Review: In ‘Some Girl(s),’ a smooth operator becomes the king of pain

On the eve of his wedding, the unnamed Man (Adam Brody) of “Some Girl(s)” embarks on a cross-country tour to apologize to his exes. But the fiction writer and former cad is still a cad, a narcissistic coward who can’t just shut up and let each girl protect her dignity by pretending he’s forgiven. Once he’s prodded them to cry, rage or exact revenge, he blithely heads to the next town to bungle another big moment.

What’s the motivation of this self-described “fearless cartographer of the soul”? Ego, perhaps. Or maybe just material for his next book — this is, after all, written by Neil LaBute, the master of calculated cruelty.

Like us, the deft and merciless director Daisy von Scherler Mayer (“Party Girl”) sides with the girls, and to stack the deck she’s hired five tremendous actresses — Emily Watson, Zoe Kazan, Mia Maestro, Jennifer Morrison and Kristen Bell — who thrill to tear poor Brody apart. The ladies know where to stick their knives, and, collectively, their long-buried pain has so much mass that it pulls us inside ourselves to wonder which of our own hurts shaped us, and who might say that we’re the jerks who shaped who they became.

Brody’s character might be able to delude himself that he’s a good guy, but the women, once pressed, make sure he knows he’s wrong. Snipes one, “Pol Pot meant well!” Hell hath no fury...

—Amy Nicholson


“Some Girl(s)”

MPAA rating: None.

Running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes.

Playing: At the Laemmle NoHo 7, North Hollywood.