“The Pretty One” has plenty of charm, but not enough to overcome a heaping dose of clichéd whimsy.
The always-likable Zoe Kazan stars as a shy woman named Laurel who assumes the identity of her vivacious twin sister Audrey after the latter’s sudden, tragic death.
First-time filmmaker Jenée LaMarque leans heavily on her star and profits; Kazan masters the multiple levels here, keeping Laurel and Audrey distinct while also separating Laurel’s take on Audrey from the real Audrey.
The movie just doesn’t quite know what to do with her. So we’re given a mundane romance with a stereotypical dreamboat hipster named Basel (Jake Johnson), plenty of mild wish-fulfillment entertainment with Audrey’s friends and co-workers and an aesthetic that emphasizes quirky stylizations and plot developments over truthful emotions. Kazan keeps you watching, but the world around her owes a greater debt to past indie movies than real life.