The Pretty One - Movie Review

Category: Movies

The Pretty One is the story of one emotionally conflicted young woman. Laurel (Zoe Kazan) is an artist, a loving daughter to her widowed father (John Carroll Lynch), an introvert, and an identical twin. Audrey is the outgoing of the two and the one who left home after their mother died. She is sophisticated, accomplished, and stylish. So, when she returns home to celebrate their birthday, Audrey informs Laurel that she will be accompanying her back to the city. But first, Laurel must make a few changes so Audrey treats her twin to a makeover. Gone is Laurel’s mousey long hair. In its place is the exact same stylish do Audrey wears. They haven’t had identical hairstyles since they were little and joke about what their father will say when they get home.


Unfortunately, they never make it home. The girls are in a tragic car accident and one of them dies. Because the deceased is badly burned, and the survivor is wearing Audrey’s haircut, it is easy to understand why they all believe Laurel is the one who died. And, Laurel is so confused upon waking up in the hospital, she believes she is Audrey.


The tragedy takes its toll on the household. Through several instances, not the least is Laurel’s funeral, Laurel realizes that her sister was more loved than she ever was. She decides to keep up the charade and insinuate herself into Audrey’s life, explaining the confusion about her friends and work on the amnesia and the car accident.


Laurel goes to the city and starts to reconcile herself and insert herself into her sister’s world. But the internal grief and torment she feels slowly takes its toll. She is not the same Audrey that everyone knew. But they all accept that she has been through a terrible tragedy. No on realizes how right they are when they think she is a different person.


Laurel – as Audrey – is kind and accepting. She cuts off ties with Audrey’s boyfriend Charles (Ron Livingston) and begins a more comfortable and positive relationship with Basil (Jake Johnson), the man next door. Basil and Audrey never got along, but Basil and Laurel are a perfect match. Except he still thinks she is Audrey.


This is a compelling story that keeps audiences interested even though they know who Laurel really is. Kazan does an amazing job of portraying the angst and inner trauma that Laurel goes through from the beginning to the end.


This young woman only wants to be herself and must decide whether she is brave enough to stand up to life, her family and friends as Laurel, not as a broken Audrey. Audrey was part of her. They were identical twins. But Laurel is a different woman and needs validation of her own self-worth.

The Pretty One is absorbing thanks to the performance of Zoe Kazan. It’s rated R for language and some sexual content. It opens February 7, 2014.


About the Author

Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment business for 20 years. She also writes about technology and has been a travel writer for the past 12 years. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as Internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet: The World of Entertainment Journalists, from Sourced Media Books.

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