Mistress America (2015) Poster

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4/10
Too Pretentious For Me
larrys320 December 2015
Over the years, I've liked some of Noah Baumbach's films, but not others, and this one I'm sorry to say was disappointing. Here, Baumbach directed and co-wrote the script with Greta Gerwig.

The underrated and most talented Gerwig also stars in the movie as Brooke, a free spirit who's leading a whirlwind of a life, with a myriad of part-time jobs but looking to close a deal on a new restaurant, in the Williamsburg section of NYC.

Lola Kirke co-stars here and gives a fine performance as Tracy, a first year college student at Barnard, aspiring to be a writer but having loads of problems fitting in on campus. Brooke and Tracy are slated to be step sisters when Brooke's father and Tracy's mother marry in the near future.

Thus, when Tracy, at the urging of her mother, calls Brooke and they meet for the first time in Manhattan, Tracy finds herself willingly caught up in the cyclone of Brooke's life. Tracy even finds herself using Brooke as inspiration for her short story that she submits to the prestigious Mobius Literary Society at her college.

All of this seems well and good, but for me the problem with the movie is in the dialogue, which often came across to me as mostly pretentious, whiny, and even mean-spirited at times. Thus, the characters that emerged were so shallow and self-absorbed that I mostly lost interest in what would happen to any of them. When that happens to me as I view a film, I start checking the time wondering when it will be finally over.

Overall, Gerwig and Kirke are solid here, with many actors in supporting roles adding much as well. However, as mentioned the occasional clever or humorous line was overshadowed by dialogue that came across to me as affected and pretentious, leading to surfacy and shallow characters.
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5/10
Welcome to New York
ThomasDrufke9 September 2015
I'm having a lot of trouble reviewing this film. On one hand, I really like all the actors, and even their performances, but I don't think this film really worked on all the levels it attempted to. Greta Gerwig is one of the top up and coming actresses working today, and i actually thought Lola Kirke did well in her first starring role. But the narrative never grabbed me like Noah Baumbach's other film Frances Ha did, also with Gerwig.

But the film is also not at all bad, in fact this may very well be the case of myself just not understanding what was intended with the script. It was just hard to buy into the premise when nothing is really set up at all. The film just pretty much jumps into the plot of Tracy and Brooke spending time together as they get to know each other before officially becoming step-sisters. Their relationship was interesting, but I didn't find it to be profound or anything like that. The latter half of the film takes place mainly in one area with close to 10 characters and it seemed to be way too dramatic and theatrical for a low budget story on a few relatively regular human beings.

It's unfortunate because the soundtrack and score are really quite good and seemed to fit for what they were going for at first, but the film just wasn't appealing enough for the score to really shine like it should have. I just feel like for a movie that is titled Mistress America, it should have been a more memorable outing. Sadly that's two Baumbach films this year that have been a bit of a letdown.

+Score/soundtrack

+Likable leads

-Why do I care about this story?

-Not much set up or payoff, to anything

5.5/10
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8/10
Mistress America: A surreal, strange, slice of life unlike any other
steven-leibson19 July 2015
Taking place in New York City about now, "Mistress America" focuses on the life of Tracy who is a freshman in college. She aspires to be a writer—easy to tell because she's aloof, detached, alone, and looking for friends. Her mom's getting remarried so Tracy has an older sister-to-be in Brooke, one of those cinematic forces of nature like a young Katherine Hepburn, perhaps. Brooke takes Tracy into her life of late-night concert performances, high-output spinning, fashion, finance, clandestine apartments, absent lovers, and a nascent restaurant business. In many ways, this is a buddy movie as Tracy learns fierce independence from Brooke, who she greatly admires.

Like all buddy movies, Tracy's and Brooke's relationship has ups and downs, complicated by the literary understory. Then the whirlwind pace goes surreal as the New Yorkers head to Greenwich, Connecticut in search of—something. We think it's one thing but it's not. I guess Greenwich, seat of the uber wealthy in the US financial arena, is actually a surreal place.

