Marking one of the more commercial acquisitions of 2012’s Toronto International Film Festival is Imogene, which Variety tell us is now in the possession of Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions. The former studio, best known for their violent, barely commercial action / horror fare, is not who I would’ve expected to snatch up a Kristen Wiig comedy from the directors of American Splendor — maybe, I don’t know, Fox Searchlight or even Focus Features sound more likely — but that’s how this shook out.
Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini are at the helm of Wiig‘s screenplay, in which the actress is cast as a titular, troubled playwright who fakes suicide as a means of attaining an ex-boyfriend’s attention. Rather, however, she ends up back in Jersey with her gambler mother (Annette Bening), the mother’s boyfriend (Matt Dillon), her brother (Christopher Fitzgerald), and a younger fellow (Darren Criss) who strikes Imogene’s fancy. Entirely unsurprisingly, it’s this lattermost character with whom she begins to repair her everyday life.
Should you, like myself, tend to enjoy Wiig‘s comedy, we’ve already got something right off the bat. But our review of Imogene was, sadly, none too complementary, as we felt the directors and star-writer couldn’t balance stabs at pathos with actual comedy — or, for that matter, the pathos meant to be achieved — with the basic view being that “all the quirk adds up to nothing.”
The two distributors are obviously hoping the forthcoming release will garner sufficient attention when the time comes and, regardless of the word, I’ll be willing to give Imogene a shot.
Has Imogene been on your radar, despite the middling reactions?
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