“Laggies”, starring Chloë Grace Moretz, Keira Knightley, Sam Rockwell, Ellie Kemper, Mark Webber, and Kaitlyn Dever tells the nearly universal tale of reaching adulthood but not quite feeling like you really belong. The film was directed by Lynn Shelton and written by Andrea Seigel.
The movie focuses on Knightley’s character, named Megan. She’s 28 years old and ten years past high school finds her in a state in which that her life hasn’t changed much since then. She has the same friends (who are all getting married, already married, or pregnant), same boyfriend, and no career to speak of. Working for her dad, Megan is stuck both physically and mentally at 18 years old. Still, she’s self aware enough to know that she can’t “lag” behind forever but has no motivation in her in order to propel her to what she feels is the next stage in life – whatever that may be.
Enter Moretz’s Annika, a 16-year-old girl who asks Megan to buy beer for her and her friends. Megan jumps at the chance to be a teenager again and soon the pair starts a friendship. This friendship segues into Megan staying at Annika’s place for a week where she also spends time with Annika’s father, Craig (Sam Rockwell).
Placing Megan right in between Annika and Craig was a great choice of the writer as it shows her what she leaves behind and what she’s afraid to face. In Craig, Megan learns that one can still not feel like an adult at 40 even with a kid, ex-wife, career, and house. Knightley, between this and this summer’s “Begin Again” shows that there’s much more to her than a corset (though keep doing those Kira!). She and Rockwell have amazing chemistry and really sell the love story between the two. Mark Webber as Anthony, Megan’s longtime boyfriend should also be noted for making him likable despite the complications the character brings to the plot.
“Laggies” wonderfully shows the pitfalls of young adult/adulthood and what can happen when someone gets so caught up in where they think their life should be versus what will actually be best for them in the long run. The past can be a hard thing to shake and its realities for the present can be at times hard to see for the people directly involved – you’ll see what we mean just in the few scenes Megan’s friends have on screen. Still, one fault of the film is that Megan who is so awesomely unique and free falls for the same pitfall as many film heroines before her, that of being confined to the selection of a mate. Somehow by the end of “Laggies”, that’s all she’s about which is a shame.