Damsels in Distress

Rated 4.0

Damsels in Distress: Writer-director Whit Stillman, who did a disappearing act after his fun 1998 film The Last Days of Disco, makes a funny return with collegiate comedy starring Greta Gerwig as a student who wants you to know the healing powers of really good hotel soap. Gerwig plays Violet, the leader of a small group of female students intent upon preventing suicide, avoiding acrid odors, and starting a new dance craze. Stillman has a great gift for absurd, random humor mixed in with meaningful, surprisingly deep life observations. The cast is full of colorful, funny supporting players like Thor (an extremely funny Billy Magnussen), who doesn’t know all of the colors but pledges to hit the books and learn. There’s also Frank (Ryan Metcalf), the dumbass Violet has a crush on, who really wants his bean ball back. Throw in Analeigh Tipton as the normal girl and Adam Brody as a guy with a fake name, and you have one of the year’s greater casts. Look for the always-funny Aubrey Piaza in the aptly titled role, Depressed Debbie. Sure to stand as one of the year’s funniest movies.