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The Pretty One
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Pretty One More at IMDbPro »

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19 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

A heartfelt and beautiful film

9/10
Author: Zahira26 from Sydney, Australia
16 June 2014

Zoe Kazan and Jake Johnson are stunning in this film!

A quirky gem in the vein of Safety Not Guaranteed, Ruby Sparks, Drinking Buddies, Enough Said and The Spectacular Now. Although the storyline may be a bit out there, it is very believable and enjoyable.

There are some poignant moments that are beautifully portrayed and you can relate to many of the characters in some way.

The Perfect One is worth the watch.

p.s. I loved the wardrobe they used in this film, think Girls meets Pretty Little Liars. I was upset there weren't more special features on the DVD!

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15 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

The Pretty One isn't great, but it's a very entertaining film

8/10
Author: Argemaluco from Argentina
24 June 2014

The Pretty One is a pleasant indie "dramedy" cooked with the habitual ingredients from the genre: a simple screenplay, but not lacking of some deepness; funny characters who are too picturesque to exist in the real world; and a narrative sensibility which cunningly occupies the intersection between art-house cinema and the commercial one. That description might sound a bit cynical, but it doesn't darken my appreciation for the various pros of The Pretty One, which I liked pretty much despite some forced details from the screenplay and its kinda cloying manufacture. To start with, the performances from Zoe Kazan and Jake Johnson are very good. I always like those actors' work, even though they tend to play the same character over and over again (Kazan, adorable "Phoebe", and Johnson, adorable loser). But, as long as they keep bringing such good works in those roles, I will keep enjoying their performances. Kazan and Johnson have a perfect chemistry with each other, something which helps to cover some weak details from the screenplay. For example, the premise feels occasionally improbable, even though it's raised with enough logic in order to accept it for the sake of entertainment. After all, The Pretty One doesn't aspire to the raw realism from Hesher or Smashed (to put a pair of indie examples), but it occupies the idealized universe from films such as In Your Eyes and Juno, where the characters are sublimations of narrative archetypes, and the dialogs are impossibly eloquent and colorful. But the artifice works because the emotions feel real, and because of that, The Pretty One survives some not very credible coincidences, forced revelations and moments of a doubtful humor. Besides, in order to season the recipe a little bit, screenwriter Jeneé LaMarque (who was also the director) makes sporadic explorations to the meaning of identity, and its narrow (and sometimes contradictory) relationship with our public perception. Is it more important to know who we are, or who the people think we are? That's an interesting concept which brings a slight philosophical basis to the film. In conclusion, I recommend The Pretty One with confidence, because despite not being something great, it kept me very entertained, it made me think a bit and, for the first time in a long while, I was genuinely interested in the romantic aspect.

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Zoe Kazan makes the best of a bad situation

2/10
Author: studioAT from United Kingdom
4 April 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Ah, the old mistaken identity plot. It's as old as the hills, but it's nice to see it still being deployed in this indie comedy film, starring the always lovely, Zoe Kazan.

And she is by a long way the best thing in this easy going, but ultimately uninspiring film, that also stars Jake Johnson of 'New Girl' fame.

Her wit and personality carries this film, and at times it needs carrying.

It's not a great film, but it's passable enough viewing.

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Twins-You should always tell the difference!

5/10
Author: rosacute jenniely
31 January 2016

Well as I twin myself I feel emotionally attached to this movie. For the parent figure not to figure out that it was Loral just because of the haircut and necklace was shocking to me.(Even with the amnesia!) My Mom would of known in an instance because of how different we are. I'm more 'Smh, whatever' and she's more like 'DO this do that-ahhh' so yeah. Another problem I had was how she wanted to steal her sister's life. It was cruel but I guess we all do things like that. I really liked how she found her self and figured herself out. Also later on grieving. I feel like the beginning would of been more of an Audrey than Loral thin to do and that the guy love interest was a perfect fit for Loral. The Charles character was a little unbelievable but otherwise this movie was 'ight. Okay. SMH.... I just can't get into these type of movies but overall it was okay and a way to move on with the night... I also think the accident should of happened later on so that we could of seen how Loral had to change to become her.... that's it I guess.

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6 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Once I Accepted the Premise the Movie Grew On Me

7/10
Author: Larry Silverstein from United States
3 June 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Once I accepted the premise of this movie, which in itself is not easy to do, it grew on me and overall I came to like it. In my opinion, this is the type of movie that if one just goes with the flow, and doesn't try to look too closely beneath the plot surface, it can be enjoyable.

Zoe Kazan does a fine job here, starring in a dual role of the identical twin sisters Laurel and Audrey. They're polar opposites in personality, with Laurel being introverted and self-doubting, while Audrey is outgoing and vivacious. Laurel is still living at home with her father Frank (John Carroll Lynch) with whom she has a co-dependent relationship, while Audrey has a successful career going in real estate and owns a duplex in town.