This is an intensely witty movie with a very chewy script handled ably by the very smart cast. Many call "Mistress America" a comedy but funny is clearly not this movie's main goal. To call it a "screwball comedy" is to not properly describe its intellect. The movie is saying something about envying the lives of others, which most of us do to one extent or another. It's a thoughtful movie, and it will be uncomfortable for some to watch if you, like Tracy, are not centered within your own mind and body. And after all, who is?

We saw this movie thanks to the San Jose Camera Cinema Club.
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Quick, witty, hugely entertaining
Red_Identity13 December 2015
For those who saw Frances Ha, the film's overall writing style and pacing will not be a surprise. Saying that however, it doesn't overdo the "cleverness" in the same way Frances Ha did, and overall it kind of works better. Greta Gerwig has never been better. She really steals every second of her screen time and is really just such a marvel to watch. She infuses her own acting style to this in a different way, so it doesn't really feel like any of her other characters. The whole cast here is aces, and it leads to such a great work from the entire ensemble at Mimi Rose's house. I definitely recommend this. It's fast and it's a marvel to watch the characters say the dialogue in such a fun, quick way.
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4/10
Uninteresting at least to me
bazookamouth-221-89809730 August 2018
I like Greta Gerwig. I didnt like her in this though. Her wife/husband partnership with the director Noah Baumbach the movies are a little hit and miss and this one was a miss. The endless relentless uninteresting dialogue just did my head in. The mansion scene seemed to go on for eternity. Generally most of the characters were unlikeable. Oh Lola character mom (Kathyrn Erbe) seemed nice. Kinda similar vein to Woody Allen movie without the star names. Greta is a better actress than what she had to work with in this movie. Anyway I wouldnt recommend this one. One plus is that it is short (84 minutes). Another plus point the use of a song I hadnt heard for a while, OMD Souvenoir.
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5/10
Mistress America is a missed opportunity...
rossmcfarlen25 August 2015
Saw this today after seeing many 5 star reviews in many publications and billboards here in London. To say I'm disappointed would be to employ gross understatement.

The premise is interesting and creates big expectations from the outset (two young women - one has hit 30 and the other is a English Lit freshman at a NY university form an unlikely friendship when they are on the verge of becoming step-sisters when their respective divorced parent arrange to get married to each other).

This is the kind of screenplay Woody Allen could write in his sleep; but where Allen would exhaust the budding friendship of all its possibilities for humour, melancholy & therapy, Baumbach chooses instead to write an overly arch and self-conscious piece where all the characters seem to be on the same page in the same tribe with all involved being too cool and too smart for school; with all spouting dialogue that is too self-conscious for its own good. I would feel profoundly alienated in the company of these people in real life, where by contrast the characters in Wood Allen films always seem like friends I haven't met yet.

The whole story seems to be overy-worked, contrived, and reaching levels of shallowness I haven't witnessed for a long time. None of the characters are remotely warm or likable and by the end I didn't care what happened to Brooke or Tracy and their budding friendship.

Had Baumbach managed to get Wood Allen's involvement (as editor/collaborator) this could have been a highly humorous (I didn't laugh once and found a lot of the dialogue inaudible and localized for my understanding - Woody Allen never makes this mistake, his films are universal in their appeal even though they're set in the navel-gazing, therapy obsessed New York, there's a wonderful warmth and humour in his films which is just not present in 'Mistress America'.)

And as for the synth pop soundtrack it just seemed completely out of sync with the story and the main protagonists. I can't imagine either young female listening to synth pop composed in the 1980s - like OMD's 'Souvenir'. Play it once fine but repeat it later in the soundtrack sounds like 'clutching at straws' tactics to my ears.

On the plus side Greta Gerwhig clearly is a leading lady and I hope one day I see her again in a film that really showcases her talent. She reminds me of many other actresses like: Kate Winslet, Gwyneth Paltrow and would you believe Maria Sharapova?

She's like a hybrid of all these women and yet has her own unique presence and look - not to mention having a passing resemblance to a younger Catherine Deneuve? Has a bright future in film but the crazy character she plays in Mistress America doesn't flatter her beauty or talent very much.
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9/10
Excellent acting and excellent writing make this an excellent film
aa363621 December 2015
There are several reasons why Mistress America may be considered a wonderful movie. It doesn't take itself too seriously, and has a very sophisticated sense of humour. The main actors all have exaggerated characters that always behave in certain ways (kind of like the cast in The Office) -- and the actors play these roles to perfection.

