Whit Stillman’s ‘Damsels In Distress’ Movie Review
Whit Stillman’s latest film, Damsels In Distress, comes out to limited theaters this weekend. I must confess that I haven’t seen any of Whit Stillman’s previous films so I have nothing to compare this one to, but all I can say is that Damsels In Distress just wasn’t my cup of tea.
Damsels In Distress is a bit hard to describe but it follows newcomer to Seven Oaks college, Lily (Analeigh Tipton) and her new trio of girl friends including group leader Violet Wister (Greta Gerwig), principled Rose (Megalyn Echikunwoke) and sexy Heather (Carrie MacLemore). The girls mission is to rescue their fellow students from depression, grunge and low standards of every kind. In order to do that they focus on smell, dancing and other eclectic methods.
In the midst of that mission, romance is in the air as the girls get involved with a few different men, including Charlie (Adam Brody), Xavier (Hugo Becker) and frat boys Frank (Ryan Metcalf) and Thor (Billy Magnussen), who put their friendship at risk.
Damsels In Distress is a bit of an unusual film, with eccentric characters and unconventional story. I’m still not sure what to make of it, but I do know that the character of Violet was very irritating to me. I had a hard time feeling any connection or sympathy to her and so it made it hard to enjoy watching her scenes.
As for the story, it’s definitely original, but I just couldn’t connect to it. It started out good with some original concepts, but never moved to the next level for me. By the end, I wasn’t sure if there was something to take out of it or if it was just a sequence of events (including random dancing numbers) that these characters were going through.
Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t dislike everything about the film, there were some good moments. For instance, the character of Thor, while silly has some great scenes, especially with Heather, who also happens to be my favorite of the girls. In addition, there are a few funny moments, one for example involving the character of Xavier explaining his beliefs and what they entail to Lily. And the performances were overall good. However, all and all, Damsels In Distress was still a disappointment to me.
The film comes out to limited theaters today, April 6th, and while I didn’t love it, it shouldn’t deter you from checking it out if you enjoy quirky female driven comedies or if you’re a fan of Whit Stillman. However, if none of this is your cup of tea, then you might want to skip this one.
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