However, one day while driving together they get distracted, and end up in a terrible head-on collision, where Laurel is seriously injured and Audrey is killed. Due to the fact that Laurel is wearing an ID bracelet imprinted with Audrey's name on it (which Audrey had just given to Laurel on their birthday to be a constant reminder of her), the doctors and even Frank think that Audrey survived the crash and that Laurel was the one killed. When Laurel is diagnosed with post-traumatic amnesia a lot of any inconsistencies can be explained away.

Since Laurel thinks her life compared to her sister's was miserable, Laurel decides to maintain the charade, eventually moves into the duplex and even Audrey's job. At the duplex, she meets her tenant Basel, very effectively portrayed by the underrated actor Jake M. Johnson, whose performance in "Drinking Buddies" I liked quite a lot.

Basel is quite the nice guy, selling used books over the internet and loaning others to neighborhood kids. You can see the attraction building between Basel and Laurel, and I thought the chemistry between the two worked exceptionally well.

However, as circumstances will eventually warrant, Laurel may have to disclose who she really is, causing all kinds of reactions and chaos.

Overall, I thought this film ably written and directed by Jenee Lamarque, can lose its' way at times, but can also be poignant and humorous as well, and as mentioned if one is willing to just accept the premise there are rewards here, in my opinion.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Zoe Kazan...

9/10
Author: nnom
25 May 2017

...do I need to say more? I feel like that should be enough. Fine. More. Her best movie? No, but I gave it a 9 to offset the mouth breathers (NO NUDITY--SUX)...but, while I feel it's not her best by a long shot, I doubt many others could have pulled off the premise and its attendant consequences. Bonus, John Carroll Lynch (look him up), veteran character actor, is asked for so much more in this film than I've seen asked of him before...and he delivers. There's an intense scene near the end...it's honestly worth the price of admission. Didn't know he had it in him. Watch it. You won't be disappointed.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

rest of the cast spectacularly dreary

7/10
Author: RavenGlamDVDCollector from South Africa
9 February 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

(wanted to give a 6, but the +1 is for Zoe Kazan's darling fringe)

The most voted-against review of the current 11 reviews opinionated that the trailer is better than the movie. Right on! Okay, I went into a video shop to check out what's new and saw the box of this one and was instantly smitten. Went home and downloaded trailer and waited for movie to go to bargain bin (how I collect original DVDs when it comes to new titles) and it took a while but finally, I am at the reviewing stage, two years after the cinematic release.

The first quadrant of the movie contains most of, shall I call it the trailer material? By the second quadrant you realize this has gone awry. Zoe Kazan is great, the rest really stink. Ron Livingston, go home, go get yourself a day job, studios won't call. Jack Johnson, oh please, only people who can enthuse about him are little ugly old blokes cheering vicariously to see an ugly little old bloke to get the girl. And that Frankie Shaw girl. Lackluster. Bleak send- her- home-tear-up-her-pay-cheque boo-to-the-moo... I'd better stop before I get cruel.

The third quadrant and it only gets worse.

I should now mention that I was having terrible thoughts about the actor playing the Dad, John Carroll Lynch. What a horrible casting selection, I seethed. But then it happened.

****************SPOILER ALERT**************

(kind of watered down)

It is all triggered by the word "porcupine" and I had a lump in my throat, oh that bear hug. Made it almost all worth while.

Almost...

The only thing, besides that golden moment, that this movie has got going for itself, is Zoe Kazan (who, by the way, was 30 THIRTY! years old, playing an early twentysomething, and who looks like a schoolkid to me) Zoe has (a) a darling fringe (I might have mentioned that already) and I just sigh "Carly Rae Jeppsen" and go d-uhh! (b) soulful big blue eyes that are truly, truly soulful, I mean go to a picture dictionary and look up "soulful big blue eyes" and there you have a pic of Zoe Kazan's eyes (c) nice legs too and (d) she is cute to the point where she is the epitome of cute, like huggable to death, so here's a big hearty "Boo!" to the reviewer who suggested she has a limited range of emotions, I wanted to vote against you too, you buffoon, but you did get one thing right... The trailer is better than the movie.

The first quadrant is true to the trailer and shows the premise of what could have been great. Zoe did a marvelous job as the two vastly different twin sisters. If I didn't know better, I'd have thought those were two actresses.

Nobody ever mourns Audrey. Or way too little. Laurel went to the funeral as if it was her own funeral. So, her sister, we the audience find out she had a fling with a married man, she is supposed to be not worth mourning over? I beg to differ, she showed compassion for Laurel and longed to help, and knew her own life was in disarray. She was a positive character. Basel was glaringly obviously a big big big bore (looks half-asleep the whole time) and the movie couple would have been doomed by the first reel of the sequel!

