A good comedy to chuckle along with a good few shots of early 00s nostalgia for those of us that lived through that wonderous time.
Director: Karen Maine
Screenwriter: Karen Maine
Starring: Natalia Dyer, Timothy Simons, Wolfgang Novogratz
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Runtime: 78 Minutes
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by: Pearl
After an innocent Online chat turns racy, innocent Catholic school girl Alice discovers her sexuality and begins to question the Christian beliefs that she is fed every day. To try and control her urges, she goes away on a weekend retreat with her school, where she learns that a lot of people are struggling with the same problems and that maybe giving into her new urges isn’t necessarily going to end in eternal damnation.
Adapted from a well-received short film, this film deal with a lot of heavy material considering it’s light and humorous tone. Discovering your sexuality as a teenager can be a confusing and overwhelming time and I think this film does a good job of showing that along side how awkward being a teenager can be and the experimentation that we all go through at that time. It also deals with the controversial theme of Christian hypocrisy that we have seen surfacy in the last decade or so. Priests preaching the message of God, which I don’t disprove of, I believe in the existence of Religion even if I ma not a believer myself, but then the same priests doing god awful things in their own time and abusing the power they are given. While this film doesn’t go that far down the rabbit hole, it is definitely there.
It also deals with female sexuality and how it is perceived by people. That if a rumour is started about a girl, she is almost always immediately slut-shamed without even trying to establish the truth of what happened. There are hints of homophobia in there and abortion rights, a whole lot of hard topics crammed into a short runtime.
But they are all handled with care and respect and with a great amount of humour. There is no name calling or shaming of Alice for her urges and experiments, just a quite acceptance that we all went through something similar, and we can all relate on some level to what she is feeling.
Natalia Dyer does the majority of the work here, with every other character seeming to be a bit of a stereotype, or a bit too flat. She is meant to be the one we identify with, and she is, just because everyone is just too intense to be realistic. We know from Stranger Tgings that she can give a good performance, but it nice to see her take on a leading role and do it so well, with such a tough set of topics.
A good, quick little film that got a lot of chatter when it initially released and I totally fell off the band wagon for this one. Check it out on Netflix if you haven’t already.