Aren’t we all perfect? Well, if we were to check our Instagram accounts, it sure must appear that way. Perfect days at the beach, perfect clothing, perfect faces, and perfect smiles are all catalogued there, edited and filtered to pure perfection.
Well, if there wasn’t an a clearer example of how vain we were as a society, there you have it. Director Matt Spicer’s job here is to satirize the blob of bogus hidden behind every perfect portrait. As the title so blatantly professes, he follow Ingrid on her journey west. Clinically insane and incapable of detaching from her Iphone, she sets out to start a new life in California, free of any of the baggage that still haunts her in her hometown.
Tail-gating Insta-star Taylor Sloane, Ingrid decides to kidnap Sloane’s precious dog and fake its rescuing, assuring an immediate bond with her newfound “friend.” Unable to assure a secure pacing as things transition from batshit crazy events to slow character-building, Ingrid Goes West mimics Ingrid’s shifts in behavior from being completely ecstatic to paranoiacally unsettled. Whilst everyone does a good job in their parts, especially O’Shea Jackson Jr., I still don’t know what to make of this film’s unhinged essence.
There is another component to this film that deeply disturbed me, that being its counteractive ending. Now, as stated previously Ingrid Goes West spends its entire running-time satirizing the absurdity of the vanity that goes along with social media and then decides to paint it as a savior in its ultimate minutes. It sticks out like a sore thumb and renders the rest of the film utterly useless, even more twisted it makes an argument in favor of this generation’s technological obsession with mirroring perfection. The film is backstabbed by its very own choice in not knowing where to properly finish the story, instead venturing into a vastly different direction that completely goes against what it originally stood for.
As a directorial debut, Matt Spicer delivers an entertaining satire about the insane era we’re living in, unfortunately his lack of experience as a director makes the final product a lesser piece than what it could’ve been. Aubrey Plaza’s performance as the demented Ingrid Thorburn is probably some of her best work to this day, unfortunately the rest of the cast portrays rather dull and one-note characters that despite their eccentric quirks don’t do much for the film, with the notable exception of Jackson Jr. who steals the scene in every single scene he’s in. All in all, Ingrid Goes West is a wacko tale that details the horrors of technology we have to live with today, leaving for an entertaining yet disturbing watch.