The writing and delivery of dialogue in the climax of the film is particularly amazing, with fast, witty exchanges filled with little jokes. Yet, the movie vacillates from hilarity to melancholy without warning the viewer, which makes the film all the more special.

The depiction of and commentary on NYC, youth, etc. is all spot on, making this movie worth the watch.

Finally, the soundtrack is excellent too, giving the movie a very alt/indie feel.

Many negative reviewers sadly fail to appreciate the sophisticated writing and humour, along with the truly wonderful job that the lead actors have done in this unpretentious flick.
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Simple but simply charming
Gordon-1117 December 2015
This film tells the story of two young women who will become step sisters after their parents' marriage. They meet and bond quickly, and they go through life events in quick succession in the space of a few weeks.

"Mistress America" is a simple film that is dependent on dialogue and interesting characters. The quick pace and rapid fire dialogues remind me of Woody Allen films, and I think in here the dialogues are really good as they give the main characters distinct personalities. Brooke is very creative, bubbly, quirky but likable. Even the supporting characters are special, such as the jealous girlfriend and the rich woman who steals Brooke's ideas. There is so much going on in the film, even in the first ten minutes I thought I have already watched for much longer because so much has happened. I really enjoyed this charming film.
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8/10
Baumbach and Gerwig find a new way into the '20-something in New York' story
Movie_Muse_Reviews12 September 2016
Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig are at it again, "it" being what it means to be a 20- something in New York City. In "Mistress America," however, the lens and perspective shifts away from the character you'd expect a movie like to this to intimately follow (Gerwig's interesting, ambitious, never-boring Brooke) and instead observes her from an outsider's perspective (Tracy, played by Lola Kirke).

Tracy is instead the main character, a Barnard freshman studying literature and writing, trying to make her way through that formidable (and familiar) landscape. Inspiration strikes, however, when she meets Brooke, her future step-sister. Brooke is around 30, and she's been through the grinder both personally and professionally. She is an innovator who always has big ideas, and Tracy uses her life as the basis of a short story that she hopes will get her into the school's prestigious lit magazine.

Things get particularly interesting when Brooke finds herself locked out of her apartment one day and learns that her boyfriend has pulled all his financial support out of a restaurant they were just about to open together and she seeks a psychic for advice on where to turn next.

Through this blossoming relationship between Tracy and Brooke we observe the typical indie film "portrait of a Millennial" in a way that both mythologizes it (evidenced by Tracy's story/perception of Brooke) and makes it hit home. Brooke is quirky and her life is a melodrama, but it also feels very real. Baumbach and Gerwig's previous collaboration, "Frances Ha," also struck this seemingly contradictory chord of authenticity and whimsy. When there is a dissonance, it's softened by the knowledge that there's such emotional truth at the core of what they're doing.

Another way of putting it is that Baumbach and Gerwig aren't so interested in plot points and what happens. At less than 90 minutes, this movie about a relationship between a younger and older 20-something is not trying to show you something you've never seen before. What they do care about is the trajectory of the relationships between characters. It's hard not to see a piece of yourself in the characters, especially if you're of a similar age, and that holds our attention enough that "Mistress America" doesn't fall apart, even when it's not especially compelling.

"Mistress America" also tends to be be philosophical and angsty. The level of intellectual conversation is to a degree that rarely happens in real life, let alone in these perfect scene-length snippets, but again, like other parts of the film that gravitate closer to being over-the-top, the creative choice to lean that way comes from a strong and earnest desire to explore very relevant themes and ideas.

Frankly, Baumbach and Gerwig could tell a hundred different stories about coming of age in your 20s or 30s in a big city and I'd watch (especially at such a reasonable runtime). But even if you don't think you could, the effort they make to explore a unique "relationship" between two women in "Mistress America" and cast light on this familiar film from a new angle makes this particularly story worthwhile.

