The Night Thread Goes West

In part of my ongoing quest to hype up stuff I liked, this night thread is about Ingrid Goes West, a very dark 2017 indie comedy starring Aubrey Plaza as the eponymous Ingrid. Ingrid is a lonely young woman who moves to West Covina Los Angeles in order to stalk/befriend an Instagram idol played by Elizabeth Olsen.

There’s a lot of great performances in this, but Plaza kills it as Ingrid. Part of the reason the character is so interesting is that a) the story is told from her point of view, rather than her serving as a malevolent outsider à la Fatal Attraction, and b) Ingrid is a pretty sympathetic character. Ingrid is established to have an unspecified mental illness towards the beginning of the film, but her actions are motivated by a desire to fit in and have friends that anyone can identify with. (Content warning: the mental illness stuff in the film can get pretty intense, so be forewarned if that’s not your thing)

Rather than demonizing mental illness, the film instead sets its sights on the ubiquity of social media. Ingrid’s obsession with Instagram is the springboard for an extended meditation on a world where people are simultaneously more connected and more isolated than ever before. Also there’s some choice jokes about millennials and avocado toast.

It’s a good movie, it’s on Hulu, you should watch it.

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