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Review: Ingrid Goes West is a savage assault on the emptiness of social media

PUBLISHED: 09:26 16 November 2017 | UPDATED: 09:28 16 November 2017

Elizabeth Olsen as Taylor Sloane and Aubrey Plaza as Ingrid Thorburn in Ingrid Goes West. Photo: Universal Pictures

Elizabeth Olsen as Taylor Sloane and Aubrey Plaza as Ingrid Thorburn in Ingrid Goes West. Photo: Universal Pictures

Archant

Matt Spicer's dark comedy drama is a cautionary tale about tech-savvy generations, whose fragile sense of self-worth is determined by connections on social media.

Aubrey Plaza as Ingrid Thorburn in Ingrid Goes West. Photo: Universal PicturesAubrey Plaza as Ingrid Thorburn in Ingrid Goes West. Photo: Universal Pictures

Ingrid Goes West (15)

***

The marvel of the modern age is that, in almost every aspect, it is immune to criticism and ridicule. Its banality and absurdities are built in, and have been bought into and accepted by its users.

If I were involved in the arms trade I would dream of creating something with the invulnerability of a #.

Matt Spicer’s dark and disconcerting comedy drama Ingrid Goes West is a savage and twisted assault on the cold emptiness of social media and the fatuous credo of connectivity, that is easily brushed aside and fails to make any kind of dent on its target.

Ingrid (Aubrey Plaza) is a stalker who decides it’s time to put all those local restraining orders behind her and head to LA.

For years, Ingrid’s best friend has been her mobile phone. It’s an addiction that prevents her from nurturing healthy relationships with real people rather than avatars.

Shea Jackson Jr as Dan Pinto and Aubrey Plaza as Ingrid Thorburn in Ingrid Goes West. Photo: Universal PicturesShea Jackson Jr as Dan Pinto and Aubrey Plaza as Ingrid Thorburn in Ingrid Goes West. Photo: Universal Pictures

During her supposed rehabilitation, Ingrid develops an obsession with Californian socialite and It girl Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen), who documents every facet of her picture-perfect life on Instagram.

When an opportunity arises to gatecrash her idol’s bohemian chic existence, Ingrid spins a web of lies to impress Sloane and her artist husband Ezra (Wyatt Russell).

The two women become awkward friends but sisterly solidarity is strained by the arrival of Sloane’s fun-loving brother Nicky (Billy Magnussen).

IGW has a really strong cast who give well rounded portraits of characters who aren’t the full 360. There are some decent laughs but there is a futility to it.

I can’t decide if that is because all the points it makes are fairly obvious, or because all the criticisms you need to make about social media are fairly obvious. Everybody on Twitter already know them and have bought into them.

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