Narcassism is a poison affecting many social media users today. The need to angle a perfect selfie for all to see is evident because, well look at me, I’m beautiful, my abs look good and my cleavage is on point. I personally can’t get to grips with this obsessive need for attention which is why I appreciate Ingrid Goes West’s poke at the instagram circus.
Director Matt Spicer doesn’t condem social media wholly but does take aim at how it can make a person become more vacuous or mentally deplete well intentioned loners. These two traits are personalised by Elizabeth Olsen and Aubrey Plaza Respectively. You know what to expect from Plaza if you’ve watched Parks and Recreation but this is by far her best performance, at once funny and frightening. Her obsessive need for a friend in Olsen’s LA socialite Taylor is creepy and plausible. Taylor’s own obsession to post everything she does on Instagram is in itself the catalyst for Ingrid’s own need for personal attention. The difference being that Ingrid needs personal acceptance to Taylor’s need for virtual attention. Their obsessions are equally balanced but of course we side with Olsen more, just as much as we did for Jerry Lewis in King of Comedy.
Ingrid Goes West just about hangs onto to its cautionary satirie as we venture through a dark final act and ultimately predictable outcome. Black Mirror had a better vision of social media obsessiveness, albeit in the future, but Ingrid Goes West does a good job at showing us just how much some people live by it today. It’s a small, but enjoyable film, basically Heathers with a little less spice and a phone in hand.