‘It is not really the time to be prudish’, said the presenter before the last screening of Sundance began. ‘It is really funny and a fantastic adaptation so I hope you all enjoy it’. It was unclear if he felt the need to prepare the audience for the story of a 15 year old having an affair with her mother’s boyfriend. Maybe he was just telling us off before we became too offended by the content. Either way, the lights were dimmed, the theater went dark and not before long everybody was laughing, a laughter that would come to a dead silence from the sex scenes, so explicit it felt awkward to share popcorn in the dark while watching them..
It is no easy task to portray the taboo subject of pedophilia in mixture of comedy and drama. Even though it risks making light of a delicate situation, Diary of a Teenage Girl manages to provoke and expose in a new way an obscure scenario through the eyes of a young girl and her chronicles.
Set in hippy San Francisco in the 70s, Diary of a Teenage Girl follows the recorded thoughts of a young teenager Minnie (Bel Powley) who in her sexual awakening becomes involved with her mother’s boyfriend, (Alexander Skarsgard). Bewildered by the relationship and her strong sexual desires, Minnie records her every thought to her tape recorder, first as way to document this exciting moment in her life. Her audio diary quickly becomes her way to understand who she is and why she is behaving in such a manner.
Mostly narrated throughout Minnie’s musings, the story is mostly seen through her eyes. It allows us to get a wonderful glimpse of her quirky personality, already so riddled with the difficulties any teenage girl would face- body image issues, the confusion of love and sex, curiosity about drugs and a desire to be loved. Check out my video review of the movie!
If you can get past being thrown into such a forbidden scenario in such an unfiltered manner, it is soon clear the film brilliantly portrays a young girl’s need to be loved, to be wanted by someone else and how this priority will push aside her own needs and personal growth. It is beautifully shot with that distinct yellow tint that reminds people of the summery seventies and the performance of every single is actor is superb. Diary of a Teenage Girl is a bold attempt at showing a girl’s sexual discovery through those who bring her down instead of letting her soar.
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