Mistress America

COMEDY; 1hr 24min

STARRING: Greta Gerwig, Lola Kirke

Sisterhood: Gerwig (left) and Kirke

Introspective Tracy (Kirke) isn’t having fun at college in New York City. Her short story has been knocked back by the snobby lit society and she’s a washout in the New Friends Department. But that’s before Brooke (Gerwig, just about perfect) bursts onto the scene. Whirlwind-about-town Brooke is 18-year-old Tracy’s about-to-be stepsister (when Tracy’s mother marries Brooke’s dad) and a woman for whom, at 30, “everything [has become] pure want.”


Brooke wants so hard to eat life alive. She’s also a people magnet whose restaurant-business misadventures lead her, Tracy, Tracy’s sole, owlish college friend, Tony (Matthew Shear), and Tony’s pathologically jealous girlfriend, Nicolette (Jasmine Cephas), to Connecticut and the stonking residence of Brooke’s ex fiancé, Dylan (Michael Chernus), and his bristly wife, Mimi Claire (Heather Lind). Scintillating drama ensues. In spades.


Directed by Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) and co-written by Baumbach and his girlfriend, Frances Ha star Gerwig, Mistress America is so quick and clever you’ll be devouring the dialogue. As Tracy unwisely notes in a divisive story inspired by Brooke, “She couldn’t see herself or her fate.” But so what? Wherever fate may take her, Brooke is a marvel.