Hey, look: it’s another peaceful morning chez Horvath-Sackler—you know, cutting your lover’s hair and weaving it into a cute little love-rug, like happy couples do. Suddenly, Adam’s sister stumbles in, having barely escaped the clutches of an abusive boyfriend, and lady is clearly mid-psychotic episode. All signs point to changing the locks, but Hannah, for some reason, chooses this moment to be compassionate. Sure, she can stay in the spare bedroom! No, that’s not agonizing pain crossing Adam’s face! Everything is fine! Nothing is wrong!
OH NO. No no nononononono NO and also YES YES YES: Marnie’s singing career arises from the ashes. This time, it’s an auto-tuned Edie Brickell cover and, worst of all, on YouTube. Video Marnie flips off the camera, daringly biting her lower lip. She swans about in soft focus. She fondles props. She twerks. Thankfully, IRL Marnie can see how truly embarrassing this is, and tearfully (yet unsuccessfully) petitions to have the video—apparently uploaded by Charlie in happier times—taken down. I can’t wait for this to rear its ugly head again in the ugliest way.
Hannah somehow made it to the age of 25, so let’s celebrate! The gang heads to The Most Horrible Bar in the World, the labyrinthine passageways of which contain nearly every person that Hannah has ever loved or screwed. The Horvaths show up, which is cute but completely unexplainable; Laird offers Hannah drugs. For some reason, there’s a ukelele. It isn’t all about Marnie, so she pouts and says horrible, passive-aggressive things to Hannah. Go record a video or something, girl. Honestly.
The motley crew throws their collective hands in the air and dances like idiots, because they are young and in Brooklyn and all is well in the world, amen. Oh, and there’s a cute Birthday Bitch trucker hat! It’s no yellow mesh tank, but it’ll do.
Adam’s sister, unfortch, is taking this freewheeling spirit to its absolute limit and twirling her way into a public breakdown. She bites an extremely unamused Ray—it stings, but not quite as much as running into Shosh’s new squeeze at the bar. Shosh, apparently, is smoking dank weed and sipping champagne in taxis, and Ray’s living...well, a normal adult life, with an apartment and a job and all. It’s hard to make small talk with a human Lorde lyric, so he won’t. “Cool cigarette,” he spits as he walks away. Is Shosh devastated? I can’t tell.
John Cameron Mitchell shows up and gives Ray a good old-fashioned beatdown, because cocaine. Marnie hauls Hannah onstage for a horrifying karaoke rendition of of “Take Me or Leave Me.” It is so terrible and perfect. The self-indulgent Marnie Diva Face: it kills me like XO.
Adam gives Hannah his tooth on a string, and then they initiate kitchen table sex, and then there’s his sister, half-naked, creepin’, and crushing a glass in her fist. “She won,” quoth Adam, hanging his mighty leonine head. She won, and now there is no sex in the valley.
As the camera pulls back on poor Hannah and Adam, about to lie in the bed they made (IN SO MANY WAYS!), a fun jam about birthdays and parties and getting fucked like it’s your first time plays. I hear this hat tip to Icona Pop and I remember better parties, specifically those spent in Bushwick warehouses and free-boobing at Greenhouse. “It was the happiest we’ve ever been!” squeals Marnie, which is, in theory, about Hannah’s 21st birthday but is actually about everything.
It all seems so lackluster: the sloppy cutting, the dreary plot setups, the ham-fisted interactions between characters that, in an earlier time, would fizz. Is this sheer laziness, or a nod to what it actually feels like to get older in a borough that prizes the young and dumb?
Photo via imdb.com