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Laggies (2014)

Lionsgate
Blu-ray Disc Released: 2/10/2015

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Review by Mike Long, Posted on 2/4/2015

Last week, someone made a comment about my age which really hit me hard. Now, in reality, they were complimenting me and stating that my experience in business should command respect, but all that I heard was their comment on my age, as I don't feel any where near my chronological age. This got me to thinking, "What does age really mean?" The saying "You're only as old as you feel" may sound cheesy, but there is some truth to it. The film Laggies explores these ideas, as it looks at how people of different ages can have similar issues and need for companionship.

Laggies introduces us to Megan (Keira Knightley), an aimless 20-something. She has a degree in counseling and she lives with her boyfriend, Anthony (Mark Webber), but Megan has no idea what she wants to do with her life. While at her friend Allison's (Ellie Kemper) wedding, where Anthony plans to propose, Megan witnesses something upsetting which causes her to snap. She flees from the wedding and finds herself at a grocery store, where she meets teenager Annika (Chloe Grace Moretz) and her group of friends. Megan tells Anthony that she's going away to a symposium, but she actually finds herself hanging out with Annika. Annika's father, Craig (Sam Rockwell), is immediately suspicious as to why this woman would want to have a sleepover with his daughter. As Megan gets to know this family, and vice-versa, she realizes that making plans for life is never easy.

We've seen characters like Megan in movies before, but it is unusual to see a female cast in this light. It's typically a male who is lost in sea of arrested development. This person is portrayed as lazy, and most likely someone who doesn't want to be tied down in a relations (and probably wants to "sew their wild oats"). Megan is something different. She is someone who is truly lost. We see that she was popular in high school and she is clearly someone who has "played the game" of having a normal life. She has a steady boyfriend, she has a circle of friends, and she's gotten (if the film is trying to be accurate) a Masters Degree. And yet, she has no idea who she is or what she wants to do with her life. Laggies brings us an honest portrayal that we rarely see in movies -- The person who should have it all together, but doesn't because they've simply been going through the motions. The jarring event at Allison's wedding snaps Megan awake and makes her truly analyze her life.

The other peculiar thing about Laggies is the relationship between Megan and Annika, which also rings true. America has become so freaked out over the idea of child molesters, sex offenders, and kidnappers that the idea of an adult being friends with a teenager seems incredibly taboo. Yet, it feels very organic here. People like Megan have one foot in adulthood and one still firmly rooted in adolescence, so to her, hanging out with Annika not only feels natural, it also reminds her of her long-lost teen years. It also helps Megan to realize that she's actually more mature than she gives herself credit for, as she's able to help Annika through some rough situations. This makes Megan feel more alive than what she had been doing in her previous life.

First-time screenwriter Andrea Seigel has certainly created some believable characters and interesting situations. The problem with Laggies is that she and Director Lynn Shelton don't know how to handle some of the slower parts of the film and it drags at times. The relationship between Megan and Craig never feels genuine and it really stands out as a convention when compared to the ideas in the rest of the film. And while I liked the characters and the portrayal of Megan's angst, the movie left me somewhat cold, as I wasn't very moved and I didn't laugh much, well save for some of Sam Rockwell's lines. As one would expect, he lights up the screen and brings energy to all of his scenes. Keira Knightley is also good in a role which is much more dowdy and low-key than her usual work. Some may find Laggies silly and creepy, but for anyone who has stared down the barrel of adulthood and realized that they have no idea what they are doing, it will ring true.

Laggies casually inserts skateboards into the story on Blu-ray Disc courtesy of Lionsgate. The film has been letterboxed at 1.85:1 and the Disc contains an AVC 1080p HD transfer which runs at an average of 25 Mbps. The image is very sharp and clear, showing no obvious grain and no defects from the source materials. The colors look good -- the film is filed with vibrant tones -- and the image is never overly dark or bright. The level of detail is good, and the depth is acceptable for a low-budget film like this. The Disc carries a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which runs at 48 kHz and an average of 3.4 Mbps. The track provides clear dialogue and sound effects. This is a fairly quiet film which does treat us to a few obvious stereo effects. The most notable effects come from the reception music and musical cues, which fill the rear speakers.

The Laggies Blu-ray Disc contains a handful of extras. We begin with an AUDIO COMMENTARY from Director Lynn Shelton. "Lagging on With Lynn Shelton" (9 minutes) takes us on-set to see some scenes being shot, as we hear from Shelton, Writer Andrea Seigel, Producer Alix Madigan, as well as members of the cast. There is a discussion of the story, the characters, and working with Shelton. "Shooting Seattle: The Look of Laggies" (6 minutes) examines the use of locations of Seattle, and how the area influenced the film. The Disc contains six DELETED SCENES which run about 10 minutes. The bulk of these come from early in the film and they don't contain any new subplots.

Review Copyright 2015 by Mike Long