Aubrey Plaza is funny. I first saw her in FUNNY PEOPLE, and then I knew her for years as April on Parks & Recreation. She seems hip for a sitcom star, and for a decade and a half has been able to oscillate between mainstream comedies and indie movies. The one that gave me a new level of respect for her was INGRID GOES WEST (2017), a dark squirm-inducer where her titular character moves to L.A. to try to become friends with her favorite Instagram influencer. It’s a very layered character and performance, but it’s a funny one. She’s funny.
What’s surprising about Plaza in EMILY THE CRIMINAL is that she’s completely engrossing without being funny at all. She makes one or two bitter jokes, but this is a gritty, very grounded crime drama. Those withering looks of disgust she gave as sullen teen April Ludgate have evolved into more mature and considered looks of contempt for the system, and humanity, and all this bullshit. (read the rest of this shit…)