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

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12 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

A heartfelt and beautiful film

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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10 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

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

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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6 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Once I Accepted the Premise the Movie Grew On Me

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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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

I just want to rant about character BASEL

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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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

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

Author: Amari-Sali from
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?


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.


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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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Not your average "rom-com".

Author: stewgb88 from United States
18 October 2014

Not your average "rom-com". I respect that the director made an attempt to steer her image in a different direction. It was awkward at times, but thats not necessarily a bad thing considering Zoe Kazan acts it out well. If I could I would rate it 6.5, but I cannot and I thought that it deserved more credit than a 6. I am personally in love with Kazan so maybe I am being lenient on the movie, but come on how can you not love Ruby Sparks Overall the movie could be a bit weird at times and the concept is hard to wrap your mind around considering she is impersonating her dead sister, but if you don't fall in love with Kazan and Johnson than you should probably go back to watching your Nicolas Sparks films.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

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

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:

don't bother with this one

Author: dzianakisliuk
4 July 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

so let me start off by saying this movie is not worth your time, you might think oh it looks cute, but I assure you its not, its a really sad story of a girl finding herself, and how does she do that? through a guy! and let me just say that after her sister died she didn't seem to care at all... and this is the same sister she seemed to look up to. the writing was also pretty bad I mean they actually had the line "well, I never" . I mean the only good thing about this movie is Jake Jhonson's acting and, I mean I can see why Zoe Kazan isn't a famous actress her sad, scared, confused, or really anything but happy looks the same. and don't get me started on the soundtrack this movie had, just take my advice and go watch something else because the trailer is better than the movie itself

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Boring..not worth the time

Author: Charu Suryavanshi from Mumbai
12 October 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In the vein of other movies listed like The Spectacular Now etc, this movie certainly came out as a very disappointing watch. The desperation of old Laurel does not justifies her character identity crisis. Actually it was barely a desperation, it just took her one hair cut to change to pretty? Why she didn't do it all along? The title of the Movie just dissociates the sad, disoriented streak of thoughts looming large over the movie, which is not even justifiable? The character of Laurel(the ugly sister) languishes weakly in random events (Read kisses]); even after caring for her dad for so long, she fails to react in a sensible manner after 1st funeral while she is actually portrayed as the sensitive one in the early Pretty vs Ugly contrast(Isn't she supposed to know he is too grieving for death of daughter to speak, it's not like she had seen him being a forthcoming guy), her awkwardness in the later part is consistent with her old self but way too less to make up for the earnest desperation shown in meeting the old boyfriend, making a new one.. The story line just moves around a disturbed 20 something woman who is so desperate for a guy almost at all points of time.

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0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Is it you?

Author: kosmasp
26 November 2014

It's kind tough to say that, unless you are talking about the beauty inside of course. Talking about deciding the pretty one in twins that is. In this case it seems to be important who is who. The main actress does a great job conveying two different characters and "playing" both parts sort of. The inciting incident happens quite early, so most of you will already know why it's going to be tough for one of them to live their life in the "shadow" of the other.

Being in someone else's shoes or just trying to imagine how that would be like is different. You might think that someone else's life is easy and great, but you never know until you experience it. Though if you do the deceiving factor might be that big, that there is no escape from that. Nice drama with good actors then

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