Good Posture

Review by Ella Kemp @efekemp

Directed by

Dolly Wells

Starring

Emily Mortimer Mary Holland Nat Wolff

Anticipation.

Dolly Wells seems like a trustworthy voice to tell this everygirl’s story.

Enjoyment.

It roams, it strops, it... doesn’t do much more.

In Retrospect.

Plenty more films in the sea.

Emily Mortimer stars in this half-baked adulting dramedy from actor-turned-director Dolly Wells.

If we are to believe that all good art comes from suffering, it seems that the characters in Dolly Wells’ well-intentioned but half-baked directorial debut, Good Posture, have let the process eclipse the product. A break up leads to a documentary shoot, but little tangible emotion leads the way in this underwhelming indie comedy.

The film begins as a chapter of New York teen Lilian’s life is ending. Lilian (Grace Van Patten) has been living with her boyfriend, but when he dumps her she’s forced to move in with family friends, a couple of houses down the street. She’s temporarily staying with family friends while she waits, possibly naively, for her father and his new girlfriend to move back to New York and scoop her up. Lilian hangs out with various people – an ex-lover, new friends, unreliable role models. Van Patten’s gutsy conviction just about pads out her character, but it can’t compensate for the flimsy and somewhat reductive design of the teenage angst on show.

Lilian’s life finds a purpose when she strikes up a relationship with Julia Price, the famous and intimidating novelist she’s staying with. It progressively (albeit predictably) turns from hostile to amicable, as the two women become pen pals across the hallway. Unanswered and often unconvincing questions start to tumble: is Lilian inspired by Julia? Is she jealous? Does she crave her love because there’s no one else left, or because it’s what everyone else does?

No single thread is developed far enough to make these women feel three-dimensional, as Lilian’s half-hearted attempt to make a film about Julia is as close to ‘art’ as her ambitions get. It then makes you wonder just what happened to Lilian in the first place – was she really heartbroken? Does she have a heart? Wells’ script asks smart questions about female independence, but Lilian’s passion for, well, anything, never really makes it onto the screen.

Published 1 Oct 2019

Tags: Dolly Wells Emily Mortimer Mary Holland Nat Wolff

Anticipation.

Dolly Wells seems like a trustworthy voice to tell this everygirl’s story.

Enjoyment.

It roams, it strops, it... doesn’t do much more.

In Retrospect.

Plenty more films in the sea.

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