The title character in the agreeable misfit comedy Carrie Pilby (Bel Powley) is literally a genius, a girl with such high intelligence that she enrolled at Harvard at age 14. That experience proved to be better for her intellectual development than for her emotional development. Now she’s 19, a year out of college and holed up in her Manhattan apartment pretending that she’s anti-social because no one is smart enough to engage with her. She emerges only to see her therapist (Nathan Lane), who assigns her some tasks to draw her out, and comic adventures ensue.
Carrie sequentially encounters three dreamy-looking guys and all of the male characters except one are very sensitive. But Carrie Pilby isn’t a Chick Flick that men won’t enjoy.
Powley is very good at making the audience relate to someone by definition very unlike us. She has mastered the comic take and has excellent timing.
I watched Carrie Pilby at Cinequest; at a screening with director Susan Johnson. Johnson says that the source material, a popular novel, “was about not judging a book by its cover”. She continued, “Think about your own journey and not judging others – that’s kind of deep for a comedy”. Johnson, who shot the film in only 20 days, said that her favorite scene was the prayer scene.
Carrie Pilby is an enjoyable comedy. It opens theatrically on March 31, on VOD on April 4 and will be on Netflix in September.