~Steven C

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2/10
I almost smiled once
jrgibson-5193126 July 2019
An old style screwball comedy or a modern I Love Lucy? yes, but without the laughs. I find the rave reviews puzzling - a bunch of shouting PC feminists who swear a lot may appear trendy and right-on but I found this film tedious, despite a relatively short running time. If I want to watch a screwball comedy, I shall watch a real one and not a modern pretentious PC feminist lecture.
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4/10
Mediocre and forgettable coming of age drama
smspencer6920 August 2015
Tracy is a freshman student with no friends and a superiority complex (do we have a correlation here?), who's disillusioned that her lack of popularity isn't suddenly transformed when she moves to New York and starts college. It obviously didn't occur to her that wherever she goes she'll still be herself. It is also a rude awakening for her to find that once at college her assumed genius does not set her above those around her now she's in a more competitive peer group - in short she's not only dull but decidedly average as well.

Feeling particularly low she latches on to her "older" step sister to be Lola, a Bohemian human twitter feed who sprouts a constant diatribe about anything and everything, has no discernible talent, who seems to think her "popularity" will somehow equate to success, and yet somehow has made it to 30 without having to face the reality that it won't.

Of course Tracy recognises that Lola is a long overdue car crash waiting to happen but cynically hops on for the ride as a source of material for her writing. So both physically and metaphorically they set off on a journey that allows Lola to realise her short-comings forces for Tracy's to hold up a mirror to her own life, though neither seem to do much with this new found self-knowledge.

Because college students in films are invariable played by actresses and actors in their mid-20's the actual age gap between the "sisters" is somewhat less than it's supposed to be so the pair look more like contemporaries than big and little sister which gives an air of unbelievably to their relationship. Not a lot happens in the film, there's no great character arcs, both the characters and dialogue are unbelievable - it comes across as a pseudo-sophisticated Woody Allen stage play that's inexplicably been put on the big screen. It's not terrible, there are some laughs, but like Tracy it comes across as both mediocre and ultimately forgettable. At least at less than 90 minutes it's short enough not to overstay it's welcome. Perhaps it will say more to Americans or more specifically New Yorkers, given the importance of the location to the narrative.
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"Mistress" Misses
jacobcornblatt21 August 2015
I'm a big Noah Baumbach fan. He is completely able to come up with clever, simple, original ideas and make a usually great movie out of them; but to my dismay, Baumbach's "Mistress America" is a bit of a miss.

The story was very nice, but the writing's cheap/obvious execution ruins it. There is a famous saying that originates from Anton Chekhov that is commonly used in film schools: "show don't tell." This picture breaks that simple saying in almost all of its lines, as characters will just randomly blurt out how they feel - all while keeping a neutral look on their face.

Baumbach has also made a living out of his quick wit and intellectual humor, but unfortunately in "Mistress America," he decided to throw intellect out the window.

There are a few redeeming factors: its Woody Allen-esque use of camera-work, fitting choice of music, and easy to like characters.

Though it doesn't live up to his previous films, "Mistress America" should be watched by Baumbach fans. If you don't like him, you won't like this; and if you haven't seen his other work, I recommend you watch that instead.
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7/10
Noah Baumbach Tries Screwball Comedy with Mixed Results
evanston_dad13 February 2016
A refreshing, if not entirely successful, change of pace for Noah Baumbach. Leaving behind the upper-crust east coast neurotics that pepper his other movies and make them sometimes intolerable, he focuses instead on the relationship between a young woman (Lola Kirke) and her soon-to-be sister-in-law (Greta Gerwig), a freewheeling spirit who the young girl takes on as a life mentor.

"Mistress of America" feels very honest in its exploration of the thorniness that comes with admiration. Kirke looks to Gerwig as a kind of role model, but she also begins to realize that those we emulate are not infallible, and what we sometimes learn from them is how not to be. This lesson comes to Kirke at the expense of her relationship with Gerwig, and they have the predictable falling out, but the movie ends in a place that feels right. Just because we acknowledge that role models aren't perfect doesn't mean they can't still be role models.

