Let me be (one of) the first to say: Zoe Kazan is brilliant. I loved Ruby Sparks, which Kazan starred in, wrote, and produced. I really want to see What If, her newest collaboration with Daniel Radcliffe. For now, I'll settle for The Pretty One--a dark comedy featuring Kazan as twin sisters Laurel and Audrey.
Any similarities to The Parent Trap stop at the singular redhead playing twin sisters--The Pretty One focuses on the differences between two identical humans and what it takes to become more like yourself. Kazan's comedic timing is spot on as she transforms from awkward, unsure of herself Laurel to elegant and on top of it Audrey and back again. And Jake Johnson as Basel? Perfect.
Audrey comes home, where Laurel lives with their dad, to celebrate her and Laurel's birthday. A car accident which results in short term amnesia allows Laurel to first believe she is Audrey, then to actually live Audrey's life. While it's funny watching Laurel/Audrey struggle to understand her new life--re-learning how to be a real estate agent, gauging her feelings for her "boyfriend," trying to maintain friendships--it's also painful and tragic. I cheered when she "got" something about being Audrey while at the same time mourning the fact that the most "Laurel" parts of her were missing.
Tears were shed before I reached the happy ending of this dramedy--and even in the happiness I knew there'd be more tears for the characters in their futures. This type of movie doesn't appeal to everyone, but (I've said it before) I like when there's a little discomfort at the end of a story. Life is like that sometimes.