Tracy just started a writing program at Barnard in NYC, however, her life is not what she had dreamed about. The literary club rejected her work, her only friend found himself a jealous girlfriend and being an introvert she dares not join the college party scene on her own. Suddenly, the idea of calling her soon-to-be stepsister Brooke she has never met doesn’t seem such a bad idea.
Brooke, a 30 year-old Times Square resident, turns out to be everything Tracy would dream of being: crazily fun, confident and enchantingly unpredictable. Together they start a fresh and honest friendship while Brooke becomes Tracy’s muse for her new writing piece, Mistress America.
As Michael Mohan perfectly describes in The Talkhouse, “The drama is rarely manufactured from plot, but usually stems from the characters going through some kind of real transition. And somehow he always manages to do this hilariously without ever betraying the characters or dramatic situations.“
It’s true that Baumbach’s movies have a great deal of comedy and you usually find yourself smiling during most of the movie. But Mistress America is seriously hilarious, the whole scene at Dylan and Mamie-Claire’s house (Brooke’s ex-fiancé and ex-best friend respectively) with fast-paced dialogues, perfectly timed puns and twisted plots is simply perfect with absolutely no time for boredom. I remember wishing Woody Allen‘s last movie, Irrational Man, had been anywhere close to this. It’s, as some critics have described, a modern screwball comedy up to the best Capra.