Fun, catty, witty banter sustains this modern screwball comedy for 90 mins but ultimately it is not as clever as it wants to be - just like the gang of characters at its centre. Excellent joke about one of their boyfriends not knowing his colours mind. Greta Gerwig is perfectly cast.
Although I nearly dozed off a couple of times once it became clear this was not a re-make of The Heathers, the charm of the cast and cosy campus world held some interest. The Merchant-Ivory use of 'chapter' titles (eg Room with a View) hints at the values of controlled innocence under mild threat from approaching reality.
The quirky dialogues and Gerwig's magnetic presence keep the film afloat for a while. However Stillman puts all his eggs in just two baskets and what follows is a repetitive cadence, a never-ending loop of self-indulgent verbal pyrotechnics, cute costumes and baby faces. Comedy without pretensions... or even comedy.
I really like quirky films and this film was very quirky. In all the silliness, oddball ways of acting and out of left field ways of thinking and being however a lot of ideas were put forward that gave me pause to think. A lot of preconceived ideas about things are questioned in this film and that is a good thing mostly when done in a funny thoroughly quirky manner.
I got really annoyed by the first 30 minutes and thought i would not be able to watch it til the end. Heavy parody, caricature of conservative rich girls and all that. But then it starts and becomes something else : the characters have their flaws, are more complicated that it seems, deeper, you begin to care for this tall blond girl (Greta Gerwig just perfect). Not sure about the hype but fairly good in the end.