Ingrid Goes West

By Angie Raphael

3.5 stars

In today's world of “post a photograph on social media or it didn't happen”, Ingrid Goes West may be the slap in the face some people need, if they can drag themselves away from their phones for 100 minutes to watch and reflect on the message of the film. Ingrid (Aubrey Plaza) becomes obsessed with Instagram user Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen) and kidnaps Taylor's dog just so she can return it and weasel her way into Taylor's life, which seems so glamorous and exciting online. Unfortunately, this black comedy is a little short on the laughs because Ingrid is such a tragic and sad character. Plaza and Olsen are excellent but their characters are annoyingly, though somewhat appropriately, bratty at times. Meanwhile the men, including the love interests played by O'Shea Jackson Jr and Wyatt Russell, are generally used like puppets by the women. There are definitely some poignant moments of brilliance in Ingrid Goes West that will make viewers consider their own online persona. But director/co-writer Matt Spicer fails to go far enough with his commentary about social media impulses and the desire to portray ourselves as an idealistic “brand” of happiness and perfection. At the very least, the film might encourage people to think twice before posting that next photograph.