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Though we are used to seeing twins swap places, how about a twin swapping places after one dies?
Review (with Spoilers)
This was another film that premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival a year ago that I just couldn’t get to. Which is unfortunate because it had Zoe Kazan in it, Jake Johnson, and even a small appearance from Danny Pudi. But, as with all Tribeca Film Festival movies, a year after you have likely forgotten about the movie, it randomly becomes available. Then you get to learn whether fate spared you spending $10+ or if you truly missed out on something great.
Characters & Story
In the film, we are introduced to a set of twins comprised of Laurel and Audrey (Zoe Kazan) who are complete opposites. Laurel is the forgettable plain Jane who pretty much has yet do much in her 20+ years of life, besides baby her dad Frank (John Carroll Lynch) as if he was sickly. As for Audrey, she is the enviable twin. For despite looking the same, people find something about Audrey that makes her more beautiful than Laurel, more attractive than Laurel, and with Audrey’s success, you can see a bit of jealousy.
So when Laurel and Audrey get into a car accident, and everyone goes to the hospital and assumes Laurel died, Laurel takes this opportunity to take on the life of Audrey. Leading us to watch as Laurel amazingly adjust rather quickly to Audrey’s life, and while it is depressing for her how people talk about her after “she” dies, she finds solace in her moments with Basel (Jake Johnson). But with her assuming Audrey’s life there comes the question if as she finds love, and even maybe friendship, is it because she is Laurel or because everyone thinks she is Audrey?
When it comes to this film I must say that I do believe that when New Girl wraps that Jake Johnson could have quite a career going for him. He has the same look and comic appeal of Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill, the slightly unkempt, borderline middle age guy, but with his characters not seemingly over obsessed with dick jokes, among other things, you can actually imagine this guy being attractive to a young lady, or sir if he ever does a movie like that. With that said, arguably he is the saving grace for the film. If just because he is the sole one who delivers energy to his role and has any sense of personality.
Meanwhile, the rest of the characters all seem two-dimensional, even when dealing with Laurel’s would-be death. I say this because everyone seems to really lack a personality or any sense of energy. Kazan for example, as the boring twin Laurel, rarely ever shows off why she is the lead in this movie besides being cute. The story doesn’t allow Laurel to find being Audrey overly complicated, and in fact, she adapts to it rather quickly. Laurel also doesn’t have a great emotional depth, and really while Lynch has his moments, even he seems like he is forcing himself to care in his scenes. Hence why Johnson is the sole person I praised. He truly to me was the only one who had any personality, even if it was the same one he has in the majority of his roles.
Overall: Skip It
The Pretty One feels like an underdone movie. The lack of energy and personality out of the majority of the cast made it so about halfway I was in the mindset of just not watching the rest. For while Johnson did help me push myself to watch till the end, it truly was a struggle. Hence why I’m labelling this a “Skip It” film. The actors may have shown up and did their lines, but with them doing so with 0 enthusiasm and with a story which gives you no reason to care about the characters or what they’ve been through, I don’t see why you should waste your time.