Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 33
  2. Negative: 1 out of 33
  1. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Apr 6, 2012
    83
    In its own superannuated preppy way, Stillman's comic universe is as singular as Woody Allen's.
  2. Reviewed by: Farran Smith Nehme
    Apr 6, 2012
    88
    Damsels contains much that's familiar to fans of previous Stillman films such as 1990's "Metropolitan": looping jokes that build on one another, allusions to art and literature, characters who are proudly out of step with the times.
  3. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Apr 5, 2012
    88
    Welcome Damsels in Distress, an exhilarating gift of a comedy about college, the female intellect, the limitless male ego, inventing a new dance, and suicide prevention.
  4. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Apr 5, 2012
    90
    Damsels in Distress is deliberately and purposefully irrelevant; its irrelevance is its strength. It's zany-in-quotation-marks and also flat-out zany. I laughed until I cried, and you may too (if you don't find it pointless and teeth-grindingly irritating). Either way, Whit Stillman is back at last, bringing his peculiar brand of counterprogramming refreshment to our jaded age.
  5. Reviewed by: Miriam Bale
    Apr 3, 2012
    88
    The clash of styles in Damsels in Distress is bewildering and then disarming.
  6. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    Apr 1, 2012
    91
    Even though I'm not sure I understand what Stillman was going for minute-to-minute, I was swept away by how original Damsels is, and how funny.
User Score
5.8

Mixed or average reviews- based on 32 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 14
  2. Negative: 6 out of 14
  1. Apr 17, 2012
    3
    Damsels in Distress is perhaps the most pretentious screenplay ever filmed. I imagine there was a more comprehensible first draft and then writer/director Whit Stillman (The Last Days of Disco) pulled the thesaurus off the shelf and went to work. These damsels come across more as ridiculous caricatures than actual flesh and blood characters; nobody could retain any sort of patience around people who talk nonsense the way these girls do. Lily (Analeigh Tipton) arrives as a new transfer student to Seven Oaks University. During orientation, a group of girls seemingly pick her out at random to join their group; perhaps it is because her name fits the floral naming scheme. Violet (Greta Gerwig) is the leader of the bunch followed by her one-dimensional acolytes, Heather (Carrie MacLemore) and Rose (Megalyn Echikunwoke). Violet talks incessantly about the goals of the group which include finding and improving boys who are not particularly good looking or intelligent and staffing the volunteer Suicide Prevention Center. The answer as to why a somewhat normal Lily would so eagerly say yes to joining up with this gang and rooming with them is not forthcoming, but then again, there would be no film if she did not.

    Seven Oaks is not your normal university. Instead of a Greek system, they have Roman Letter Houses. So many students are depressed that they take to jumping off the roof of the education building; unfortunately it is only two stories tall so instead of killing themselves they only maim. As for suicide prevention, the route to recovery is neither mood altering pills or talk therapy, but tap dancing led by an instructor calling himself Freak Astaire (Nick Blaemire). I told you; pretentious beyond belief.

    The damsels have incredibly keen senses of smell and frequently sniff soap whenever unhygienic dorm dwellers walk by. They are also exceptionally open and frank about their feelings. Violet thanks Lily for chastising her for being hypocritical about arrogance and routinely references Lily as better looking and skinnier. This sounds duplicitous on Violetâ
    Full Review »
  2. Apr 15, 2012
    0
    I usually like dry, tongue-in-cheek humor. But speaking inane, humorless absurdities with a straight face doesn't make them funny. Several critics have used the word "twee" to describe the film; but "sophomoric," annoying," and "of no recognizable entertainment value" would seem more accurate descriptors to me. Miranda July is "twee"; this film was just completely disagreeable. Full Review »
  3. j30
    May 9, 2012
    8
    I found Damsels In Distress hilarious and one of the best comedies I've seen recently. The dialogue is razor sharp, the actresses are great, particularly Greta Gerwig's character. I admit there's probably one dead spot in the film, but it quickly picks up where it left off. Full Review »