Friday, September 4, 2015
The Diary of a Teenage Girl
Thank God for Marielle Heller's The Diary of a Teenage Girl. Finally a coming of age film that focus on a girl's emerging sexuality, and they aren't shamed as a result for their behavior. (Also worth mentioning that the whole sex as a rite of passage thing is mainly reserved for fiction from the male perspective. Almost never for women until now because God forbid women should actually enjoy sex.)
The sexual awakening of Minnie Goetze (Bel Powley, a very promising newcomer) is by no means reduced to something to shock an older generation or titillate a younger one. No, Minnie is becoming an independent woman during these scenes, not being treated as shock value or exploitation. When was the last time you saw that?
And it's worth noting that this is a film set in 1970s San Francisco, basically the bohemian mecca of its day. One could simply view Minnie's actions as a means of rebellion. Not in the slightest. As mentioned earlier, her behavior is viewed as nothing more than her first step into adulthood. (As any sexual awakening of a young woman should be treated as.)
The Diary of a Teenage Girl should be required viewing for those of a certain age. (Forget John Hughes; this is a better glimpse into the adolescent mind.) And the performances from Powley, Alexander Skarsgard and Kristen Wiig (she's really flourishing post-Saturday Night Live, isn't she?), this is one film that must not be missed.
My Rating: *****