As Australia’s most prolific tweeter, for me and for many others, it’s hard these days to picture life without social media. We’re never really taught how to use social media and it’s often an unwritten rule of what is and isn’t acceptable. Ingrid Goes West is a comedy drama that really highlights these issues and pushes the boundary from follower to stalker.
Aubrey Plaza plays Ingrid Thorburn, a socially awkward woman with mental health issues who recently lost her mother. With no family or friends, Ingrid longs to connect with people and uses social media to seek friendship. After finding a social media influencer that Ingrid admires, Taylor Sloane played by Elizabeth Olsen, Ingrid decides to go west with the inheritance money she received from her mother to befriend Taylor. Thus, chaos ensues.
Aubrey Plaza is brilliant as Ingrid. You understand what Ingrid is doing isn’t right, but at the same time you don’t want her to be exposed. You want Ingrid to be happy as despite Ingrid going about things the wrong way, her intentions are pure. She just wants a friend and to be loved back. There are many moments in the film where you feel Ingrid is cured and is mentally improving, but then she goes back into the vicious cycle of negativity, loneliness and despair. Aubrey Plaza does an incredible job of showcasing Ingrid’s humility, desperation and vulnerability.
Ingrid Goes West really addresses the disconnect that is constant with the youth of today. Even though the story in the film is fictional, it is believable, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this has already happened to people in real life. I love social media. If not for social media, I would not have met my partner whom I met on Twitter 7 years ago. But there are many people that abuse the convenience of social media and use it for all the wrong reasons.
While the internet is great for meeting people, no relationship should be forced. Our self-worth should not be validated by how many followers and likes that we have. Admittedly, I too find myself sometimes desiring more followers, comments and likes, but I understand these are trivial things that do not define me as a person, nor should it define the film’s character, Ingrid. Ingrid Goes West reminds us look up from our phones, actively speak to others, and to remain our authentic selves. In conclusion, I highly recommend seeing this film as it mocks the perils of social media envy whilst still staying relevant.