay is subtly brilliant, and but a vehicle for the cast. All play their parts very well, but it's Elizabeth Olsen as Instagram darling Taylor, and especially Aubrey Plaza as the titular Ingrid, who anchor the feature and steal the show.

    As if the notion of moving across the country weren't enough, Ingrid's fascination with Taylor quickly turns from befriending her, to ingratiating herself to her, to utterly ingraining herself in her life. 'Ingrid goes west' is a comedy, but it's ultimately not a particularly light-hearted one. Olsen and Plaza breathe life into their characters, one happy and unaware of the machinations of the other who has more devious designs than her friendly demeanor portends. It's an engrossing dance that plays out as Ingrid tries not to tip her hand too far.

    What sounds on the surface like a movie Zach Braff may have made several years prior dives surprisingly deep as Ingrid's behavior progresses. Clear lines can be drawn between the friendship Ingrid purposefully constructs, and the way that many Internet-famous people - often rather ordinary folks that have amassed a large following - struggle with a balance between fostering community and setting boundaries. It's easy on social media to feel like we know very well someone we've never met before, whether they're a cat enthusiast from the next state over or a voice actor with a long list of credits - and easy for that feeling of familiarity to transform into expectations, a projection of a complete personality, or an imagined invitation. 'Ingrid goes west' explores that weird, dark side of social media with a keen eye, and it's very discerning in its judgment.

    There's much to be said, too, for the isolation we feel even as the Internet offers endless connections, and that doesn't go unexamined here either. Ingrid is a person struggling with her life, and in need of help, but the resources are wanting, her means are limited, and the escapist vision she sees online is all too alluring. Under the wrong circumstances, facing similar hardship, it's not difficult to imagine us throwing our own lives in an ill-considered direction, too, if passing whimsy seemed for a moment like a real possible alternative.

    By the time the narrative reaches its stunning climax, the happy-go-lucky feature we thought we were seeing seems a distant memory. 'Ingrid goes west' has a lot to show us about ourselves, and the comedy it brings to do so is much less casual and pleasant than it is sharp and biting.

    Given the tone that the movie strikes, this may well not be for everyone. But I'd be hard-pressed not to recommend 'Ingrid goes west' to just about anyone: Whether you're in it for the performances, for the narrative, for its dark humor, or for the social commentary, there's much more under the surface to take in.

    If you happened to miss this when it was in theaters, do try to find it streaming online - these 100 minutes are well worth your time.
  • An off-beat, often hilarious comedy/drama about a girl (Plaza) who believes her world has gone from bad to worst until she stalks a seemingly perfect 'influencer' (Olsen) on Instagram and moves cities to try live like her and be a part of her life. The obsession genre has been over done but what this film does to stand out from the rest is not take itself so seriously and is able to pull off using Internet language without you looking for the exit sign. It's great fun even if its flare dwindled a little in the final act as the narrative changed course. It will make you laugh out loud but also reflect on how you use social media to present yourself.
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