Kristen Wiig’s “Imogene” has gone to Lionsgate and Roadside for joint US distribution after its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. From directors Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman (“Cinema Verite,” “American Splendor”), the film follows Wiig’s Imogene, a New York playwright whose promise has faded and whose boyfriend has dumped her. Desperate, she fakes a suicide to get him back, but the plan backfires and she ends up in the hands of her gambling addict of a mother (Annette Bening). A complete symopsis is below.
The film was written by Michelle Morgan and produced by Celina Rattray and Trudie Styler. Wiig, Morgan, Steve Golin and Miranda Bailey exec produced.
ThePlaylist reviewed the film from TIFF: “If it all sounds like, well, a sitcom, or a Lifetime series, it sort of is,..a script saddled with wayyy too much wacky, and never enough nuance. But there is Kristen Wiig, and she once again proves her value. Whether smuggling a library book under her old phys ed shirt or weeping in the rain on a broken chair, she is adorable, heartfelt and smart. Bening is typically wonderful, of course. She’s been on a heckuva run during the past few years, and her role in “Imogene” plays to her acerbic strengths. Quite simply, the pair, and their co-stars, elevate the material.”
THR, meanwhile, states: “Witty acting and sharp observation of the great New York/New Jersey divide push Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini’s Imogene up several notches from the conventional comedy it keeps aspiring to be. It’s almost as though the bitchy acidity of the opening scenes in Manhattan were too sophisticated for life on the New Jersey shore, and Michelle Morgan’s energetic script pulls back to nice, accordingly.”
Kristen Wiig stars as Imogene, once a promising young New York playwright whose promise has fizzled, thanks to a crisis of confidence. Heavily in denial about being dumped by her society boyfriend, Imogene uses her skill for drama to stage an elaborate fake suicide as an appeal for his sympathy. But her attempt backfires when she’s put into the custody of Zelda, her estranged gambling addict mother (Annette Bening), and must return home with her to the Jersey shore. Desperate to get back to her Manhattan circle of so- called friends, Imogene must finally deal with her family, including her unique brother (Christopher Fitzgerald), Zelda’s new boyfriend The Bousche (Matt Dillon), plus a cute young lodger (Darren Criss),who together help Imogene sort out her place in the world.