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A comedic story of the search for identity and the redemptive power of unexpected friendship. Danielle is the dirty girl of Norman High School. When Danielle's misbehavior gets her banished to special ed, she teams up with an innocent closet-case and together they head out on a road trip to discover each other and themselves through a funny and serendipitous friendship. Written by
The film heavily features the music of Melissa Manchester, as Clarke (Jeremy Dozier) is a big fan. The song "Rainbird" was actually co-written by Manchester and Mary Steenburgen, who plays Clarke's mother. See more »
The acoustic cover of "Your Love" by The Outfield playing during Joel's strip tease for Clarke wasn't recorded until 1992, five years after the time the film depicts. See more »
I've heard it said that this here... this here's a man's world. And some girls, they believe it. Primpin' and fussin' and holdin' out, hoping a boy will look her way. They don't know they got the power. As for me... I'm not that kind of girl. I'm on top. Which begs the question... if the girl's on top, well... who's the one getting screwed?... So if it's a man's world, God wouldn't have made me.
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I Can't Wait
Written by John Robert Smith
Performed by Nu Shooz
Courtesy of Nu Shooz Orchestra LLC See more »
It starts so badly you wonder why keep going, but do keep going. It's great!
Dirty Girl (2010)
The movie starts with such stupidity and what seems like terrible acting and movie-making you're going to want to quit. Unless you're a high school kid looking for cheap thrills (and there ain't anything wrong with that--it's just a style thing). But hang in there. This movie gets better and better and better. By the end all the hilarity crashes down to a weepy finale--more convincing than it has any right to be after all the zany stuff prior.
It's mostly about two high school kids who don't fit in. They seem like opposites and we all know how fun opposite are in movie comedies. One is slutty girl Danielle who has a dysfunctional home life and who is wild partly because she's bored by school and is (it turns out) smarter than the cliché would have it. The other is an overweight kid Clarke who knows he's gay and who is afraid of coming out but everyone knows already anyway. He also has a dysfunctional family, and the movie eventually also clashes the two sets of parents (and accessory kin).
The plot moves fast and turns into a crisis and then a road trip. All good stuff. And it's filmed with an openminded low-budget freedom that makes it fun and doesn't always worry about verisimilitude. (The two leads are in a family planning class, for example, and are given a bag of flour they have to treat as their new baby. The bag has a face drawn on it in magic marker, and the face changes depending on what's going on around it. Her--it's a girl.)
But mostly it's the acting of Danielle (Juno Temple), and Clarke (Jeremy Dozier), that makes it all stick. Temple in particular is just oozing and exploding with energy and dramatic screen presence, whether being saucy or sassy, fun or sad. She takes over every scene and you want her to. Danielle drives a red 1965 Mustang convertible (of course--what else?). She knows what matters and who's a jerk and doesn't put up with crap. She's troubled, but all along you know she's basically right, and you end up totally on her side. And on Clarke's side, too, as he tries to make sense of his world now that someone accepts him without even blinking.
Eventually there is a deliberate Hollywood ending, complete with tears and spotlights on the stars. It's a farce, I suppose, or a silly over the top romp, and there are going to be people who never let it click. Humor is fickle. But once I was a good half hour in (and it took that long, unfortunately), but once I was, there was no going back. It's worth sticking it out. Very worth it.
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