Baumbach shoots for a zany screwball tone in "Mistress America" that doesn't really fit his talents. The strain is most noticeable in an extended scene set in the vast home of one of Gerwig's friends. I wanted to think it was funny, but mostly it just felt forced. But I'll take Baumbach's attempts at comedy, even if uneven, over the unbearable whiners in, say, "Margot at the Wedding," any day.

Grade: B+
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4/10
Souvenir
Prismark1014 July 2016
Mistress America is supposedly a quirky homage to screwball comedies from director Noah Baumbach. I think he should had taken advise from Peter Bogdanovich as to how to make modern screwball comedies.

Tracy (Lola Kirke) is a misfit college freshman at a small university in New York where she is a little lonely and lost. She starts to hang out with her 30 year old step sister to be the malevolent Brooke (Greta Gerwig). Brooke's father is due to marry Tracy's mother.

Tracy at first becomes captivated by Brooke's creativity, worldliness and carefree lifestyle. Brooke is angry that her previous creative ideas have been stolen and desires to open a restaurant but requires investors when her Greek boyfriend bales out. As explored in Baumbach's previous film 'When we're Young' the younger Tracy soon leeches from the older Brooke as she pilfers elements of Brooke's life for a short story.

The film feels to much like a stage play, they literally do stand around as if they were on stage. They even deliver lines like the audience were in the same auditorium. The more people and talk over each other the film comes across as dull.

If they did not mention things like Twitter and Google, I could swear the film was set in the 1980s as the soundtrack consists of 1980s mainly British synth music. Songs by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark turn up a few times.

The film is in a minor key. It weaves from being smart and sassy to being just dull. At the end the younger Tracy realises that the older Brooke is destined for failure as she cannot follow up on her creativity. Tracy feels smug about it.
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1/10
Like a high school stage play... AWFUL
mdreser444 September 2015
It may seem odd, but I did like the actors, just not their parts. Most of them seemed miscast. But I did like them, and I wish them well. The director, I think, brought in too much swishing, swooshing movement and there was too much pseudo-sophisticated hyper-talk, which made the actors all seem amateurish. The story-line was so subtle, I never did get it, unless it was about lost,lonely souls living in New York, where everyone seems lost and lonely anyway. The characters were implausible (does anyone act like that in real life?). NONE of it seemed like real life. This truly did seem like a high school stage play with kids trying to put on a 'sophisticated' production. I actually wanted to get up and leave after about 20 minutes, but my spouse wouldn't let me because we'd already paid for it. The one thing that seemed true about it was that I really did feel everyone's pain. And that was due to the acting.
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9/10
The film is classic Noah Baumbach; who's becoming one of my favorite filmmakers!
Hellmant22 January 2016
'MISTRESS America': Four and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

Acclaimed indie filmmaker Noah Baumbach, reteams with actress Greta Gerwig (for the third time); to make this hilarious, but very sweet, quirky comedy flick! The film was directed by Baumbach, written by Baumbach and Gerwig, and it costars Gerwig and actress Lola Kirke (of 'MOZART IN THE JUNGLE' fame). The movie tells the story of a depressed college freshman, who finds new inspiration for life; when she meets her 'soon-to-be' stepsister. The film is classic Noah Baumbach; who's becoming one of my favorite filmmakers!

Tracy Fishko (Kirke) just started her freshman year, at Barnard College; and she's having trouble fitting in. She develops a crush on another student, named Tony (Matthew Shear); but he begins dating another girl instead, named Nicolette (Jasmine Cephas Jones). Tracy's mother (Kathryn Erbe) is about to be married, and she advises Tracy to meet her fiancé's daughter, Brooke (Gerwig). Brooke is full-of-life, and she inspires Tracy, in ways she's never experienced before. So Tracy writes a fictional short story, influenced by Brooke, and she begins spending a lot more time, with her 'soon-to-be stepsister' (as well).

The movie is brilliantly written, and beautifully directed! The characters are extremely likable, and quirky, and the dialogue is all very witty, and fun too (there's so many classic, quotable lines; all through the movie)! The film is also really inspiring, hilariously funny, and it has a great (nostalgic) 80s feel to it, as well. I absolutely love it, and Noah Baumbach!

