Imogene (2012)

She has a lot to live up to. And a few things to live down.

Plot outline

A failed New York playwright awkwardly navigates the transition from Next Big Thing to Last Year's News.


A failed New York playwright awkwardly navigates the transition from Next Big Thing to Last Year's News. - Anonymous

Kristen Wiig stars as Imogene, a failed New York playwright awkwardly navigating the transition from Next Big Thing to Last Year's News. After both her career and relationship hit the skids, she's forced to make the humiliating move back home to New Jersey with her eccentric mother and younger brother (Annette Bening and Christopher Fitzgerald). Adding further insult to injury, there's a strange man sleeping in her old bedroom (Darren Criss) and an even stranger man sleeping in her mother's bed (Matt Dillon). Through it all, Imogene eventually realizes that as part of her rebuilding process she must finally come to love and accept both her family and her Jersey roots if she's ever going to be stable enough to get the hell away from them. - Roadside Attractions

Imogene Duncan once had so much promise as a budding playwright, years ago she having been awarded a prestigious grant to write a play. That opportunity failed to materialize a play let alone one that was to be produced as per the stipulations of the grant, but it at least got her away from her Ocean City, New Jersey, life, which she hated, to New York City. Also through that opportunity, she met her boyfriend, Peter Van Woodsen, and who ended up being her social circle, whose vacuous existence revolves around the outward appearance of perfection. Imogene's already fragile existence starts to fall apart in its entirety when Peter breaks up with her, about which she goes into denial, she loses their upscale apartment in the process, and she gets fired from her low end writing job for an arts magazine. Imogene's subsequent action in dealing with these issues leads to her, out of circumstance, having to live with her widowed, eccentric mother, Zelda Duncan, back in Ocean City, her mother with who she has purposefully not kept in touch to put that part of her life behind her and who she blames for her miserable growing up period. In the process of moving home with virtually nothing on her back, Imogene meets or gets reacquainted with the odd assortment of others in the house: her brother, Ralph Duncan, who has never grown up, his only interest in life being hermit crabs around which he's centered his business on the Ocean City boardwalk, past where he never ventures; George Bousche - "The Bousche" - Zelda's delusional boyfriend, a slacker who states he's undercover CIA, and is a time-traveling samurai; and Lee, Zelda's young boarder, a college graduate who works as a singer in a cheesy impersonation musical revue. As Imogene tries to get her New York life back in its entirety including getting back together with Peter, she discovers something that is only the latest issue to place a wedge between her and her mother: that her father, Maxwell Duncan, did not pass away as Zelda had said, but is alive, Imogene learning he an author living somewhere in New York City. If she can find and be reunited with her father, Imogene believes her life would be so much better than it has been with her mother. - Huggo