‘Imogene’ first reviews

With the world premiere of Imogene at the Toronto International Film Festival yesterday came the first reviews of the movie. In general, the critics seemed to like the movie, all mentioning how fantastic the cast is. That, of course, includes Kristen Wiig who received some great words about her portrayal of the title character. This post will be updated as more reviews surface.

Justin Chang, Variety: Shrewd comic instincts keep a formulaic pity-party largely afloat in Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini’s fourth feature collaboration, “Imogene.” An able cast, led by Kristen Wiig’s prickly lead turn, saves this uneven, excessively quirky but ultimately ingratiating story of a mopey Manhattanite forced to return to her inglorious New Jersey roots for an extended period of self-rediscovery. Offering another sly snapshot of the filmmakers’ native New York, a la “The Nanny Diaries” and “The Extra Man,” this soft-bellied crowdpleaser should post modest numbers in specialty play and DVD/VOD rotation.

Christopher Schobert, The Playlist: “Imogene” finds Kristen Wiig in victory lap mode, and that suits her just fine. Perhaps the most likable comedic actress to come down the pike since Diane Keaton threw on a Civil War-era vest and floppy hat, Wiig finds herself, post-“Bridesmaids,” in rarified company. She is a beloved, in-demand actress and comedienne, and a star who has something Kristen Stewart and Angelina Jolie would maim for: likability. That likability oozes from every scene in “Imogene,” Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini’s occasionally winning, a touch too sitcom-y, but often very funny look at one woman’s offbeat family and her attempts at discovering just what went wrong on the road to success. It is not, to be sure, “Bridesmaids”-style humor, and never reaches that blockbuster’s belly laugh count. But the film, which premiered on Friday at the Toronto International Film Festival, doesn’t lack for moments of inspired comedy, and I expect it to find an audience.

Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter: […] The film’s great strength is its intuitive casting. The actors interact so well that it’s hard to single out one performance, though it’s perhaps Bening who wins the day for the sexy humanity she gives to the former go-go dancer Zelda. Morgan’s screenplay is full of intelligent dialogue that got real laughs from the audience on its Toronto bow […]

Roger Friedman, Showbiz 411: Imogene is a typical Wiig character, although it’s based on the experiences of very funny screenwriter Michelle Morgan. Imogene is too smart, over educated good girl who’s parlayed her writing talents to a dead end. She’s survived by being hooked up with a Wall Street boyfriend, but now that’s run its course and she has no idea what to do with her life. That’s the serious part. Then the fun kicks in. And “Imogene” is full of laughs.

Dave Karger, Entertainment Weekly: On the heels of Bridesmaids, Kristen Wiig returns with a peculiar comedy about a wannabe playwright who fakes her own suicide attempt and is forced to move in with her crazy Jersey shore mom. Annette Bening has several wonderful moments as the kooky mother but probably not quite enough screen time to score a supporting nod. And the film may not be comedic enough for serious Golden Globe consideration.

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