By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
Despite a star turn from Anna Kendrick, the psychological drama "Alice, Darling,"
from Mary Nighy
(TV's "Industry" and "Traces"), leaves a lot to be desired.
For a story about emotional and mental abuse, it's not nearly as powerful as it should be.
In the movie, Kendrick plays Alice, a young woman who lives with her narcissistic and insecure boyfriend, Simon (Charlie Carrick, "The Wolf and the Lion"). He's a budding art dealer whose exhibits don't attract many people and they haven't made much money. Yet, Alice constantly strokes his ego and tells him how talented and great he is. Deep down, you can see she's tired of the whole act and is merely going through the motions with Simon.
Alice's best friends, Sophie (Wunmi Mosaku, TV's "Loki" and "Lovecraft Country") and Tess (Kaniehtiio Horn, TV's "Rutherford Falls") know that something isn't right between her and Simon. They suggest she go with them on a mini vacation to a lakefront property and have fun and just chill.
Alice has to lie to Simon about where she's going. He's such a clingy person. Without her around to keep in check, he feels lost. What a loser.
Alice claims to love him, but really, it's a loveless relationship. Even when Alice is out with her friends, she can't be herself and be happy. Simon really has a hold on her physically and psychologically.
Although her friends are trying to intervene for her, they don't always come off as sincere.
There are moments throughout "Alice, Darling" involving Sophie and Tess that feel contrived and unrealistic which hampers this slow-moving film.
Make no mistake, Kendrick works magic with what she has. At first, it's easy to empathize with Alice and then you just hope she'll toughen up and realize she's better off without Simon.
Of course, many women know why some women remain in toxic relationships like this. So, it's easy to see both sides. Still, that doesn't make it any easier to watch the pain and anguish that Alice endures.
With "Alice, Darling" Kendrick reveals her dramatic side and proves there's more to her than "Pitch Perfect" comedies. Now, if only she could land a pitch perfect movie that truly taps into her talents, she would really shine.
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Look At This Trailer For "ALICE, DARLING"
Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), The American Film Institute (AFI), and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.