After her only friend is expelled from their private school in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, Cat Storm wants to get close to a boy she is attracted to and recreate herself with new friends. But her new friends are unreliable, her boyfriend is troubled, her parents are cold and indifferent, and she increasingly finds herself unloved.Written by
Bill Davis <firstname.lastname@example.org>
For me this movie is about losing things and being lost. And it makes the observation that when you're lost you can end up losing things that you didn't know you had much less that you wanted to keep.
Cat (Dominique Swain) doesn't know who she is, which ironically doesn't keep her from not liking who she is. And in the people around her -- family and friends, adults and peers -- she finds varying amounts of belonging, rejection, hope, and disillusionment. In other words, Cat is just 17 in a way that should be familiar to us.
That's one of the strengths of Christina Wayne's quiet, mature film is the feeling of verite. I've never been young and rich in NYC (or near-rich, or formerly-rich, or trying-to-keep-up- with-the-rich) but Wayne's portrait seems so detailed it makes me really curious to know if she has been. Far from being "Just another spoiled rich kids film - _Kids_ meets _Metropolitan_!" Wayne shows us Cat trying to "fit in" and a diverse number of reasons -- from financial to social to emotional to behavioral -- why you can cast out of this insular, cannibalistic sub-culture.
Another strength is Wayne's direction and writing. The film is well-constructed with strong characters, with images and (Yeah, I'll say it ...) motifs that appear once and then quietly reappear in different contexts. And all throughout Wayne shows a really nice eye for pictures.
Plus she's got really good people doing good work. I mean, everyone is in this movie: Swain, Renfro, Phillips, Zehetner, Chabert and Barton (before they had to try to be smoking hot), Scott Thompson of _Kids in the Hall_ fame. She even gets Melanie Griffith to do a walk-on.
One thing the film has going against it is the marketing. Looking at the trailer and the film poster, it's clear that Lions Gate or whoever didn't know how to pitch this film. It seems like they wanted it to be naughtier or rowdier or ... brighter than it is. But it's not a melodrama. There are no simple heroes and villains, no moralizing on right and wrong, no suspense- ridden plot. It's the type of character-based, even, sad, dramatic storytelling that seems to go down better in Canada that here in the States.
I like it, though. If you've got a quiet morning and some time, it deserves a try.
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