MISTRESS AMERICA Directed by Noah Baumbach Starring: Greta Gerwig. Lola Kirke. Heather Lind. Michael Chernus. You’re funny cos you don’t know you’re funny – Dylan. I know I’m funny. There is nothing I don’t know about myself, that’s why I can’t do therapy. – Brooke. Not quite justifying the hype which was attached to Baumbach and Gerwig’s previous collaboration Frances Ha, nevertheless their latest venture into the female midlife crisis narrative provides plenty of opportunity for some excellent character development and witty exchanges. Tracy (Lola Kirke) is in her first year of college in New York. She is lonely, unhappy, depressed about having failed to get her short stories into the college creative-writing magazine. Her divorced mother, who is getting remarried, tells Tracy to get in touch with her fiancé’s daughter, Brooke, who will be her new stepsister. She rings her and an excited Brooke (Great Gerwig) asks her to meet her in Times Square. They immediately like each other, Tracy admiring Brooke’s sophistication, her quirkiness and independence. Brooke is a 30 year-old self-styled interior decorator with amazing ideas but rarely able to execute any of them. Her latest brainwave is that she wants to open a restaurant. She welcomes the new friendship and sees Tracy as a younger version of herself. Tracy wants a short cut to success and senses that Brooke’s life plans are in jeopardy and starts writing a new story called “Mistress America” after a TV show which Brooke once had a great idea about, but never materialised. Furthermore, Tracy now has someone to write a story about and she begins to make notes about Brooke, which later when Brooke realises what she is doing, angrily tells her that she is stealing her life. Gradually Brooke’s plans begin to unravel, and a medium advises her to confront a long-time enemy. So she and www.moviesbymills.com
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