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7/10
In love with ...
kosmasp1 April 2019
America ... does she talk a lot? Is this going to be political? Well not really, and especially not as charged as anything you could say right now (2019), where no matter what side you prefer (Dems/Rep), you will likely not hear the others out. So let's leave that behind and maybe when you are reading this, it won't play a role anymore anyway ... let's hope so.

Let's take this for what it is. A movie where people talk a lot, make a lot of snarky (funny to some) comments about society, about themselves about relationships about so many other things regarding life ... Now if that sounds like something you have seen one of the leading ladies (Greta) in it - you are not off at all. That is her thing though in this case, there is someone else who plays the very main character. The characters may do stuff that may feel wrong (because they are morally speaking), depending on how much you care also - hopefully that won't muddle the experience for you. Because this is more than decent enough if you like dramas ...
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4/10
Confusing
benibn17 February 2018
Confusing is the word. You can't see a red tread through the movie, but I like the "company of the young Yorkers".
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8/10
Very funny
zetes5 January 2016
Lola Kirke stars as a college freshman in NYC who feels, as many an 18 year-old, superior to all other people her age, and thus very lonely. Her mother suggests that she get to know her soon-to-be step-sister (Greta Gerwig), who also lives in the city. About 30 (though always claiming to be in her 20s), Gerwig immediately comes across to the audience as a huge phony - but to an 18 year-old, she seems like a wise, worldly woman and Kirke latches onto her immediately. As a film about a couple of phonies, yeah, the targets sometimes seem too easy here. However, both Kirke and Gerwig are so likable that it's easy to see past their terribleness. Deep down, they are flawed people, and you want them to overcome those flaws. It also helps that Gerwig is absolutely hilarious. This isn't nearly the classic that her last collaboration with Baumbach was (like Frances Ha, she co-wrote the film), but it's good and a heck of a lot better than Baumbach's last film, While We're Young.
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7/10
Another Baumbach Life Lesson
ferguson-627 August 2015
Greetings again from the darkness. Writer/director Noah Baumbach has quite the track record of human nature commentary with his films: The Squid and the Whale (2005), Greenberg (2010), and Frances Ha (2012). The conversations he writes on the page are somehow at once both realistic and stagey when they reach the big screen. It's like his characters speak the way we think, rather than the way we actually talk outloud … and this makes for some awkward scenes. Awkward, but no less insightful.

Mr. Baumbach's real life partner, co-writer and lead actress Greta Gerwig stars as Brooke, an eternally optimistic just-turned-30 New Yorker who is never without a new idea, but unfortunately lacks the follow-through gene. Prior to meeting Brooke, we are introduced to her soon-to-be step-sister Tracy (Lola Kirke, who was so memorable in Gone Girl). Tracy is a misfit college freshman who quickly latches on to the much more exciting life of Brooke, and sees her as a combination mentor and limitless source of material for her short stories.

The first part of the film allows us to get a real feel for both Tracy and Brooke, but it's the change of pace that occurs when the setting hits a house in the wealthy area of Connecticut that is most startling. This portion is a modern day screwball comedy in the mold of Hawks and Sturges. The conversation cadence throughout the film is offbeat, but it's here that the rat-a-tat-tat dialogue pacing really pushes the viewer to keep up. Some of the funniest lines aren't the dominant ones in a scene, forcing us to juggle overlapping characters and sub-plots. It's really quite fun … and showcases some nice support work from Michael Chernus, Heather Lind, Matthew Shear and Jasmine Cephas Jones.

Even the "slower" first segment has some stellar writing including an explanation of "X" in Algebra tutoring, and a college freshman coming to grips with what makes a writer (it's not the looks). Baumbach and Gerwig have a knack for creating whiny people who talk (incessantly) their way through the process of assembling pieces of the universe. Some might call this the painful process of maturity, but it seems to also include learning the difference between acting happy, real happiness, and acceptance of one's life.
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8/10
A sudden sparkling change in a moody life.
Reno-Rangan4 April 2016
The second collaboration between the director and Greta Gerwig. I just love their works, together they write awesome story and create a cinematic magic. Kind of rare filmmakers, only a very few from the past to compare these two to them. It was another quirky comedy, especially if you liked 'Frances Ha' you would like this as well. I hope they would come for the third time to complete 'An Untalented Girl from NYC' trilogy.

