Review / ‘Ingrid Goes West’ (MA) * and a half

INGRID (Aubrey Plaza) is rejected and bored with life in Pennsylvania. But her iPhone offers escape by Instagram, when she discovers a social-media star in California. Taylor (Elizabeth Olsen) seems to have everything going for her – friends, excitement, prospects, a steady relationship, drugs, booze, all the goodies for which today’s young adults yearn.

On arriving in LA carrying a bag of inherited dollars, Ingrid rents a flat from Dan (O’Shea Jackson Jr) and dog-napps Taylor’s dog to open her campaign to win friendship by returning the mutt.

From that beginning, director Matt Spicer’s screenplay sends two ultra-hedonistic young women on what seems to be a rose-strewn path to the good life. Ingrid and Dan become lovers despite his initial rejection of her. Taylor’s hunky brother Nicky (Billy Magnussen) arrives from Paris, broke and full of self-importance.

When Ingrid mislays the iPhone on which she has recorded every evanescent moment of fame and fun with Taylor, Nicky, the rat, finds it and uses it to blow the whistle on how Ingrid began her campaign. Taylor drops her. Ingrid ODs. Fade to black. Surely this is the logical end to her story?

No way. Ingrid’s videoing of her OD has gone viral and, lo and behold, when she awakes (poor girl, can’t even top herself correctly) sympathetic messages are flooding Instagram.

“Ingrid Goes West” offers useful advice – don’t distort the truth; don’t store your indiscretions on your smartphone – on the way to a closing cliché, getting to which is, frankly, a big pain in the butt.

At Capitol 6

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