IMDb > Damsels in Distress (2011)
Damsels in Distress
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Damsels in Distress (2011) More at IMDbPro »

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Damsels in Distress -- Whit Stillman’s hilarious comedy about a trio of beautiful girls set out to revolutionize life at a grungy American university and help severely depressed students through a program of donuts and tap dancing.
Damsels in Distress -- A trio of girls set out to change the male-dominated environment of the Seven Oaks college campus, and to rescue their fellow students from depression, grunge and low standards of every kind.
Damsels in Distress -- A clip from Damsels in Distress
Damsels in Distress -- Trailer for Damsels in Distress
Damsels in Distress -- A clip from Damsels in Distress


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Up 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Whit Stillman (screenplay)
View company contact information for Damsels in Distress on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
26 April 2012 (New Zealand) See more »
Help them this spring. See more »
A trio of girls set out to change the male-dominated environment of the Seven Oaks college campus, and to rescue their fellow students from depression, grunge and low standards of every kind. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
1 win & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Could it be another acquired taste I have not yet fully acquired? See more (54 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Greta Gerwig ... Violet

Carrie MacLemore ... Heather

Megalyn Echikunwoke ... Rose

Analeigh Tipton ... Lily

Ryan Metcalf ... Frank

Jermaine Crawford ... Jimbo

Caitlin FitzGerald ... Priss

Zach Woods ... Rick DeWolfe

Domenico D'Ippolito ... Complainer Student
Nick Blaemire ... Freak Astaire

Aubrey Plaza ... Depressed Debbie

Hugo Becker ... Xavier

Meredith Hagner ... Alice

Joe Coots ... Barman

Adam Brody ... Fred Packenstacker / Charlie Walker

Billy Magnussen ... Thor
Cortez Nance Jr. ... Groundskeeper

Aja Naomi King ... Positive Polly
Jordanna Drazin ... Emily Tweeter
Madison Cerniglia ... Classmate 1
Veronica Mu ... Classmate 2
Laila Drew ... Young Rose
Carolyn Farina ... At the diner: Carolina Antonucci

Shinnerrie Jackson ... Sharise
Gerron Atkinson ... Sincere Highway Worker

Jonnie Brown ... Fresh Highway Worker (as Jonnie Louis Brown)

Shawn Williams ... Campus Cop

Doug Yasuda ... Professor Ryan

Todd Bartels ... Charlie's Friend 1
Max Lodge ... ALA Pamphlet Guy

Bryce Burke ... Gladiator

Jared Burke ... Cary (Jumper)
Clare Halpine ... Cary's Girlfriend

Alia Shawkat ... Mad Madge

Colleen Dengel ... Seminar Cynthia

Taylor Nichols ... Professor Black
Will Storie ... D.U. Brother (hygiene)
Chris Angerman ... D.U. Brother (boots)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Molly Cerne ... Featured Dancer (uncredited)

Sheena Colette ... Sorority Girl (uncredited)

Directed by
Whit Stillman 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Whit Stillman  screenplay

