My epiphany this week was the realization that one man’s truth is often another man’s lie. Imogene, screenplay by Michelle Morgan, screened for the third and final time today, at the Toronto International Film Festival. All screenings were sold out, leading to the film’s distribution deal with Lionsgate.
The film has an indie feel about it. As my companion pointed out, “Nothing blows up.” The violence is limited to one scene, where it is played with comedic effect. This is an adult comedy, with double entendres and scenes of a sexual nature. Yet, in a dysfunctional-family way, the film is rather wholesome. There is heart behind each eccentric, and good intentions behind each lie that hides a truth. Much of the plot is driven by the consequence of well-meaning lies.
Kristen Wiig is Imogene, a thirty-something, Manhattanite living her dream. Her mother, played by Annette Bening, is a gambling addict still capable of embarrassing her daughter who has not been home in nine years. A lie leads to the two reuniting, and the introduction to the cast of eccentrics: George Bush, pronounced Boosh, her mother’s live-in lover; Imogene’s asperger’s brother; and the boarder, Lee, a Yalie who sings in a Backstreet Boys cover band. They juggle lies and truths like hot potatoes.
Unlike Bridesmaids, the Wiig film success that enabled Imogene to get the greenlight, the humour is neither crass nor mean, at least not for long. I found it hard to like Wiig’s Imogene in the beginning of the film, but by the denouement I had begun to root for her, as the lies became evident.
Slightly odd, somewhat sweet, with just enough tartness for contrast, Imogene is one to watch.