Movie Reviews

Ingrid Goes West Review: Smart Cautionary Tale

Ingrid Goes West Review: Smart Cautionary Tale

Millennials are often accused of being lazy, self-entitled, and obsessed with their cellphones. This assumption isn’t hard to make once you see some dude cement his head inside a microwave, which is just among other things that millennials do on YouTube do to make money off of views.

If you’re waiting for someone to finally make a send-up for these kids, you can finally laugh with the rest of the baby boomers.

Ingrid Goes West is Single White Female with Instagram. The script doesn’t shy away from bitter truths and cringe humor, portraying a social media enabled stalker nipping at the heels of an Instagram influencer.

There’s a lot of deadpan comedy here that’s right in the wheelhouse of Aubrey Plaza that you’ll laugh and feel sorry for her at the same time. Ingrid does everything to build a friendship with Taylor, including buying one of her husband’s tacky bare minimum effort art for $1200, whose “style” is bold capitalized hashtags painted on cheap generic paintings. Little did she know that they’re both fooling each other – a fake identity trying to appease a fake persona.

Aubrey Plaza is great as the unhinged Ingrid. Elizabeth Olsen is a perfect fit for a Boho chic Instagrammer. The rest of the cast adds an amusing mix of characters who get sucked into the world of these two, and not exactly for the better.

While it will make you wary of what picture you’re gonna post on Instagram, the movie makes one-sided jabs at millennials. It doesn’t go beyond LA stereotypes with plot convenient caricatures. There’s an interesting parallel here – both Ingrid and Taylor are living vicariously through an idealized image – but the movie doesn’t offer a nuanced perspective from each side.

Nonetheless, Ingrid Goes West is a smart funny satire that accurately portrays the vapidness of social media.

A lot of people readily divulge their personal information on its many platforms, which is littered with curated personas. It’s easy to fall for your own hype, even though it’s actually built on flimsy virtual connections. These engagements can provide instant validation and attention, to the point that some people will do anything for views.

In the end, Ingrid may have learned a thing or two by being honest for once but in a world that’s one app away, her journey might as well be a lesson for improvement rather than a cautionary tale.

Ingrid Goes West warns us against social media stalkers and drinking somebody else’s Kool-Aid, but its most potent lesson of all is that at the end of the day, you’re still interfacing with a screen where the truth can be hidden behind staged filtered images.

Ingrid Goes West


Ingrid Goes West is a smart cautionary tale that skewers millennial cliches to deliver an incisive commentary on social media and satire of influencers.

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