Although docile and enigmatic, Zoe Kazan’s Ivy lives up to the film’s title — she’s an epileptic on the verge of both seizure and insanity when her long-distance boyfriend, Greg, slips out of her life. The intense close-ups of her blank, pixie face seem at any moment ready to detonate into some thrashing misery.
Otherwise, however, The Exploding Girl fizzles in its aimlessness. The camera follows Ivy everywhere, from her clutching her cell phone while in bed (in the hope that Greg will call) to her perpetual doctor’s visits to her shuffling through the city with her BMF, Al (Mark Rendall), as they spend an excruciating amount of time listening to their iPods and chattering banalities about what they’d rather be doing.
At least director Bradley Rust Grey contains all this diverting dithering in 80 minutes — even without an explosion, there’s intrigue in watching a short fuse burn.