Thursday, July 28, 2016

Now on HBO: Mistress America (2015)

Mistress America (2015) - Directed by Noah Baumbach; Written by Baumbach and Greta Gerwig. Starring Gerwig, Lola Kirke, Seth Barrish.

By Kenny Howell

Noah Baumbach has been dealing with shallow people for quite some time with mixed results, sometimes within the same movie.

Mistress America kind of follows that path as well. If it wasn't for the always delightful Greta Gerwig, it might not have worked, but the energy she brings to the screwball style comedy keeps it alive.

Gerwig plays Brooke a romantic dreamer who lives in Time Square. Her soon to be sister, Tracy, is a student nearby, and she seeks out Brooke to get to know her. She is immediately enamored by Brooke, and goes along the journey that is her life. Brooke is wanting to open a new restaurant, and is full of ideas she think will be the next big thing. Tracy is a burgeoning writer, and sees traveling through the city with Brooke as possible material for a work she hopes will get her admitted to a prestigious writing club at her school.

Mistress America is kind of one note, and it's not necessarily that much of a problem. I actually liked this better than Baumbach's other film earlier the same year, While We're Young. The key is Gerwig and Lola Kirke. The chemistry and banter they produce keep the film humming, even when its shallow characters pull away from it.

Mistress America is now playing on HBO.

Rating: ***

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