After a blurred trauma over the summer, Melinda enters high school a selective mute. Struggling with school, friends, and family, she tells the dark tale of her experiences, and why she has chosen not to speak.
Robert John Burke
In New York City's Harlem circa 1987, an overweight, abused, illiterate teen who is pregnant with her second child is invited to enroll in an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new direction.
At the edge of adolescence, Tracy is a smart straight-A student--if not a little naive (it seems...she smokes and she cuts to alleviate the emotional pain she suffers from having a broken home and hating her mom's boyfriend, Brady.) When she befriends Evie, the most popular and beautiful girl in school, Evie leads Tracy down a path of sex, drugs and petty crime (like stealing money from purses and from stores). As Tracy transforms herself and her identity, her world becomes a boiling, emotional cauldron fueled by new tensions between her and her mother--as well as, teachers and old friends. Written by
Only surprising/shocking if you're an aloof parent
This was a movie that I viewed with minimal expectations, given the premise of the film seemed to be of the "OMG kids these days!!!" variety.
I just recently turned 22, and I can say without exaggeration that these girls are relative amateurs given their age and promiscuity compared to some that I went to school with, in terms of their proclivities in the film. Without giving much away, the movie relies too heavily on shock value, as if the film can be carried in its entirety on jaws dropping in the viewing audience. Perhaps for adults in a white-collar community, this is good enough. Since nothing in the film startled me one bit, the lack of rich substance by the way of plot and character development left me wondering what the point was.
The acting is very good, and the only reason I rate the movie above a "5". Despite this, there's nothing much there. Personally, I experienced my first roaring hangover at age 13, and learned quickly the wonders of "moderation". Some kids just have a natural inclination to give in to peer pressure, and don't exactly learn the first, second, or third time around. It isn't a glaring and growing problem in society; it's a fact of life. Why a movie needs to be made to highlight what is only one portion of teenage life is beyond me.
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