It was not as good as the previous film, but nothing short of awesome entertainment. I am surprised a few of those who liked that movie did not favour it. I knew it would be a chick comedy, accordingly, I was not expecting beyond that. But like all the time when I decide to watch a movie, I wanted it to be a better entertainer than the one I saw in the earlier. That's what everyone do, it was like the sea tides, the rise and fall is inevitable. Some would like it and some won't, but to me it was a very good.

Unlike 'Frances Ha', here there are two lead characters, both are young adult women, but the entire narration was from one person's perspective. That is, a college freshman Tracy. How her life follows, especially after meeting a girl who's soon-to-be her step-sister. As in a new place and socially inept, she finds her way to be joyous and adventurous, meets some new people and makes them friends. But how long this unplanned pleasure remains with her and what are all changes makes to her rest of the life is the remaining movie.

"I am so impressed by you and so worried for you at the same time."

It was a simple and soft narration, but engaging characters and well paced with a chain of fine comedies. Apart from writing and direction, the supporting cast was the best feature. It was a tiny twist at the end, but extremely essential to break the steady sequence to bring a diversion. Since that part, I have been wondering about the conclusion, but the makeover was really excellent, I think it was touching yet as I expected.

This is Lola Kirke's major role I've seen. She was fantastic and I hope to see her in more films in the lead. It was one of the best on- screen chemistry between her and Greta. There were many beautiful lines spoken between these two, very memorable and quotable ones. With all these top quality, if one still don't like, then he must be bored of watching plenty of similar themes. But that should not be a reason to trash it, because that is his personal issue to deal who's dumping on this one is totally unfair.

This movie was unique, fun, touching, heartbreaking, likable characters, filled with cheerful moments and overall one of the best recent films I have seen. It was more like a friendship movie on trust and commitment. The portrayal was at its best, an example of how a life can turn around in a matter of time. But how much more trustworthy is this sudden change and the best uses of it was the movie that told very nicely. I won't say it is a must see, but personally I feel that way.

8/10
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7/10
Another Fine Effort by Noah!
namashi_115 November 2015
After delivering a Masterpiece with 'While We're Young', Noah Baumbach returns with a yet another winner in 'Mistress America'. This one's a fine comedy, with stellar performances!

'Mistress America' Synopsis: A lonely college freshman's life is turned upside down by her impetuous, adventurous soon-to-be stepsister.

'Mistress America' is finely written & directed by Noah. Its interesting to see two women from different generations collide & express their vulnerabilities. I was engrossed & the verbosity fits in correctly. However, Noah's Writing could've ended on a stronger note. I wasn't pleased by the final-act of its Screenplay, it kinda loosens the impact & hence, I rate this comedy among Noah's better efforts, but certainly not his best. Noah's Direction is super, as always.

'Mistress America' has amazing performances all around. Greta Gerwig is masterful. She delivers a knockout performance as the unlikable yet irresistible force of the narrative. Lola Kirke is a find. She's simply brilliant in her breakout role, portraying the flawed protagonist, with absolute flourish. Of the supporting case, Michael Chernus's turn as the filthy millionaire, is a particular stand out.

