Having spent her twenties comfortably unmotivated, 28 year old Megan (Keira Knightley) reaches a crisis when she finds herself squarely in adulthood with no career prospects, no particular incentive to pursue any and no one to relate to, including her high school boyfriend (Mark Webber). When he proposes, Megan panics and given an opportunity to escape - at least temporarily - she hides out in the home of her new friend, 16-year-old Annika (Chloe Grace Moretz) and Annika's world-weary single dad (Sam Rockwell).
Say When - also known as Laggies - is an independent release 2014 romantic comedy. It is an interesting film that takes the popular ‘immature adult’ theme, and makes it different. I give it a deserved four out of five stars, because all elements work well together, and you won’t have to force yourself to stay until the end.
The film follows Megan (played by Keira Knightley). She is educated, pretty, and completely unmotivated. It isn’t until she attends her eleven year high school reunion - where her boyfriend proposes to her - that she realises she is not happy with her life. Panicking and looking for her usual opportunity to run and escape responsibility, Megan takes refuge with Annika (Chloë Grace Moretz). Annika is a sixteen year old girl who lives with her single father (Sam Rockwell), and it is only by watching the film that you will see if examining their lives through each other’s eyes, they can begin to see where they see their future heading.
Over the past few years, audiences have been oddly drawn to characters like Megan. They personify everyone’s disillusionment of growing up/old and all that that entails. Audiences want to see others who are not always the tops of their career fields, and Say When does a good job of this without going over-the-top. Despite what some have critiqued, I don’t think this film fell into many cliche traps, and that it was different enough to be entertaining.
Keira Knightley (doing an American accent) was a great leading lady. I have also read that Knightley got the role after Anne Hathaway had to pass, but Knightley did a good job. Chloë Grace Moretz has been in a lot lately. She has shown that she can do horror, drama, comedy, and everything in between. Sam Rockwell is not someone I know a lot about, but he played his multi-layered character well. The chemistry between the different relationships was also spot-on, and there were no members of the cast that let the others down.
A lot of audience reviews mock the seriousness of the characters’ plights. They point out that the characters are all middle-class, caucasian, educated, and therefore not what you would call a ‘victim’ in any way. While most of that is true, everyone has problems and that is what this film is focusing on.
Romantic comedies are also a hit-and-miss sort of genre, so it is no surprise that it has received very mixed reviews. Critics have been quite favourable, but the general audience haven’t been able to mentally get past the cliches.
I’m not really sure why they have the different names - neither which I feel suits it. I get that they are ‘lagging’ behind their friends when it comes to what they consider being grown-up behaviour, but it would have been better if they chose terminology from Megan’s teenage years. Course language, sexual and mature themes, make it inappropriate for younger audiences, but it is connected to the story, and not just an addition to garner attention. Overall, it’s a good film you should check out.