It really should stay in your mind as "I saw the trailer, wanted to see that..."

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Pretty Good 'Transgenerational' Rom-Com That Stays With You

7/10
Author: padres01 from United States
12 September 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I enjoyed "The Pretty One." Zoe Kazan is luminous and sweet as her own twin sister -- one frumpy and the other glamorous -- and she delivers a career-building performance in this film. For me, Jake Johnson was a revelation. I was unfamiliar with him and his work, and this film gave me the opportunity to enjoy his quirky leading man style. The two have great chemistry and worked the hell out of the roles they assumed. The film is a great transgenerational rom-com that allows older audiences to enjoy rising stars without crashing into a generation gap. The film pokes fun at itself and, as with just about any movie, you have to be willing to suspend belief and let the players take you on a journey.

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3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

I just want to rant about character BASEL

7/10
Author: Anne Lee from Costa Rica
3 September 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

***MAY CONTAIN SPOILER*** Why would he feel cheated when the real Amanda never gave him the time of the day and had always been a bitch to him??? He was in-love since the day they met??? Really?? Not when Lorelle started to be nice to him and decided to not kick him out of the apartment? I can get Lorelle falling for him because Lorelle do not know anyone in the world and he's like the first guy she met out of town. Anyway, I think it's an interesting plot for a movie and I think they've successfully told the story. Everything seem plausible and only flaw I find is that of this Basel guy who they try to portray as sensitive guy but actually annoying and not cute.

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4 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Though we are used to seeing twins swap places, how about a twin swapping places after one dies?

6/10
Author: Amari-Sali from https://wherever-i-look.com
10 June 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This was another film that premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival a year ago that I just couldn't get to. Which is unfortunate because it had Zoe Kazan in it, Jake Johnson, and even a small appearance from Danny Pudi. But, as with all Tribeca Film Festival movies, a year after you have likely forgotten about the movie, it randomly becomes available. Then you get to learn whether fate spared you spending $10+ or if you truly missed out on something great.

Characters & Story

In the film we are introduced to a set of twins comprised of Laurel and Audrey (Zoe Kazan) who are complete opposites. Laurel is the forgettable plain Jane who pretty much has yet do much in her 20+ years of life, besides baby her dad Frank (John Carroll Lynch) as if he was sickly. As for Audrey, she is the enviable twin. For despite looking the same, people find something about Audrey that makes her more beautiful than Laurel, more attractive than Laurel, and with Audrey's success, you can see a bit of jealousy.

So when Laurel and Audrey get into a car accident, and everyone goes to the hospital and assumes Laurel died, Laurel takes this opportunity to take on the life of Audrey. Leading us to watch as Laurel amazingly adjust rather quickly to Audrey's life, and while it is depressing for her how people talk about her after "she" dies, she finds solace in her moments with Basel (Jake Johnson). But with her assuming Audrey's life there comes the question if as she finds love, and even maybe friendship, is it because she is Laurel or because everyone thinks she is Audrey?

Praise

When it comes to this film I must say that I do believe that when New Girl wraps that Jake Johnson could have quite a career going for him. He has the same look and comic appeal of Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill, the slightly unkempt, borderline middle age guy, but with his characters not seemingly over obsessed with dick jokes, among other things, you can actually imagine this guy being attractive to a young lady, or sir if he ever does a movie like that. With that said, arguably he is the saving grace for the film. If just because he is the sole one who delivers energy to his role and has any sense of personality.

Criticism

Meanwhile the rest of the characters all seem two dimensional, even when dealing with Laurel's would-be death. I say this because everyone seems to really lack a personality, or any sense of energy. Kazan for example, as the boring twin Laurel, rarely ever shows off why she is the lead in this movie besides being cute. The story doesn't allow Laurel to find being Audrey overly complicated, and in fact she adapts to it rather quickly. Laurel also doesn't have a great emotional depth, and really while Lynch has his moments, even he seems like he is forcing himself to care in his scenes. Hence why Johnson is the sole person I praised. He truly to me was the only one who had any personality, even if it was the same one he has in the majority of his roles.

Overall: Skip It

The Pretty One feels like an underdone movie. The lack of energy and personality out of the majority of the cast made it so about halfway I was in the mindset of just not watching the rest. For while Johnson did help me push myself to watch till the end, it truly was a struggle. Hence why I'm labeling this a "Skip It" film. The actors may have shown up and did their lines, but with them doing so with 0 enthusiasm and with a story which gives you no reason to care about the characters or what they've been through, I don't see why you should waste your time.

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