Produced by
Charlie Dibe .... co-producer
Liz Glotzer .... producer
Jacob Jaffke .... line producer
Cecilia Kate Roque .... consulting producer
Martin Shafer .... producer
Whit Stillman .... producer
Alicia Van Couvering .... consulting producer
Original Music by
Adam Schlesinger 
Mark Suozzo 
Cinematography by
Doug Emmett 
Film Editing by
Andrew Hafitz 
Casting by
Kerry Barden 
Anya Colloff 
Amy McIntyre Britt 
Paul Schnee 
Production Design by
Elizabeth J. Jones 
Art Direction by
Brian Goodwin 
Set Decoration by
Emmanuelle Hoessly 
Costume Design by
Ciera Wells 
Makeup Department
Ivy Ermert .... makeup artist
Satoko Ichinose .... hair department head
Jessica Jade Jacob .... makeup artist
Betsy Kelly .... hair stylist
Maia Kern .... makeup artist
Krystle Poulin .... makeup artist
Anouck Sullivan .... makeup department head
Jessica Toth .... makeup artist
Production Management
Jacob Jaffke .... unit production manager
Joanna Lara Zuppardi .... production supervisor (as Joanna Lara)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Eric Berkal .... additional first assistant director
Daniel Lugo .... second second assistant director
Curtis Smith .... first assistant director
Melinda Ziyadat .... second assistant director
Art Department
Gideon Ang .... set dresser
Eric Burritt .... art intern
Micaela Carolan .... scenic
Mia Cioffi Henry .... on-set dresser
Miranda Hill .... art department intern
Zosia Mackenzie .... assistant property master
Alison-Violet Mount .... set dresser
Catharine Navarro .... art department intern
Nancy Spittle .... leadman
Joanna Tillman .... graphic artist
Grace Yun .... property master
Sound Department
Andrea Bella .... sound effects editor
Leslie Bloome .... foley artist (as Leslie Bloom)
Lucas Cantor .... additional music engineering
Chris Davis .... foley editor
Perry Levy .... adr recordist
Lane McGiboney .... adr recordist
Eric Milano .... adr editor
Michael Miller .... adr mixer
Branka Mrkic .... dialogue editor
Tom Paul .... sound re-recording mixer
Tom Paul .... supervising sound editor
Carl Shillito .... foley mixer
Michael Sterkin .... sound mixer
Steven Tollen .... sound executive producer
Dmitry Volovik .... boom operator
Visual Effects by
Andrew J. Bly .... visual effects producer: The Molecule
Daniel Cohen .... visual effects producer
Luke DiTommaso .... visual effects supervisor: The Molecule
Mark Scott Friedman .... compositing supervisor
Brian Houlihan .... digital compositor
Erin W. Nash .... digital compositor
Joshua Sacavage .... visual effects coordinator
Bryce Burke .... stunts
Jared Burke .... stunts
Chad Hessler .... stunt performer
Asa Liebmann .... stunt performer
Kevin Rogers .... stunt performer
Anthony Vincent .... stunt coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
T.J. Alston .... gaffer
Patrick Doherty .... best boy grip
Bruce Jones .... electrician
Joseph Joyce .... second assistant camera
Sabrina Lantos .... still photographer
Justin LaValley .... additional grip
Sarah Marikar .... additional grip & electric
Peter Milmoe .... electrician
Oliver Ogden .... additional swing
John Shim .... key grip
Johnny Sousa .... first assistant camera
Justin Suriano .... grip
Matthew Szczerbienski .... data loader
Lyon Taylor .... company grip/electric swing
Matt Tomko .... best boy electric
Christopher Vidaic .... best boy grip
Brian Yost .... best boy grip
Casting Department
Rich Delia .... casting associate
Lori Eastside .... extras casting
Allison Estrin .... casting associate
Michael Fredlund .... casting assistant
Clare Halpine .... background casting assistant
Juliet Seniff .... casting associate: Los Angeles
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Krista Blomberg .... special fashions
Catherine Crabtree .... costume assistant
Eniola Dawodu .... costume assistant
Lana Ihil .... wardrobe intern
Carisa Kelly .... assistant costume designer
Haley Lieberman .... assistant costume designer
Alexandra Regazzoni .... wardrobe assistant
Megan Sanders .... wardrobe supervisor
Editorial Department
Eric Burritt .... post-production assistant
Sophie Corra .... assistant editor
Chris Kenny .... colorist
Lance Spindler .... color timer
Pierce Varous .... digital intermediate producer
Location Management
Chris Carmody .... assistant location manager
Christopher Menges .... location manager
Vanessa Lee Rodd .... location scout
Music Department
Irwin Fisch .... orchestrator
Gabriel Hays .... music assistant
Agatha Kaspar .... music assistant
Lawrence Manchester .... score mixer
Annie Pearlman .... music supervisor
Robert Puff .... music librarian
Robert Puff .... music preparation
David Sabee .... music contractor
Adam Schlesinger .... music producer
Phil Servati .... music assistant
Stefan Karrer .... soundtrack album producer (uncredited)
Other crew
Stephanie Blackwood .... production coordinator
Teddy Blanks .... title designer
Slater Brauns .... post production accountant
Dustin Bricker .... script supervisor
Anita Brooks .... office production intern
Yara Caubet .... production assistant
Justin Cerne .... choreographer
Cynthia Chou .... assistant production coordinator
Carol A. Compton .... script clearance
Ryan Dibeler .... locations intern
Kara Moon Dillon .... set production assistant
Brian DiLorenzo .... production office intern
Derek Jimenez .... set production assistant
Steven Julien .... production assistant
Tom Maloney .... key p/a
Burton May .... production assistant
Charlie McSpadden .... assistant to producer
Rebecca Rojer .... assistant to director
John Seabright .... production assistant
Misha Turner .... production accountant
Reid Rosefelt .... publicist (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated PG-13 for mature thematic content including some sexual material
99 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Writer/Director Whit Stillman's first film in 13 years after The Last Days of Disco (1998).See more »
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): Frank insists his eyes can't be blue since not everything he sees is blue, not knowing that light enters through a hole in each blue iris.See more »
Violet:We get a lot of students coming to the center pretending to be depressed to get the donuts.
Rose:Confidence tricksters!
Violet:Yes, it's really bad, really cynical. And we made a pledge the donut company that we would only give the donuts to students who were depressed, suicidal or otherwise nutty. We're a non-profit, so the rules are pretty strict.
See more »
Movie Connections:
References Stolen Kisses (1968)See more »
Devil with HeartSee more »