On the whole, 'Mistress America' has a few faults, but its still worth watching.
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9/10
Another bull's eye for Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig
paul-allaer10 September 2015
"Mistress America" (2015 release; 84 min.) brings the story of Brooke (played by Greta Gerwig) and Tracy (played by Lola Kirke), whose respective dad and mom are about to marry, making them 'sisters-to-be'. As the movie opens, we see Tracy starting college, and not adjusting very well. After some urging from here mom, Tracy finally connects with Brooke, a 30 yr. old single woman who seemingly has it all, or at least a whole lot. Her latest venture is to start a 'neighborhood restaurant' that combines eating, clothes-shopping and hanging out, but Brooke needs investors to put up the start-up funds. At this point we're not even 15 min. into the movie but to tell you more would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: a couple of years ago, Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig teamed up for a comedy-drama called "Frances Ha", which I thought was one of the very best movies of that year. Baumbach and Gerwig (also partners in real life) now come back with a new slice of life in New York. Baumbach and Gerwig co-wrote the film, with Baunbach also directing and of course Gerwig in the lead role. As you see some of the scenes, you cannot help but think back how this team reminds you of the Woody Allen-Diane Keaton screwball comedies from the 1970s. Same type of vibe, and so easy to watch and enjoy. But wait! there is so much more! Lola Kirke as the 18 yr. old Tracy is nothing short of a revelation, and she almost (but just not quite) steals the movie from Gerwig. (Tidbit of trivia: Lola Kirke is the daughter of Simon Kirke, the erstwhile drummer in Bad Company, and Free before that.) The interaction between Gerwig and Krike is what carries this movie into excellence (Tracy, commenting to Brooke: "I am so impressed, and so worried, by you.) The writing is crisp, and being at just under an hour and a half, the movie flies by in no time. Frankly, I was not ready to say goodbye to these characters! Please note that the music is top notch, both the musical score from Dean & Britta, as well as the song placements throughout the movie.

The movie finally opened this past weekend, and I couldn't wait to check it out. The early evening screening where I saw this at was attended nicely, although I had expected an even larger crowd, to be honest. IF you liked "Frances Ha", you absolutely will love this one too. For those that didn't see "Frances Ha" and/or are on the fence about checking out "Mistress America", I would strongly encourage you to take a chance on this. I think that more likely than not, you will come away from this with a smile on your face. "Mistress America" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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8/10
Hilarious Screwball Comedy
matthewssilverhammer11 September 2015
Not many people have the hutzpah to release two films in one year, let alone two decent ones. Writer / director Baumbach, whose previous 2015 film While We're Young was a nice little comedy surprise, has done it with the release of Mistress America. Still very much focused on his obsession in aging, we are given an expansion of his fixation, encouraging aging somewhat cautiously but never terrified. Even MA's frazzled focus and hipster tendencies only help to propel the fantastically recognizable humor and assured tone that abounds. That comedy and spirit extend from a pair of soon-to-be step-sisters navigating college, career and friendship within the frantic walls of NYC. The movie's unique rhythm takes a minute to fall into, as the dialogue has one foot in funny naturalism and one in surreal absurdity. However, once you find its groove, the jokes are so shockingly consistent you end up holding back laughs in order to catch everything within its rapid-fire screwball discourse. Underneath its quick repartee, Baumbach manages to say so much with so little, showing a cracked phone screen or nonchalantly passing a couple holding hands to portray little character details. Those characters are wonderfully colorful, Gerwig and Kirke managing anxiety, authenticity, and charm in equal measures. The internal angst of humans is a recurring motif for Baumbach, a clear descendant of Woody Allen. These people and their speech are so literary it could maybe annoy, but it so worked on me I could've spent this entire review just writing down one-liners that I loved. If you're looking for dry yet warm character-and-dialogue-driven comedy, don't miss Mistress America.
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7/10
some funny
SnoopyStyle25 May 2017
Tracy (Lola Kirke) is a college literature freshman eager to be in New York. However, she is unable to connect anywhere. She fails to get into the literary society. Tony is her only new friend who also failed to get in. Then he starts dating the possessive Nicolette. Tracy's mother suggests meeting her future step-sister Brooke (Greta Gerwig). Brooke is a self-obsessed over-confident thirty year old pushing to open her own restaurant. Tracy is completely taken and inspired to write a short story based on her.

There are some funny stuff as Greta Gerwig goes over the top with her character. It has some poignancy with Lola Kirke until the climatic confrontation. It goes over into farce for a second. Noah Baumbach has the movie building up to a compelling fun emotional resolution. He pushes a little too hard. There needs to be more variation to the characters' reaction. They need to voice their own complaints about Tracy. It also wouldn't hurt if Karen and Harold don't care while talking about themselves. The scene is wrong but it could have been hilarious. Otherwise, there are some good fun laughs to be had.
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