A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Laggies is a comedy/romance about woman in her late 20s who has no idea what to do with her life or herself -- a theme that could well resonate with older teens, as well as any adults who still feel lost and confused about their direction. There's drinking, including by teens (an adult helps them get the beer in one case; teens drink from red cups in another, and one admits to driving after drinking), some kissing/groping, and a good bit of swearing ("f--k," "s--t," etc.). But with its messages about taking control of your life, the film is likely to hold appeal, and maybe even wisdom, for some teens.
What's the story?
Megan (Keira Knightley) and her friends have been besties since high school; her boyfriend, Anthony (Mark Webber), is part of the core group, too (they were voted "best couple" their senior year). Fast forward 10 years, and everyone, it seems, has carved a path for themselves. They're figuring out their professional lives, getting married, and having babies. Everyone, that is, except Megan. When Anthony proposes, setting into motion some much-needed soul-searching, Megan goes off the rails and finds a place to deconstruct everything at the home of Annika (Chloë Grace Moretz), a teenager Megan helped buy liquor. Annika's divorced dad, Craig (Sam Rockwell), isn't so sure about Megan's short stay at his place, but everything shifts once she does.
Is it any good?
Laggies feels relevant and propelling. Teens and adults may come from different planets, but they still have something in common, particularly when it comes to identity and confidence; in LAGGIES, director Lynn Shelton explores this theme with delicacy and sensitivity, as well an admirable empathy for the struggles of both teens and adults trying to come into their own. The lessons doled out -- it's OK to be a mess, as long as you work your way toward a solution; go for what you want instead of waiting for it to happen to you -- are, if obvious, still ones that capture a particular conflict that many of us, no matter our age group, still face.
Knightley has an ease about her acting that makes Megan recognizable, even if she's maddening. Moretz doesn't try too hard to be angsty, which makes for an appealing performance. Rockwell is a firecracker -- he almost always simmers, at the ready to boil‚ lending the film much-needed energy. Still, some epiphanies feel contrived, and it's hard not to question the premise that a father as apparently concerned as Craig is would allow a stranger to bunk in, no matter how nice she seems to be. And although the bond between Megan and Annika is palpable, it also feels forced too quickly into a full friendship. It's all a little too neat, but it doesn't really matter: It's a fun movie, anyway.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Laggies portrays drinking, especially by teens. Are there realistic consequences? Why are teens drawn to experimenting with alcohol?
Why has Megan had so much trouble figuring out what to do with her life? What does she learn during the course of the film? Do her struggles seem relatable and believable?
Who do you think this film is aimed at? How can you tell?
- In theaters: October 24, 2014
- On DVD or streaming: February 10, 2015
- Cast: Keira Knightley, Chloe Grace Moretz, Sam Rockwell
- Director: Lynn Shelton
- Studio: A24
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Friendship
- Run time: 100 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: language, some sexual material and teen partying
- Last updated: March 13, 2020
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