Meet Ingrid. Fresh out of a mental wellness facility but not quite ‘cured’ of her social awkwardness. How can we cure what the Internet and Smartphones have created? There is, at present, no quick remedy for social media fixation and stalking. First-time feature film director Matt Spicer’s dark comedy, Ingrid Goes West introduces its story through a pastiche of familiar fonts and cliché travel photography. It’s like being in an Instagram photo collage app. Only, reality clouds the arty pretentiousness very quickly.
Debating whether the perfect reply to your SNS buddies is Hahaha or Hehehe? Salivating over those three dots that indicate someone is responding to your message? So is Ingrid (Aubrey Plaza). She is like us and not like us. We want to like her but hate that we like her. The same can be said for her Instagram idol, Taylor (Elizabeth Olsen). Though the latter’s presence is toned down to mere supporting cast, we start to wonder which character is supposed to have our sympathy. Or not.
The Internet is full of flaky wannabe hipsters, often posing as something cooler than they really are. But because of social media and technology, we’re nearly guaranteed we’re never truly alone. Feeling like a hopeless loser? Post about it online, and a slew of other losers might see it and tell you you inspire them. Without being overly preachy, Spicer shows that social media is as dangerous as it is helpful. Older viewers may roll their eyes, but the younger crowd may need this shot of reality.
Ingrid Goes West opens at Cineplex Forum starting August 18th, 2017.