A rare dramatic turn from Anna Kendrick, Alice, Darling surprises with its nuanced, twitchy lead performance. Alice (Kendrick) chooses to lie to her emotionally abusive boyfriend Simon (Charlie Connick) over a cottage vacation with her two best friends, and the trip itself is a somewhat plotless study of both demeaned neurosis and the complexities of female friendship. Alice’s two friends both notice her behavior when her boyfriend texts, as his emotionally needy insults and manipulation bleed into what was supposed to be a peaceful outing; instead of a perfectly trauma-informed response to a friend’s destructive relationship, however, they argue. The three women are messy and realistic, from pushy Tess (Kaniehtiio Horn) to Sophie (Wunmi Mosaku), who initially asserts that the couple are both adults and that Alice would say if something were wrong. There is, of course, Alice, whose fraught partnership has slowly stripped her of any personality or interests. Alice spends most of her time posing for cleavage pics to sext, starving herself slowly, and generally bending to Simon’s whims. Though some of the clumsier group dynamics among the three women seem authentic, their interpersonal distance mirrors an equal emotional disengagement from the narrative. We’re told that these three have been best friends since childhood, but unlike with the couple’s relationship, we’re rarely shown this early on.
Published as part of InRO Weekly — Volume 1, Issue 3.