Damsels in Distress Reviews

  • Whatever imaginary era writer-director Whit Stillman has in mind, the customs he explores in this wan, self-consciously talky little drama intrigue him more than they do his audience.

    Lisa Schwarzbaum — Entertainment Weekly

  • Even if it did not have other charms, this peculiar, uneven campus comedy would be worth seeing for the delightful felicity of its dialogue.

    A.O. Scott — New York Times

  • These are hardly damsels, but the distress will be felt by audiences watching the collection of non sequiturs, twee remarks and tangential vignettes that is Damsels in Distress.

    Claudia Puig — USA Today

  • A movie sure to reward the filmmaker's most die-hard fans, while doing little to quiet critics who found his work self-conscious to the point of insufferability.

    Ann Hornaday — Washington Post

  • This a fun group of actors to watch, although it often seems that Stillman is unsure of what to do with them.

    Wesley Morris — Boston Globe

  • Considering the socioeconomic moment into which Damsels arrives-we're not in the go-go Clinton era anymore, Toto-it's relieving how scarcely Stillman's reactionary subtext bubbles to the surface.

    Eric Hynes — Village Voice

  • Just as precise and self-consciously precious as predicted. Which doesn't mean it hasn't got moments of charming wit buried under all its archness.

    Joe Neumaier — New York Daily News

  • ...the zippy laughs and romance in Stillman's work have the speedy, hokey, agreeable air of an afternoon at the theater.

    James Rocchi — MSN Movies

  • It's a cri de coeur that hardly rises above a sociable interjection, an exhortation to collective revelry that leaves a sense of uneasily imposed, even quasi-martial, paces.

    Richard Brody — New Yorker

  • Stillman's film casts an unaccountable spell -- a cool, thin-blooded charm.

    Anthony Lane — New Yorker

  • It's delightful and a little bewildering to find a 2012 comedy that evokes a world that exists only in the novels of P.G. Wodehouse.

    Roger Ebert — Chicago Sun-Times

  • [It] concerns a young woman either adopted by a fabulously odd trio of new pals or indoctrinated into the most twee cult in collegiate history. It's all in your receptivity to Stillman's brittle humor.

    Michael Phillips — Chicago Tribune

  • The premise -- young rich people discover themselves -- recalls that of Stillman's older features, but his characteristic naturalism is replaced here by overlit scenes, a saccharine symphonic score, and a halting narrative momentum.

    Tal Rosenberg — Chicago Reader

  • Whit Stillman? I'm there.

    Steven Rea — Philadelphia Inquirer

  • It's a slight piece of work, but agreeably peculiar and endearing.

    Colin Covert — Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • The film would probably drag if it weren't so perfectly cast, especially with the gawky-beautiful Gerwig as its center.

    Tom Long — Detroit News

  • Presumably meant to come off as affected in a comical way, the characters too often sound arrogant and ridiculous. Sometimes that's funny. Sometimes it's not. The ratio doesn't really work out the way you would like.

    Bill Goodykoontz — Arizona Republic

  • A film that raises laughs even with its end credits, Whit Stillman's whimsical campus comedy Damsels in Distress is an utter delight.

    Leslie Felperin — Variety

  • This delicately funny and romantic film feels like an auspicious return.

    Farran Smith Nehme — New York Post

  • Fortunately, Damsels has an abundance of the erudite zingers that Stillman excels at writing, and that make his elegantly staged works seem like period pieces, even though they're set in modern times.

    Peter Howell — Toronto Star

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