Saturday, October 28, 2023

Tripped Up: Movie Review

A fresh, funny comedy about Gen Z girls and the food industry.
Life comes at you fast in Tripped Up. A dramedy about four girls in their mid-twenties, one of whom attempted to be a reality TV chef and is now a cog in fancy New York restaurant for a head chef who hates her. One bad decision later, and Lizzie and her three friends are on a road trip to a food festival in a last-ditch effort to save her career.   2023

Directed by: Shruti Ganguly

Screenplay by: Cristina Catanzaro, Carrie Shaw

Starring: Leah Lewis, Ariel Winter, Sasha Fox and Ashley Moore

The four girls are the epitome of Gen Z. At the very beginning, I thought they’d be annoying - they have a lot of high-pitch squealing and an attention span that lasts less than a minute - very representative of the Gen Z girls on Tik Tok. But the writing and acting of this independent feature saves it, because these girls are realistic. They represent all of the rash-decision making and all of the ingenious solutions and all the rapid highs and reckless ambitions that their generation is famous for. They accurately reflect today’s world and can show all their positive traits wrapped up in many flaws. Every single character in this movie (except for one villain) is three-dimensional and perfectly fits the movie’s story.

The plot starts quickly with some alcohol and drug-fuelled decision making which sees the girls head off for a last-minute road trip, with one girl seat-belted into the car while unconscious, another girl escaping an ex-girlfriend without a word and the other two leaving their jobs without permission, and heading somewhere where they’ve made zero plans. The film’s got entertainment value and wisely starts with the comedy and leaves the character-building drama until later.

The personality traits and goals of the each of the other main girls get revealed gradually as we settle into the film. The happy endings that each of the girls are striving towards seem very predictable, but because these are well-crafted girls that are very realistic, the predictability isn’t a huge let-down. Each up and down the girls experience is perfectly tailored to who they are, so the movie flows well even though its obvious where things are headed.

Veteran actors Judy Gold and Vanessa Williams each pop in for two scenes just to show off their acting chops as the mean boss and a roadside vegetable farmer, respectively. Their presence really helps settle down the movie into something worth watching, but the four main girls are solid as well.

I’m an older generation and not a foodie, and yet I was still able to appreciate what this film offers. I would have to assume that for these girls’ peers, especially those that are foodies, it’d be even better. The target audience should eat this right up, although food connoisseurs won’t want to go in too hungry.