If we don’t post it online did it really even happen? Did it really even matter? Ingrid Goes West, the feature debut from director Matt Spicer, is a jet black comedy that examines how social media obsession twists the very world we live in and our behavior toward it. It attempts multiple takes on that notion but can never quite balance its alternate viewpoints.

Ingrid (Aubrey Plaza) is an Instagram-addicted psychopath who becomes obsessed with the postings of a woman named Charlotte. While scrolling through pictures of her wedding, Ingrid becomes incensed that she wasn’t invited invited and crashes the wedding in a fit of rage. This act puts her in a mental institution for several months when, upon her release, she resumes her fixation with Instagram.

Ingrid happens upon the account of Taylor (Elizabeth Olsen), a burgeoning Instagram celebrity who lives a typical hipster lifestyle out in Los Angeles. Using an inheritance from her mother, Ingrid packs up and moves out to Los Angeles in an attempt to befriend Taylor.

Her obsession deepens when she bumps into Taylor in person and Ingrid goes to quite extreme measures in order to being to develop an IRL relationship with the subject of her Instagram friend fancy. As the relationship deepens we begin to examine Taylor’s own phony lifestyle and how both of their lives lives are affected by their Internet lives.

Ingrid Goes West is a tale of two films. Its first half is a darkly comic film that plays almost like a psychological thriller told in selfie. Ingrid is clearly a dangerously disturbed person and her psychosis is fueled by the gamification of our online world. Mindlessly liking Instagram pics until she finds someone on whom to fixate, Ingrid is the model for our social media-obsessed selves and almost represents the person we turn ourselves into when we log on and turn our brains off.

Taylor’s tale is different. Hers is more of a deconstruction of the phoniness of the hipster lifestyle. Taylor’s who existence seems curated by Refinery29 with all of the trendiest clothes, food stops and decor adorning her every waking second. It’s a different spectrum of what social media does to us, but it runs as a compliment to the craziness of Ingrid’s world.

While this could serve as a seamless two-sides tale, the tone of the two stories don’t ever quite mesh. The film starts as a thriller, moves into a light comedy and then tries to shift back into a thriller as though it never went anywhere else. The narrative, and certainly the tone of the narrative, gets a bit lost in all the schizophrenia of trying to tell two parallel stories. When the focus shifts more toward Taylor the film almost stops being Ingrid’s story and veers to far away from the idea that she’s a dangerous person living out some sick fantasy. Suddenly, she’s just an ordinary new friend who is along for the ride in this other story.

That’s where Ingrid Goes West experiences its biggest flaws: It cannot find a way to attack its criticism of what social media has turned us into from multiple angles. It’s a tough task to take on two different tones like that, and while it does come close, it never quite gets that balance exactly right and leaves the film feeling somewhat meandering.

There is a lot to like with this film though. Plaza and Olsen are both exceptional in their respective roles, and O’Shea Jackson, Jr. as Plaza’s Batman-obsessed landlord is the comic breakout of the film and its real standout.

This is a film with a lot of good ideas and a pretty good idea on how to execute them but just not quite enough to make it all come together.

Kind of like your next social media post.

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