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The Exploding Girl (2009)

Unrated | | Drama | 6 May 2010 (Germany)
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The Exploding Girl is a movie starring Zoe Kazan, Mark Rendall, and Maryann Urbano. On a summer break from college, a young epileptic woman struggles to balance her feelings for her fledgling boyfriend while her friend Al crashes with her for the season.


2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
... Ivy
... Al
Maryann Urbano ... Mom
... Cary
Margot Ruth Tenenbaum ... Cousin
Genevieve T. Eisner ... Baby
Nichael Alexander Eisner ... Cousin's Husband (as Michael Alexander Eisner)
Caseyarnoux Charlot ... Doctor
Franklin Pipp ... Greg
Kay Goldberg ... Jennifer
Buddy Love ... Three-Legged Dog
Caroline Elaine ... Dog Owner
Steve Arriaga ... Dance Student (as Steve Arriaga)
Belinda Atchinson ... Dance Student
... Dance Student (as Jordan Boughrum)


On a summer break from college, a young epileptic woman struggles to balance her feelings for her fledgling boyfriend while her friend Al crashes with her for the season.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Parents Guide:





Release Date:

6 May 2010 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

La chica explosiva  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,910, 5 March 2010, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$24,705, 18 April 2010
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


The title of the film is a play on a song (The Exploding Boy) which was on the b-side of the single "In Between Days" by The Cure. "In Between Days" had been used by the director and his wife as a title to a previous movie and so they decided to adapt "The Exploding Boy" to The Exploding Girl for the purpose of this film (as explained by the director himself on 14th Nov 2009 at the 50th International Film Festival of Thessaloníki, Greece). See more »


References A Zed & Two Noughts (1985) See more »


Between Sets
From the album 'Mineur-Aggressif'
Written and Performed by Kimono
Courtesy of the artist
See more »

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User Reviews

Not much to like.
1 March 2010 | by See all my reviews

I don't like "movies" shot on video, and this one is no exception. Its semi-improvised dialog was also a barrier to appreciation, as well as the fledgling director's pretentious approach to photography.

Except for interiors, nearly all the barely-edited shots are long shots using very shallow focus - a technique I thought went out in the '60s. The cast's conversations are shot as if using a hidden camera (the hi-def RED camera is used here), from across the street with intervening cars or pedestrians frequently blocking the principals from our view. Add to that protagonist Mark Rendall's speech impediment (I counted him stating the word "like" 25 times in less than a minute) and you have distancing of the viewer taken to the extreme.

Our heroine played OK enough by Zoe Kazan (she won a dubious Best Actress award from the lowliest of film festivals, the must-miss Tribeca event, which doesn't even take place in Tribeca anymore) remains a blank. She's an epileptic and sure enough, has too many beers, causing a seizure late in the film, but I didn't find that potential disability handled with any insight or relevance to the surrounding film. The story's emphasis on her also was a drag; it reminded me of that Golden Age of porno (now several decades back) when one sometimes experienced a horrific moment, usually during the second or third reel, of realization: "We're going to be stuck looking at this solitary girl for the whole movie!".

Mercifully short, about 75 minutes after removing the slow-slow padding of the end credits, the feature had only two good scenes: one rooftop checking out the pet pigeons that starts as a too-obvious homage to Zoe's grandpa Elia Kazan (classic Saint/Brando scene from ON THE WATERFRONT) and ends up improbably as a Werner Herzog homage, capturing the strange abstract patterns created by flocks of birds in formation that was the signature image of Werner's 2004 film THE WHITE DIAMOND. The other scene I enjoyed was a simple finale ring shot of the hero & heroine asleep in the backseat of a car, unconsciously clasping their hands together.

Low points were a "gee whiz" visit to a SoHo building supposedly once the site of Nikola Tesla's shop -like so many Manhattan non-landmarks it looks like nothing now; and the endless use of cell phones, one of which permitted an entire performance (Zoe's heel of a boyfriend Greg) to be literally phoned in. I am also nominating THE EXPLODING GIRL as the feature film with the lowest costume budget in recent history: it looks like they spent about $3.95 for the heroine's and hero's rumpled, slept-in crappy outfits; ditto ALL the extras (who obviously wore theirs from home).

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