Thursday, April 25, 2024

Kristen Wiig Will Be Just Fine without “Saturday Night Live”


We’ll miss Krisren Wiig on “Saturday Night Live,” but after seeing her in “Imogene” yesterday, you know she’ll be juts fine. The very funny comedy– produced by Maven Pics, the new label from Trudie Styler and partner Celine Rattray– is a total hit.

Directors Robert Pulcini and Sherri Springer Berman have done a great job creating a environment of kooky, well rounded characters around Wiig’s iconoclastic Imogene.

The movie also a nice debut for Darren Criss, so popular from the TV show “Glee” that he caused a near riot outside the Ryerson Theater yesterday afternoon at the Toronto Film Festival. But Criss is also just fine in “Imogene,” and very ingratiating.

Of course, the standouts, as usual. are Annette Bening as Imogene’s casino-obsessed Atlantic City mom and Matt Dillon as her CIA operative live in boyfriend. You can tell these two are having a grand time chewing the scenery, although come on, Bening is too young to be Wiig’s mother, or vice versa. But a little suspended disbelief is not a bad thing.

Imogene is a typical Wiig character, although it’s based on the experiences of very funny screenwriter Michelle Morgan. Imogene is too smart, over educated good girl who’s parlayed her writing talents to a dead end. She’s survived by being hooked up with a Wall Street boyfriend, but now that’s run its course and she has no idea what to do with her life. That’s the serious part. Then the fun kicks in. And “Imogene” is full of laughs.

There are some nice supporting performances, too, from Broadway great Christopher Fitzgerald, Ronald Guttmann, Mickey Sumner, and the much  missed Natasha Lyonne. (She’s ready for a great sitcom.) Distributors were all over “Imogene” last night. After “Bridesmaids,” Wiig is hot, and this comedy should do fine.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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