(director/writer: Matt Spicer; screenwriter: David Branson Smith; cinematographer: Bryce Fortner; editor: Jack Price ; music: Nick Thorburn; cast: Aubrey Plaza (Ingrid Thorburg), Elizabeth Olsen (Taylor Sloane), O’Shea Jackson Jr. (Dan Pinto, Wyatt Russell (Ezra O’Keefe), Billy Magnussen (Nicky), Meredith Kathleen Hagner (Charlotte); Runtime: 98; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Jared Ian Goldman, Tim White, Trevor White, Adam Mirels, Robert Mirels, Aubrey Plaza.; Neon; 2017)

Though Spicer’s satire brings about some malice, it was still far too saccharine for my taste.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Matt Spicer in his directorial debut runs a demented black comedy by us about the social media impacting the lives of millennials in a negative way. The screenplay by Spicer and David Branson Smith takes aim on the loser stalker on Instagram, Ingrid Thorburg (Aubrey Plaza), who is obsessed with her smartphone and making a connection with someone popular to spice up her dull life.

Though Spicer’s satire brings about some malice, it was still far too saccharine for my taste. Ingrid is released from a mental hospital over her recent violent outburst of macing the bride (Kathleen Hagner) at a wedding she crashes. The unhinged young lady now has the need to devote herself to follow on Instagram the phony Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen), a young naive Californian living the good life off her sponsor-supported lifestyle by talking crap. Ingrid moves from her rural town in Pennsylvania into Taylor’s LA neighborhood, where she lives with her struggling artist boyfriend Ezra (Wyatt Russell). Ingrid steals her dog, only returning it the next day to befriend the grateful Taylor and move in her circle. Ingrid has in her backpack the $60,000 left to her by the recent death of her cancer stricken mom, and uses it to meet her expenses.

The dramatics over the absurd need for Ingrid to find success on social media failed to hold my interest. For all the noise about her schemes or how she manipulates her Laker jersey wearing Batman screenwriter neighbor landlord (O’Shea Jackson, Jr., Ice Cube’s son) to become part of her sad story, never had an impact on me. It’s a pic meant to highlight how social media is more a bummer for society than a boon, which might be the case if it ruined our lives the way it did for Ingrid and Taylor. Another perverse character is Taylor’s drug-addict loathsome brother Nicky (Billy Magnussen), who is a roadblock for Ingrid being liked on Instagram as he sees through her falseness.