Friday, September 18, 2015

Diary of a Teenage Girl at the Nightlight Cinema

Film Review: Diary of a Teenage Girl 
by Brit Charek

A good friend of mine and I were planning a girl's day out and looking for a chick flick to indulge in when we came across Diary of a Teenage Girl. Girly coming of age tale? Sounds perfect! Plus it featured Kristen Wiig, so it must be funny, right?

Not exactly.

Well, parts of it were funny.

The film takes place in San Francisco in the late 60's as the hippies are fading out and the punk are taking over, providing a retro setting and wardrobe worthy of envy along with an epic soundtrack featuring the likes of the Stooges, Television and T-Rex.

The story centers around Minnie (Bel Powley), a 15-year-old budding artist who announces triumphantly that she has lost her virginity in the opening scene.

The film takes an uncomfortable and morally ambiguous turn when it's revealed that her partner was her mother Charlotte (Kristen Wiig)'s 35 year old boyfriend, Monroe (Alexander Skarsgård). Minnie deals with the emotional turmoil caused by the affair by doing the standard things all teenagers do: distracting herself with unsavory activities, ignoring school and her family, keeping a diary (We all know the danger implied by that...),  and most importantly delving into her art.

Minnie imagines asking comic legend Aline Kominsky-Crumb (yes, that Crumb) for advice,  not just on her art but on life and questions that come along with womanhood. Kominsky becomes a character in the film, leading Minnie on her journey to find the balance between who she truly is and what society expects of her. The lines blur between Minnie's imagination and reality as her drawings animate the the screen and dazzle the audience.

Based on Phoebe Gloeckner’s semi-autobiographical graphic novel of the same name, Diary of a Teenage Girl reminds us (especially us women) how hard it was to be comfortable in our own skin and how it takes a combination of looking inward and remembering those who have been there for us all along to get there.

Diary of a Teenage Girl is showing at the Nightlight Cinema until October 1st.

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