Next month I am going to be 29, *gulps* and I often feel that I haven’t really done much with my life, I am not a home owner, I’m not married with children and at this point in time I don’t even own a car! I’m not alone, there are many millennial’s out there who are just like me, feeling aimless and frustrated with how their lives have turned out. There have been many films and TV shows recently that have attempted to capture what it is like to be a millennial drifting throughout life, trying to achieve an impossible dream, from the likes of Lena Dunham’s series Girls, to Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha starring Greta Gerwig. Now there’s Laura Gets a Cat which manages to capture the same dry humour of Girls and the quickness of Baumbach’s work, which makes for a very compelling, highly amusing and extremely relatable watch!
We follow the life of Laura (Dana Brooke), an unemployed writer in New York City, who isn’t really doing much with her life compared to her friends who have either settled down into motherhood, or have a well established career. Laura has managed to finish her book though, well a first draft at least, but she doesn’t quite know what to do next. She has a boyfriend, although she only sees him at the weekends. Their relationship seems decent enough but Laura wants more from her relationship, and as a result she has an affair with a performance artist. In order to get through her day, Laura relies on her vivid imagination. However, Laura can seek relief in her day dreams for long, as they quickly turn on her, including a podcast host who exposes her for having a cliché dream sequence (”This is a dream sequence?!”) and poet Lord Byron, who has traveled time to see her only to become pathetically needy.
When things don’t work out, Laura does what she does best, she runs away. We follow her to the coast where she moves into a house with a younger couple (”Do you think she listens to us having sex?” the boyfriend asks his girlfriend) who seem to have it all worked out. Laura waits patiently for her lover from the coffee shop, but will he come for her or should she return home to her boring boyfriend. What Laura really needs is to find herself, and find meaning in her life, but will she address that need? And maybe, what Laura really needs in her life is a cat?
The main leads give excellent performances; Michael Ferrell and Josh Tyson are superb as Ian and Tom, but the film belongs to Dana Brooke who seems a natural comedian and is very natural. The writing from director Ferrell is very cleverly crafted and his direction is flawless; his writing seems familiar but refreshing and new at the same time. I found the film was a nice change to the bloated comedies that the mainstream studios are churning out, there seemed to be genuine care and attention put into producing this film and you could tell there was a passion and appreciation for filmmaking and the comedy genre. Laura Gets a Cat doesn’t look like a ”small movie” with a low-budget, in fact it looks like a film with a much bigger budget. The camera work, sound, and mise-en-scene is to a professional standard, something that many independent filmmakers often fail to get right, which ultimately reveals their budget constraints. I felt that Laura Gets a Cat, was as good as any film produced by a studio and it was one of the funniest comedies I have seen all year!
Laura Gets a Cat is an indie gem, it’s an amusing little treat which delivers on laughs and has a strong female lead. It’s worth seeking out if like me, you’re fed up of the clichéd, dull, and soulless comedy films that are being released by mainstream studios. It is worth keeping an eye on the likes of Dana Brooke, Michael Ferrell, and producers Devin Sanchez, Chris Prine (who also did the music for the film), to see what this talented bunch does next. I wish them all the best with their future endeavours and I hope they bring us more comedy gold.