Ingrid Goes West is a parable on the dangers of social media obsession. It’s about believing what you see on Instagram, believing that followers equal love, and wanting to be near your social media favorites. It’s streaming on Hulu.
Ingrid Goes West is about Ingrid (Aubrey Plaza), a friendless social media addict, and Taylor (Elizabeth Olsen), an Instagram star.
When Ingrid’s mother dies, Ingrid sells the house, puts all the cash in a backpack, and heads to California and the locations she’s seen Taylor talk about on Instagram. Taylor makes her living promoting places and products. It isn’t hard to find her favorite places and follow her home. Any decent stalker could do it.
Ingrid rents a nearby apartment from Dan (O’Shea Jackson Jr.), who becomes her boyfriend. Ben is obsessed with Batman, so he understands Ingrid’s mind set. He sees the big bundle of cash in her backpack and never tries to steal it. He loans her his truck. He’s a sweet guy. Ingrid hardly notices.
Ingrid creates a meeting with Taylor by stealing her dog and then returning it when frantic posters about a lost dog appear. Taylor’s husband Ezra (Wyatt Russell) invites her to dinner and Ingrid gains almost unlimited access to her idol. They start hanging out together.
Things are #perfect for Ingrid for a while. She’s #blessed indeed. She doesn’t see how Taylor takes advantage of her, or how fake Taylor’s life is. Then Taylor’s brother Nicky (Billy Magnussen) arrives.
Nicky, who is a bit of a grifter, sees right through Ingrid. He swipes her phone and finds proof of Ingrid’s obsession with his sister. He tries to blackmail her.
Ingrid comes unraveled at the prospect of losing her connection to Taylor. Some crazy stuff happens and a surprise ending follows.
Throughout the entire movie you’re just waiting for the house of cards Ingrid maneuvered into to collapse. When it does, it’s unbearable for Ingrid. Aubrey Plaza is delicious at this role.
If you didn’t watch The Social Dilemma after I reviewed it back in September of 2020, you might want to see it after watching this movie. That film explains in an easy to understand way exactly how the algorithms behind Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube work to keep you looking at your screen, keep you scrolling, keep you clicking. They keep you crazy about fake celebrities who are no better at being human than you are.
This wasn’t a great movie, but it was pointed and fun. I enjoyed it.
See what you think of the trailer.
Are you addicted to your phone and the endless scroll? What did you think of Ingrid?