There’s a certain likability to Keira Knightley that I’ve encountered numerous times in her period films, but not so much when the plot is happening in the present because she kept doing period films! Atonement, Pride & Prejudice, Pirates of the Caribbean to name a few up until the past few years when she was finally allowed into the 21st century with Seeking a Friend at the End of the World, Begin Again and now, Laggies.
Upon first watching it, I thought, alright, it’s a decent indie movie about a woman who has lost her way and is rebelling against her family, friends and boyfriend. Then the movie kept replaying in my head for weeks until I realized, I am Megan (Keira Knightley)! Understandably I’m not exactly like her but there are characteristics about her that I can relate to. Besides, as I’m a fine example of a person with “I don’t know what to do with my life” sign attached to her head, I can totally understand Megan’s struggles.
As Megan’s boyfriend of many years proposes to her during her best friends wedding, she is baffled and shocked to say at least. This sets the plot in motion, as she deliberately makes up an excuse to be away from her now fiancee, family and friends to stay at a teenager’s house. While it sounds totally weird and creepy, I actually think it’s very cute because Megan, in more ways than one, is still a teenager at heart.
Before all of that happens, it is clear that Megan’s boyfriend Anthony (Mark Webber) seems to know better what’s good for Megan than Megan herself. He is pushing her towards things but it’s not in a manner of violence or evil, it’s of pure love and Megan sort of lets herself to be lead on. This is what strikes me as interesting and hits me right in the gut because for as long as I can remember, I’ve been letting people who love me, do the same for me. But the moment Anthony lands on that one knee, a switch goes off in Megan’s head and she takes charge of her own life… sort of.
She meets these teenagers and feels a connection. They, just like her, are in a point of their lives where they have to make big decisions – family, love etc. That’s when Megan meets Annika (btw, I love that name because it’s such a classic Estonian name) portrayed by Chloe Grace Moretz. What was surprising about Laggies was the chemistry between the two most unlikely people – Knightley and Moretz. Now, you should all know by now, I’m not a fan of Moretz and will most likely never be but if she keeps acting next to Knightley, there might be some hope for her after all. Granted, Annika was a very well written teenager which helped Moretz a lot – she was grounded, she was cool and she didn’t whine nor annoy me, which is refreshing.
Then there’s Sam Rockwell as Craig, the weirdest lawyer/father I’ve ever seen on screen and I loved it. Though he seemed high for the most part and drunk for the rest of the movie, Rockwell is way too charismatic to hate on. Rockwell and Knightley were bang on perfect together on screen and they just warmed my your heart really. Though I wasn’t very keen on the ending being a bit too messy (I seem to be disliking endings in general lately, even in books), I liked the fact that Anthony maintained his status as a good guy. True, it’s hard to imagine Mark Webber as anything else but a good guy, but the way their relationship was handled made sense and felt really grown up.
That’s what makes Laggies sort of special – it’s a grown up world handling problems that might be considered immature. Some people might have it all figured out in their early twenties, others are still finding their path in their late twenties and it’s alright either way. Though Laggies never really pushes the career aspect, it does hint at it at the guidance concealer’s office and it makes perfect sense. In a way, I’m glad that Laggies didn’t focus on too many things at once and kept it more about relationships between the characters and not Megan’s career prospects. Though, if I must complain about one thing and one thing only – I wish they showed a bit more Rockwell.