TORONTO -- Film buyers, fans of Kristen Wiig, and "Gleeks" packed Toronto's Ryerson Theatre on Friday afternoon for the near-sold-out world premiere of "Imogene" from "American Splendor" directors Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman.
The emotional comedy features Wiig in the familiar sad sack role that she portrayed in last summer's hit "Bridesmaids," while "Glee's" Darren Criss makes his feature film debut, one that highlights his considerable vocal talents -- and encouraged throngs of screaming teens to line the street awaiting his arrival.
Wiig plays Imogene Duncan, a failed playwright left so bereft by the loss of a boyfriend and a job that she fakes her own suicide with the hope that her ex-boyfriend will save her. When he doesn't come to her aid, Imogene is forced to live with her flighty, gambling-addicted mother, played by Annette Bening, and her very possibly autistic brother (stage actor Christopher Fitzgerald) in her childhood home in Atlantic City. Criss plays a boarder at the house.
The movie is based on a screenplay by Michelle Morgan, who also has a small role in the movie and previously acted for the husband-and-wife directors in the HBO film "Cinema Verite." And though Morgan wouldn't specifically say that the premise of the film was her own, she did admit in a post-screening Q&A that many of the tragicomic details of Imogene's life were ripped from her own.