“Girl Most Likely” takes the woman most likely to shape the near-future of movie comedies and puts her in a false and facile misfire, a movie most likely to be a minor footnote in Kristen Wiig's career.
Tragedies come in threes for Imogene (Kristen Wiig), who loses her disengaged boyfriend, her job and her New York apartment in record time. After faking a suicide attempt, Imogene lands back home in her Atlantic City, N.J., childhood home, where her wacky, tacky mom Zelda (Annette Bening) is the master of ceremonies in a tournament of embarrassments. It's a house full of quirks and bad taste: Imogene's brother Ralph (Christopher Fitzgerald) has Asperger syndrome and sells hermit crabs on the boardwalk, Zelda's boyfriend (Matt Dillon) is supposedly a secret agent, and their renter (Darren Criss of “Glee”) is the lead singer of a Backstreet Boys tribute act.
These overly cute contrivances all give off the distasteful whiff of condescension and snobbery, a knee-jerk reaction by refined Manhattan dwellers against the bridge-and-tunnel crowd. “Girl Most Likely” nearly saves itself when Imogene and Ralph confront their erudite, refined and thoroughly deadbeat dad (Bob Balaban), but it's a setup for a redemption that feels unearned and overly convenient.
At the center of “Girl Most Likely” is Wiig trying desperately to wring some truth out of all these contrivances. The “Bridesmaids” star is giving it her all, but as executive producer, Wiig shares in the blame for the shambolic, ineffective comedy surrounding her. It's hard to fathom that “Girl Most Likely” was directed by the team of Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, whose “American Splendor” told the story of misanthropic cartoonist Harvey Pekar with such style and wit. With “Girl Most Likely,” those qualities are in short supply.
— George Lang