L.A. Times Directed by Michelle Morgan

L.A. Times Directed by Michelle Morgan
Courtesy of Sundance

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If there's one thing Angelenos are obsessed with, it's where they live. No matter where you look, inhabitants of L.A. simply can't get enough of dissecting every positive and negative aspect of their West coast city. 

L.A. Times, the new film from director, writer and lead actress Michelle Morgan, is similarly obsessed with life in La La Land. The film follows screenwriters, actors and other Los Angeles types as they hit up dinner parties, get big breaks and use hyper-specific apps, many of which will likely never make their way east.

In fact, there are times when one might fear that L.A. Times is too inside baseball — a Sundance crowd of movie biz industry folks might get a kick out of the relatable references, but what about those of us who hold less glamorous jobs in other parts of the world? Fortunately, Morgan has crafter a peppy enough comedy that it would've worked had it been set in Albuquerque. 

Starring as Annette, Morgan is a bitterly selfish antihero whose neuroses are frustrating to everyone except her endlessly patient boyfriend Elliott (the Lonely Island's Jorma Taccone, proving once again that he should be cast in movies far more often). Her best friend Baker (Dree Hemingway) is miserable, as she continues to get mixed up with the wrong men, and their closest friends continue to frustrate them both by giving off the impression that their own relationships are utterly perfect.

Longing for more than a comfortable romance, Annette breaks things off with Elliott and attempts to find the elusive perfect love that her actor friends broadcast on Instagram.

Aside from its main storyline, L.A. Times is full of fascinating side characters, from a troublemaking prostitute to a boundary-pushing cousin to a pissed-off adulteress. It's the sort of manic comedic pastiche that recalls some of Woody Allen's best '80s work, albeit in a modern setting.

Even if you don't wear a floppy beanie or know how to write a screenplay, there's plenty to love about L.A. Times. (Hyperion)