The Girl in the Book charts the journey of young woman's transformation. At the outset, Alice Harvey is a lost and self-destructive 29 year old girl unable to write, too damaged for love. When her past invades her present and forces her to confront painful memories, she shatters. Helped by her friend and a new love interest, she slowly rediscovers her creative voice and becomes capable of love. Written by
The Girl in the Book is a movie that covers an interesting subject with interesting characters, but it ends up feeling a bit too on the nose, a bit too by the book.
The movie is about Alice (played by Emily van Camp as an adult and Ana Mulvoy Ten as a teenager), a 28 year old struggling assistant book editor with famous agent parents. When Alice is assigned the plum position of helping with the re-release of a novelist's most famous book she reacts with horror rather than glee and in flash backs we learn that the venerated author groomed and then raped her when she was a young teen.
Unfortunately there is not a lot to the story other than this. Writer-director Cohn spends a lot of time flashing back and forth between teen and adult Alice, but it's not really a mystery why Alice is the way she is and it's dragged out way too long. Alice's trauma manifests itself in promiscuity, which is interesting, but isn't particularly carefully examined and the happy third act ending comes as the result of a functional relationship she has which isn't particularly well drawn either.
Somewhere in this collection of ideas is a good idea, but the movie itself unfortunately takes an all too common trauma and flattens it into a series of clichés that robs it of its emotion and power.
An unfortunately mediocre debut from Cohn.
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