“There’s no cheating when you’re 18. You should all be touching each other all of the time,” Brooke (Gerwig) informs future stepsister Tracy (Lola Kirke) without the slightest note of sarcasm in her voice. Brooke is something of a self-appointed guru to Tracy, who recently moved to NYC to attend college.
The comedy finds Tracy immediately taken with Brooke, romanticizing her lifestyle and carefully constructed identity, saying, “She lived exactly as a young woman should live who wants to spend her youth well…. Being around her was like being in New York City.” Tracy is 18 and highly susceptible to 29-year-old Brooke’s facade — at first, at least.
Our colleagues at Indiewire called newcomer Kirke the “driving force” of “Mistress America,” observing that her “sleepy-eyed, quasi-sarcastic delivery makes for the perfect foil to Gerwig’s ceaseless energy.”
Based on the preview, Gerwig offers a characteristically stellar performance in the film, which she co-wrote with Baumbach. One of the highlights for the spot comes when Brooke is described as being “funny ‘cuz [she doesn’t] know [she’s] funny.” Brooke doesn’t skip a beat: “I know I’m funny. There’s nothing I don’t know about myself. That’s why I can’t do therapy.” Of course it is painfully, uncomfortably clear to viewers that Brooke is wholly lacking in self-awareness and blissfully unaware of how she comes across to others.
The film, which premiered at Sundance to excellent reviews, hits theatres August 14.