Sick Girl Review:
The Universal Yearning for Youth and Carelessness
Many of us yearn for the carelessness and freedom of youth as we grow older and shoulder more responsibilities. Those wild nights of partying and endless revelry gradually give way to quiet evenings at home with partners and children. Life, as it often does, insists that we adapt to the changing landscape of our existence, both for ourselves and those around us.
In Jennifer Cram’s debut comedy-drama, “Sick Girl,” we follow Wren (Nina Dobrev), a 30-something who clings to her youthful ways, a woman who still parties relentlessly and seems stuck in a never-ending hangover. Her closest friends, Cece (Stephanie Koenig), Laurel (Sherry Cola), and Jill (Haley Magnus), have transitioned into the complexities of adulthood. Cece is navigating the demands of parenthood, Laurel dedicates her time to marathon training, and Jill’s expanding business keeps her perpetually connected to her phone.
Wren’s Desperate Cling to the Past
The growing chasm between Wren and her friends leads to her spiraling further into her own world. Even when they manage to get together, the genuine connections seem elusive, as everyone is preoccupied with the demands of their new lives. It’s a situation that many can relate to—the drifting apart of once inseparable friends.
In a desperate attempt to reclaim the close-knit bond with her friends, Wren tells a lie that sets the stage for a series of hilarious and sometimes cringe-worthy events. She informs her friends that she’s battling cancer, a complete fabrication since she’s entirely healthy. Astonishingly, her friends rally around her, and the four set out to enjoy life without its real-life baggage.
Charming Performances and Unforgettable Chemistry
“Sick Girl” thrives with moments of genuine amusement brought to life by its stellar cast. Nina Dobrev treads the fine line between being an unforgivably reprehensible character and an empathetic one. Wren’s desire to reconnect with her friends strikes a chord of relatability, even if her actions sometimes teeter between selfishness and misguided attempts at reconnecting.
The supporting players bring their A-game as well. Stephanie Koenig captures the essence of perpetual exhaustion while keeping the fun factor alive. Sherry Cola shines with brilliant comedic timing, both in her verbal exchanges and physical comedy. Hayley Magnus exudes sweetness and likability. Together, the core group exudes a chemistry that makes their friendship entirely believable.
A Lighthearted Skit with Missed Opportunities
The film’s strength lies in its talented cast and their ability to make the narrative as delightful as it is. Scenes are peppered with humor and appropriate doses of drama, yet the overall flow feels at times like a collection of skits. Some scenes, while entertaining, may come across as unnecessary, such as Wren’s amusing yet futile attempts to convince a doctor she might have cancer.
However, as the movie races towards its conclusion, several moments feel rushed, particularly in Wren’s reckoning with her actions. A pivotal decision she makes, which could be seen as a moment of redemption, passes by swiftly, missing an opportunity to explore its emotional depth.
Sick Girl Review: A Solid Debut with Promise
In the grand scheme of things, “Sick Girl” does work. Nina Dobrev takes on an unlikable role and still manages to charm the audience with her portrayal. The supporting cast, including Stephanie Koenig, Sherry Cola, Hayley Magnus, and a brief yet memorable appearance by Wendi McLendon-Covey, along with Brandon Mychal Smith’s portrayal of Leo, a cancer patient, delivers their best performances.
Jennifer Cram’s debut film may not always maintain the perfect balance of tone, and it may occasionally rush through significant moments, but it’s a solid introduction that hints at the promise of a budding filmmaker. “Sick Girl” offers a rollercoaster ride of laughter and life lessons, anchored by unforgettable friendships and a protagonist who’s flawed yet strangely endearing.
“Sick Girl” is a delightful blend of laughter, lies, and the enduring bonds of friendship. Despite its occasional missteps, the film captivates with its humor, heartfelt performances, and the ever-relatable theme of holding onto the past in the face of life’s inexorable changes. So, if you’re in the mood for a movie that explores the comical complexities of adulthood and friendship, “Sick Girl” is well worth a watch.