Laggies – a.k.a Say When

You can’t keep putting aside what you want for some imaginary future. You’ve gotta suck it up and go with you gut

Year Released : 2014

Director : Lynn Shelton

Cast : Kiera Knightley, Chloe Grace Moretz, Sam Rockwell and Mark Webber

Those of you that read my breakdown of 2016 will remember/see that whilst I like Chloe Grace Moretz as an actress, it is very rare that I see her in a good movie. Infact, off of the top of my head I think it’s only the first “Kick Ass” and to a lesser extent “If I Stay” that I’ve enjoyed.

This isn’t the first time in which I’ve reviewed a film with her in for this site, but the other one, The Poker House, was one of the more boring movies I’ve reviewed for this site.

I can’t really put my finger on it because she is certainly not bad, I do enjoy her even in films that aren’t that good, but how long can someone go on making films that aren’t good and continue to have a career. Having said that, this might be the rare exception and it’s been on my Youtube list of films I want to watch for some time, and I’ve finally got around to it.

We’ll see…….

Plot

Working as a street-advertiser for her father’s accountancy firm, Megan (Knightley) is an unambitious young lady that is considerably less mature than her friends. She freaks out when her boyfriend (Webber) proposes to her and she sees her dad kissing another woman, and she goes to the local store. Outside she is approached by Annika (Moretz), who begs that she buys her and her friends some alcohol. Afterwards she decides to hang out with her and the two bond.

Several days later Annika calls Megan and asks she to pretend to be her mother in a parent-teacher conference, in which she realises that she is not happy and needs to assess her life, and she asks Annika if she can stay at her’s for a few days, and despite being initially appalled, her father Craig (Rockwell) agrees to this.

Megan and Craig eventually start to bond over the unusual situation.

Another Moretz flop?

I hate to say it but I’m struggling to find evidence that she makes great films and this isn’t going to strengthen any form of argument I have for the positive side.

‘Laggies’, alternatively known as ‘Say When’ is one of the least ambitious movies that are along a similar theme that I’ve seen in a while. I won’t claim to be a fan of romantic comedies, but at least with the ones I have seen there is generally something memorable about them, whereas ‘Laggies’ is ultimately as forgettable as the three main characters.

Let’s start with Megan, who to be fair is played relatively well by Kiera Knightley, is a pretty much one dimensional character, who despite seemingly not being arsed to go through anything at all, somehow managed to get an advanced degree. The character just isn’t believable because if you’re going to get qualified to that extent, you’re not a lazy person, and yet she is shown to be just that for most of it without making any real effort to find a meaningful job, and yet you’re expected to get behind her. She treats her boyfriend like crap for no good reason and doesn’t really have any likeable qualities.

Annika is a reasonable attempt at what I imagine an American teenage girl to be like, and to be fair CGM is probably the best thing about this otherwise lacking film, but even then her problems all seem inconsequential. Granted, her relationship with her mother is unique, especially as the mum tries to mend their relationship by giving her free lingerie, but it isn’t really explored any further after that.

They are the only characters that are really explored, with any male character just being a walking cliche. The thing is that no-one actually puts in a bad showing, everyone’s performance is fine, but it’s just the awful story that they have to work with.

The romance between Megan and Craig just isn’t believable and feels beyond forced. Knightley and Rockwell have pretty much zero chemistry and it’s hard to believe that they would ever be in a relationship either on or off screen. I’m in my 30s and can’t ever picture letting my teenage daughter (if I had one) hang out with people in their mid-twenties, let alone allow one to stay in my house and then start a relationship with them. It feels implausible, a word that I’m pretty certain I’ve never used on this site before.

Summary

‘Laggies’ is about a girl that feels lethargic in pretty much every aspect of her life, and unfortunately that level of energy finds its way into the way the film is presented. It’s lazy film making in many ways and you’re never once convinced that the build of the relationship is genuine.

Whilst not awful, ‘Laggies’ is very forgettable to say the least and other than a credible performance from CMG, there is nothing to really get excited by here. The acting is fine, but that’s about all that is.

There are much better romantic comedies out there.

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