Ingrid Goes West
Ingrid Goes West, Neon (2017)

Aubrey Plaza Goes Stalker in ‘Ingrid Goes West’ (Review)

Ingrid Goes West; I am sure you have seen the ads on Hulu. This film has been on the Hulu marketing radar for a few weeks now. So, we decided to give in to the ads and watch it.

Aubrey Plaza has been in many many comedic relief roles in the past. Plaza usually plays the funny, awkward girl that we all know and love. Similarly to Michael Cera, we know his roles are going to be the awkward, funny, comedic role. And, we are all okay with that.

However, in Ingrid Goes West her role is changed, but in an all-embracing and unusual way. With an average of 7.1 out of 10 on Rotten Tomatoes by critics and a 3.6 out of 5 by fans; this movie appears to not be half-bad by the people who have watched it… which is promising, right?

Aubrey Plaza’s New Face… Not Literally

If I would choose any film for Plaza to declare herself as more than just the comedic role, this was it. Plaza plays the role of a very close to home character in this film, especially this day and age with social media. Ingrid Goes West is a black comedy film directed by Matt Spicer and written by Spicer and David Branson Smith.

The film stars Aubrey Plaza (Ingrid Thorburn), Elizabeth Olsen (Taylor Sloane), Billy Magnussen (Nicky Sloane), Wyatt Russell (Ezra O’Keefe), Pom Klementieff (Harley Chung), and O’Shea Jackson Jr. (Dan Pinto). It was released on August 11, 2017, by Neon.

Ingrid Goes West Has An Appeal to Millennials

The film’s synopsis is simple: “a young girl moves to Los Angeles to befriend her Instagram idol.” What is scary about this synopsis is that this is real for a lot of ‘famous’ people. Whether that be on Instagram, Twitter, in real life, or on any other form of social media. People like Ingrid truly do exist in the real world and if anything — this film really brings that to the surface.

There are people in the world who remain addicted to social media — addicted to looking at other people’s lives. They aim for that, they want that, and they choose to look at people’s profiles to get that. Granted, maybe they aren’t all mentally unstable like Plaza’s character, Ingrid — but, alas, it is a real thing. Millennials seem to notice this more often than any other generation.

Ingrid Thorburn Is… Unstable

While the film is an important one, with a huge message to listen to — sometimes the plot falters. Ingrid is an important character and one of Plaza’s best roles; however, some of the plot points are confusing. Ingrid having sex and getting together with Dan Pinto was a weird transition.

I know it supposedly adds to the plot that Ingrid needs to be loved or feel cared for to be happy. But… it transpired abruptly and happened quickly. In Ingrid Goes West Ingrid is a manipulator, she manipulates people into doing what she wants. Nonetheless, sometimes she just seems to be having fun and there is no ‘bigger picture.’ Again, that could be because she is mentally unstable.

The Con of Dan Pinto and “The Need To Be Saved

The reason why I think the relationship with Dan faltered is because of the ‘bigger picture.’ It makes it seem like you need to be loved in order to be saved or at least have a boyfriend. O’Shea Jackson Jr. plays a wonderful role in Dan, he’s charming, adorable, and sweet. Dan truly likes Ingrid, even despite her… actions.

However, the relationship never truly formed from just having sex and being her fake boyfriend for a few hours. They went on one date, and then made-out in the booth. There wasn’t really anything salvageable about the previous actions that led me to believe this relationship was genuine.

Nonetheless, again, you do not need a significant other to be happy or to live a healthy life. I would have appreciated this film without that. A call to mental awareness and just that would have been great. The ending was okay. There was no bigger call to mental illness, she got what she wanted. She is now a famous Instagram hashtag, #IAmIngrid.

Ingrid did not learn her lesson, she becomes aware that she does have a problem, but… does it mean anything? The cycle will repeat again when she loses those followers. If she does, but that is how the world of social media goes. One day you are a star and the next you are yesterday’s news.

The Realism of ‘Social Media Fame’

The loss of her mother creates her to become attached to people who don’t really like her. Who she perceives in her head think she is the coolest person on Earth. In reality, they think she’s just a little bit weird, but fun… at times. Taylor’s character is a simple basic Instagram model living in Los Angeles. She’s glamorous, married, and happy… from what it seems.

However, like any real-life Los Angeles resident, what you put online is not always the truth. Her family and relationships are bland, her brother Nicky is a recovering drug addict, her husband doesn’t really like her (from what Ingrid says). Taylor is one of those friends who are just ‘friends with everyone.’ They don’t necessarily have any real friends because they change every week.

The character of Taylor was implied and purposely meant to stay bland, so that was spot-on.

The Pros Sometimes Turn Into Cons

This movie does things right. That is not to say this film is subpar by any means. Ingrid is a marvelously dark character, Taylor is great (Elizabeth Olsen is a fantastic actress), and Dan played by O’Shea actually excels in this character choice. The plot may have had its shortcomings and faults, however, the ‘bigger picture’ I keep mentioning rings true.

This is a real deal, there are people like this out there every day. Tons of famous Hollywood actresses and actors constantly have stalkers and people following them. The important realization to take away from this is; be careful.

The film did not portray very well any repercussions for Ingrid. After she realized there was something wrong with her she attempted to commit suicide. Granted, that was by far… the worst scene of the movie. It didn’t even seem realistic.

Not that we want it to, but… it could have been better. Anyway, though, Ingrid did not realize she needed help and then decided to go get it. And, she was lucky someone like Dan cared for her. But, what happens when you don’t have anyone to care for you? What do those people do?

Overall, Ingrid Goes West Is An Important Film

You can be nitpicky, like me, and take those faults with a grain of salt. The film has an important message and it’s not a bad watch. It’s intriguing and all of these actors play a great part in the film.

I didn’t feel like one needed to be there more than the other or one didn’t come through as much. They all played a vital role in Ingrid’s life. This film is enjoyable, I wish it taught the watcher more, but what it did do it excelled in.

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