Starring: Bel Powley, Nathan Lane, Gabriel Byrne
Director: Susan Johnson
Running Time: 98 mins
Carrie Pilby is an American film about a young woman who tries to make sense of the world around her, as she wrestles with her own past traumas and her seemingly different outlook on life to those around her.
Quirky, offbeat comedies are all the rage nowadays, but it’s also common to see films use the style of ‘quirkiness’ as little more than a superficial cover for what is otherwise a rather boring story. And that’s sadly the case with Carrie Pilby, a film that tries too hard to be offbeat, and actually does little to bring real emotional intrigue to the table.
While the film isn’t so out-there as to be completely unrelatable, there’s something about it that’s very difficult to connect with, and it’s not the fact that its main character finds the rest of the world around her difficult to connect with.
At its heart, the story that Carrie Pilby is trying to tell is a very valid one, following a young woman as she navigates a world where everybody else seems to be focused on and interested in the same things, while she just can’t see their way of looking at things.
However, the film does very little to really get to the crux of why people feel like that. It’s a common sentiment that I’m sure everyone can relate to in some way or other, but in its efforts to be quirky and offbeat, Carrie Pilby manages to restrict what is a fairly universal sentiment into something a whole lot less relatable.
Apart from diving into the character’s own backstory and how she became a slightly more removed young woman, the film’s screenplay is really rather thin on depth, proving a disappointingly superficial exercise in examining a unique way of looking at the world.
Lead actress Bel Powley is perfectly likable, and despite a distractingly confused accent, her performance is one of the stronger elements of the film. However, her character is nowhere near as likable or interesting as the film needs her to be, and that really works against the movie’s emotional depth.
Overall, I was really disappointed by Carrie Pilby. An offbeat comedy that tries way too hard to be offbeat, the film is a frustratingly superficial watch throughout, never really getting to the crux of what is at heart a rather interesting theme of focus. So, that’s why I’m giving it a 5.8.