Laura Gets a Cat starts off on a promising note. We’re introduced to our protagonist whose inability to commit to relationships and work puts her in a tricky spot in life. As everyone around her starts growing up and doing adult things like getting married, Laura rebels. She refuses to follow the path she’s expected to and instead goes and does whatever she feels like.
This is a promising concept that could make for some fine character drama. The films best scenes are its conversations. They are so sharply written and well-acted. Not only that, a few of them are also shot in an experimental and unconventional manner the likes of which you only witness in independent cinema. Whether its real life or in Laura’s head, the interactions feel raw, real and relatable.
Acting across the board is very good and convincing. Dana Brooke is great as Laura. She’s practically in every scene and fades into the character. Her expressions are fantastic and dialog delivery meets the tough demands of the script at times. Michael Ferrell, who plays Ian is the standout among all the rest. He steals every scene he’s in and has good screen presence.
However, despite its various strengths, Laura Gets a Cat still falls short. It fails to capitalize on its potential. Much like its protagonist, it moves ahead in an aimless manner. Some decisions Laura herself makes just make it hard to like her or root for her. The film slows down to snails’ pace and even at a mere 80-minute duration manages to feel like a bit of a drag occasionally.
One of my biggest gripes with the film is that despite the various events that happen in the characters lives, most of them seen unchanged. Laura goes through so much and yet mentally seems to end up back where she started and doesn’t have much of an arc. The film explores some interesting ideas but fails to commit to them all the way. If only some of the creativity from the dialog and shooting styles had poured into the overarching plot/narrative, it would have made for a far better film.
Laura Gets a Cat is well acted and has some terrific scenes of conversation. Unfortunately, the direction and writing fail to package it all up in an engaging narrative that’s memorable. The film’s pace slows down a bit too much at points. It’s also hard to root for the protagonist as she makes a string of questionable decisions. Clocking in at a mere 80 minutes, Laura Gets a Cat is a breezy watch and can be recommended for some fantastic scenes but if you pass, you’re not missing much. Laura may have gotten a cat, but I got bored.