Ingrid Goes West is a life-changing social media satire that forces you to rethink your Instagram habits. Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Rec, The To-Do List ), stars as the obsessive Ingrid Thorburn, who “Single White Females“, Elizabeth Olsen’s “insta-perfect” Taylor Sloane. Basically, Ingrid’s cyber-stalking manifests itself into reality, as she moves into the same neighborhood as Taylor, bleaches her hair and copies her look. On the surface it is hilarious and insane, but underneath it is all too real. The screenplay is written for an obsessive millennial generation and mimics the technological warnings of Black Mirror.
Through a series of many uncomfortable twists and turns, Ingrid rises from rock bottom to the insta-famous top, mingling with popular socialites and making a few fake-friends along the way. She pepper-sprays a bride in the face, keys a car and steals a dog, all in the effort to make friends. Still, Ingrid’s character is relatable and real, miming many young girls’ intense need to be liked. O’Shea Jackson Jr., Wyatt Russell and Billy Magnussen, also star in the brilliant comedy.
While the trailers and the advertising were purposely neurotic and vague, the film itself had a clear cut message: people show their best selves on the internet, highlights of their lives, but even the biggest social media “influencers” have flaws. It can be easy to compare ourselves on Instagram, and to wish for a more picturesque VSCO-filtered life, but it’s important to stay grounded in the real world. Ingrid Goes West narrates these topics against a backdrop of well-lit Southern California locales. It is smart and witty, without ever being too preachy. It’s also got, arguably, the best soundtrack of 2017. In other words, Ingrid is a timely, much-needed indie flick for our modern-day, internet-driven culture.