This is a story of a straight laced young girl becoming increasinly under the influence of another teenager that is too interested in growing up quickly. These thirteen year olds want to be eighteen year olds. They are recreational drug users and experiment with sex. They dress in suggestive ways and flirt heavily. None of this is inherently wrong, but the movie isn't celebratory. You can see the dragging effect these behaviours have on the young girls. They do poorly in school. Their families are torn apart. One turns to self abuse with razors and scissors. Their maturation process is warped forwarded and their identities are lost somewhere in the mix. The mother and daughter seem to have a scene of redemption at the end.
The story is co-written by one of the young stars and it is alarming for many people to see how our culture has participated in the acceleration of our children's adolesence.
The film work is interesting, but not unique. The camerawork is mostly done on a steadicam and the editor keeps the pace going. I guess I just wasn't moved by the whole story line. It's been played out before in many movies from Jodi Foster in Taxi Driver to Kids to My Own Private Idaho. The actors are decent and Holly Hunter puts in a better than average performance. I appreciate that the writers didn't force an easy answer on the audience. We see elements of the culture, we see the disruptive parenting styles, we see the absence of role models, but none of them are condemened; just present in the story line.
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