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THE PRETTY ONE Movie Review

The Pretty One
R....90 min.....Comedy, Drama, Romance
February 7, 2014 (LIMITED)

the pretty one
© 2014 Dada Films

the pretty one
WRITER / DIRECTOR: .Jenée LaMarque
the pretty one
Zoe Kazan, Jake Johnson, Ron Livingston,
Frankie Shaw, John Carroll Lynch, Shae D’Lyn,
Sterling Beaumon, Sabrina Lloyd
the pretty one
Website....Facebook....@prettyonefilm
the pretty one
Grade:. ★★★☆☆

SYNOPSIS: Audrey has all of the qualities that her identical twin sister Laurel wishes she possessed: confidence, style, independence. Alternately, Laurel, sweet but painfully awkward, feels stuck in her life, still living at home, coddling their father and obsessed with the boy next door, for whom she used to babysit. When the sisters reunite for their birthday, tragedy strikes and a fateful mix-up leaves Laurel faced with an opportunity to reinvent herself—and her life—as her beloved sibling.
the pretty one

The Pretty One, the feature debut of writer/director Jenée LaMarque (Nominee: Tribeca Film Festival 2013 – Nora Ephron Prize), explores the ripple effect of loss and how sometimes loss can actually yield unexpected gain. Starring Zoe Kazan (It’s Complicated, Ruby Sparks) and Jake Johnson (“New Girl,” Drinking Buddies), The Pretty One (a 2011 Black List screenplay) tackles its unhappy subject matter with a mostly hopeful tone, focusing on the positive aspects of healing and personal growth without dismissing the hardship of loss.

From heart-rending mourning, to heartening self-growth, Zoe Kazan is tremendous as twins Laurel and Audrey. Her transformation from diffident doormat to self-assured adult is genuinely heartwarming. Kazan is nicely complemented by Jake Johnson’s unaffected and adorable boy-next-door, who helps Laurel to define herself as an individual and shows her that loving herself for herself is the only way others can do the same. Theirs is a ‘happily ever after’ that is easy to hope for.

the pretty one
© 2014 Dada Films

The Pretty One also features notable performances by Frankie Shaw (The End of Love, Someone Marry Barry) and Ron Livingston (Office Space, “Boardwalk Empire”). Livingston deftly achieves a level of repugnance I haven’t felt for any of his characters since Sex and the City‘s Post-It-note breakup. And Shaw’s well-rounded performance hits diverse notes—from superficiality and egocentricity, to insecurity, thoughtfulness, and sincerity—with an adept ease that makes her stand out for all the right reasons.

With its unique mix of woeful themes, frank dialogue, and cringeworthy moments, The Pretty One is an interesting cinematic experience—more of a need-a-good-cry film than a pick-me-up—and a sure sign of the artistic depth we can expect from Zoe Kazan in the future.
the pretty one

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the pretty one
Theatrical Release — Dates & Cities

Featured Image: © 2014 Dada Films

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The Author

Sarah Katz

Sarah Katz

Born-and-bred New Yorker. Lifelong film & TV lover—from chick flicks, rom-coms, rom-droms, rom-drams, and tweentertainment, to Shakespeare, period pieces, James Bond, fairy tales, and mafia movies.