Mistress America (2015)

Mistress America

Mistress America Review

Mistress America is a 2015 dramedy film directed by Noah Baumbach and starring Greta Gerwig. It is such a pleasant surprise and undoubtedly one of the director’s finest works.

The plot is fabulous. I really loved it. It starts off somewhat weak, but as it progresses, it quickly becomes better and better until ending on a high note. The finest aspect here is the relationship between the two main characters and the highlight for me is the moment when Brooke learns that the of them won’t be sisters after all. That is such a heartbreaking and heartwarming moment at the same time and it just did wonders for me. I adored that tremendously beautiful scene. But the story is really fun and the flick is incredibly entertaining. It just might be in the top five of the most purely entertaining films of 2015.

Mistress America is filled with a lot of female characters and there are just a few male characters here. And although it may be too much of a girls’ picture to some, I loved that and found it to be so much more than that. Brooke is a terrific character. She is one of the funniest and of the most fun characters I’ve seen in a while. Charismatic, cocky, energetic, but also caring and sweet, she is just such a fun and warm person while also being charming throughout the whole running time. Tracy is nowhere near her, but she is also likable and a realistic character for sure. She counteracts her wonderfully while also being a perfect fit. The two have such a wonderful relationship. Mamie-Claire is too theatrical, but Karen is funny. Nicolette was boring and Tony is just obnoxious and easily the worst thing about this film.

The performances drive this movie. Lola Kirke is stupendous and all of the supporting actors did a good job, but this is Greta Gerwig’s show and she is simply put awesome! She shines in this fantastic role and brings her character wonderfully to life and you feel that you’ve really met her which is a testament to some great character development, excellent script and naturally her talent. This is her finest performance yet in my opinion. But the chemistry between her and Lola is real and definitely felt. It lifts the movie to higher levels.

Mistress America has some problems mainly the sometimes overly theatrical approach and over-the-top humor. The first act is also uneventful and not as inspired as the rest of the picture. And as I said, some characters did annoy me with Tony in particular being so frustrating. And the film was too hip and modern at times with sometimes a bit annoying dialogue.

However, the dialogue is still mostly phenomenal. It drives this movie along with the performances as it is so clever and sophisticated, but also wonderfully grounded in reality. I loved the burst of lines and the quick exchange which reminded me so much of screwball comedies from the thirties. The script is absolutely fantastic and the film is so emotional at times, but never maudlin or cheesy. The movie is also well filmed and very well directed. This is one of the finest films from Noah Baumbach and only The Squid and the Whale is better in my opinion. And thankfully it is so much better than problematic While We’re Young and definitely his return to form.

The tone is well handled as it is both drama and comedy and it works on both levels. The humor is especially good and often even great with so many hilarious lines. It isn’t original, but is still realistic and so relatable. It has a lot of heart. It is mostly really well paced and I loved the ending. The film also has such an awesome score that is one of the best, most enjoyable and catchiest of the year. It is such a wonderful time to be had and one of the most underrated films of the year.

Mistress America has some annoying characters and an inferior first act, but this is still such an underappreciated and wonderful movie filled with excellent performances with Greta Gerwig being awesome, some hilarious lines, fantastic screenplay and sophisticated dialogue, wonderful score and such a big heart. It is one of the most purely entertaining and heartwarming films of 2015.

My Rating – 4

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      Interior & Exterior Stills from Mistress America

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