It’s a welcome blend of the comically absurd and the lightly dramatic that makes up the sweet and charming Laggies, a film by Lynn Shelton that may be best described as a reluctant coming-of-age story.
The hesitation comes in the form of Megan (Keira Knightley) a woman-child verging on 30 still living as if she were just out of high school. She occasionally works for her dad in advertising, in that she holds a sign on the street to advertise for her father’s business. She also pops in at his house at random to watch TV on the couch and eat his food. She’s in a long term relationship, but doesn’t want to take a further step, and can’t seem to get started on a long term career. This happens all the while her best friends have done that thing where they grow up and get married and have kids.
Even in these familiar conventions there is refreshing humor and levity. And then the film takes a novel turn when a tipsy and anti-social Megan meets Annika (Chloe Grace Moretz), a high school student with questions and curiosities and attitude in step with Megan. And also in need of someone to buy alcohol for her and her friends.
As she wants to get away from her world for a bit, Megan crashes with Annika, and the two become unlikely friends. That is, after Megan gets a questioning from Annika’s single dad and divorce lawyer Craig (Sam Rockwell).
As Megan tries to figure out her life, her actions influence both Annika and Craig, who are just two of the many various characters in this film who have unfilled relationships, either with their spouses, parents, or partners. Everyone it seems is teetering on the verge of having it together and totally losing control; it’s just that Megan hides away from it all for a week to try to figure things out.
While Laggies does seek to make universal this apparent singular struggle by Megan, it possesses earnestness and charm throughout, especially with Rockwell who is again so great at playing this witty, childlike character full of wisdom and transparency.
The story becomes more formulaic towards its ending, for better and worse when it comes to romantic interludes, but does so with such energy and love. It suggests that aren’t particularly set paths in life, and that relationships can pop up from unsuspecting circumstances. The winning qualities to Laggies, found in both its delightful cast and its thoughtful writing, allow it to rise above a rather standard story.