Parents' Guide to

Mistress America

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Quirky, talky comedy has some laughs but rings false.

Movie R 2015 84 minutes
Mistress America Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 1 parent review

age 16+

Feels out of touch with the majority of people's non-college experience

I am not a big fan of Gerwig, not because she is not talented but because I do not care for what she has to offer. Similarly Baumbach's work I find to be indulgent (at least up until Marriage Story). it is not work that I find compelling or that speaks to me, although it is typically well written and tightly scripted. It must be nice to never have gone to college, be 30, work as a spin instructor and own a lot of chic furniture. It is not connected to a reality that I understand.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1):
Kids say (1):

This comedy from director/co-writer Noah Baumbach and co-writer/star Gerwig is intelligent but overwritten, energetic but irritating, and it's difficult to become attached to its chatty characters. With their wonderful previous movie, Frances Ha, Baumbach and Gerwig found the soul of their lovable goofball main character, but they fail to do the same with MISTRESS AMERICA. By focusing on an inexperienced main character and seeing Gerwig's Brooke through her eyes, she feels removed.

That might have been fine if Baumbach's production wasn't focused on low-budget, urban realism, with impressive shots of New York City as it lives and breathes. This approach only makes Brooke feel more artificial and displaced. She's the property of a wordy screenplay. Attempting a crackling banter between characters, the movie rarely gets off the page; it feels more like a read-through than a movie. But Gerwig is terrific, and, with a little focus, Mistress America might have been a treat.

Movie Details

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