'Mistress America': What Do the Critics Have to Say?
Chances are, we've been in Tracy's (Lola Kirke) shoes in "Mistress America." We've had a less-than-groundbreaking kickoff to college and sought after that exciting university experience. Well, according to Rotten Tomatoes - which gives the Noah Baumbach-directed film a 75 percent - the second lease Tracy is given on that cherished time in her life, thanks to sister Brooke (Greta Gerwig), is worth viewing.
Critics have mixed opinions about the approximate 90-minute comedy, with some acknowledging it is certainly fun, but that it can also be annoying and is perhaps a little lost.
"Director Noah Baumbach and his co-writer and star Greta Gerwig walk a wobbly tightrope between contemporary satire and old-school Hollywood farce in 'Mistress America.' Continuing a collaboration that began five years ago with Greenberg and then paid rich creative dividends in 'Frances Ha,' they've now come up with a girl-bonding-and-breaking tale that simultaneously feels tossed off and minutely choreographed in its comic timing. There are many humorous and social morsels to enjoy here, although they're of rather disposable quality. More problematic for many viewers may be the overpowering verbal torrent unleashed by Gerwig's force-of-nature Manhattan scenester as well as the viciousness with which some of the female characters attack one another. This Fox Searchlight release will be a tricky sell outside of key big-city markets. -- Todd McCarthy, HollywoodReporter.com
“Movies about unredeemable characters can be fun, but Baumbach's bread and butter continues to be bitter, mean and often [about] angry people, a tradition continued into 'Mistress America.' Unlike 'Frances Ha,' which seemed so much more like Greta Gerwig's thing, but also a film that challenged Baumbach to elevate his game and do something different, it's going back to all his old standbys as he starts to drag her down to his own nonsense. (It's also odd he'd make a movie about Gerwig's character trying to coexist with younger people so soon after Baumbach's own 'While We're Young,' which dealt with a middle-aged couple trying to keep up with a younger couple they meet.) The characters in the film never feel particularly authentic, because their carefully-crafted dialogue is spouted at a machine gun rate, often making it hard to keep up. There are also times when the films delve into Wes Anderson territory, trying to throw as many odd characters into a room as possible to see how they’ll interact." -- Edward Douglas, ComingSoon.net
"'Mistress America' is chewy philosophical pop with a clear dedication to style. Cinematographer Sam Levy once again lenses Baumbach and Gerwig’s vision with affecting colors and tones, while composers Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips provide a candy-glazed score that shares space with the likes of Toto and Suicide. Hell, even the Dirty Projectors make an on-screen appearance. As such, it's all very hip, it's all very fun, and it's all very smart. It's just not very affectionate. But you'll laugh. -- Michael Roffman, ConsequenceOfSound.net