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20 out of 30 people found the following review useful.
Could it be another acquired taste I have not yet fully acquired?, 26 September 2012
Author: Steve Pulaski from United States

Violet Wister (Greta Gerwig), Rose (Megalyn Echikunwoke), Heather (Carrie MacLemore), and Lily (Analeigh Tipton) have many things in common; they all talk with a smug tone and they attend the liberal arts school Seven Oaks, which seems to exist in its own little world. To be frank, it seems that Damsels in Distress has erected a world all its own, where pop culture doesn't exist and neither do Televisions, automobiles, or anything along the lines of utilities that we've become accustomed to today.

I love films that exist in the screenwriter's head. One of the more recent examples is Wes Anderson's majestic and enthusiastic Moonrise Kingdom, a film that appeared to have its own mindset and, within in it, its own set of characters, laws, rules, and agenda that it wanted to accomplish. Damsels in Distress isn't quite as majestic and enthusiastic. It's rather monotone, uninteresting, and groggy for the most part. What a shame since this is director Whit Stillman's return to film after a thirteen year hiatus.

The storyline concerns those four girls as they go about their lives at this preppy Ivy League school. One of the first things they do, after recruiting Lily, is recreate the school's "suicide prevention center" where they will use aroma therapy, donuts, and coffee in order to reassure students about their place in the world. Why? In the meantime, the girls began to get entangled romantically with men, from the sophisticated Charles (Adam Brody) to the absolute hunk Xavier (also called, "Zavier," played by Hugo Becker). These relationships seem innocuous but prove to be possibly lethal to the girl's unbreakable bond together and this is what, sort of, gets the film on its feet.

Damsels in Distress seems like a satire lost at sea. It's satirizing, or attempting to, Ivy League life and the strange quirks it possesses. The problem is it never fully gets a grip and forms an agenda on what it wants to parody. We get shells of characters who feel robotic and cold, only capable of saying a funny line but incapable of brewing characterization. The satirical element isn't that witty and neither is much of the film. This is more down the line of surrealism than satire.

Stillman greatly reminds me of the quirk-expert I explored earlier this past summer and the man I just mentioned not too long ago; Wes Anderson. Stillman seems to be completely capable of setting up a beautiful long shot, focusing on characters, and intimately capturing life's wonderful eccentricities. But he struggles in the same field Anderson struggled in with his two features, Bottle Rocket and Rushmore, respectively; he focuses so much on look and subtle beauty that he successfully undermines the storyline and the characters within it. Damsels in Distress concludes with a random song-and-dance number almost cementing the fact that there was no conceivable way to completely end this sort of story. It's choppy and inconsistent. But it all looks pretty.

Starring: Greta Gerwig, Adam Brody, Analeigh Tipton, Megalyn Echikunwoke, Carrie MacLemore, Hugo Becker, and Ryan Metcalf. Directed by: Whit Stillman.

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