The title "White Girl" not only refers to the film's protagonist but is also a slang word for cocaine (the primary drug consumed in the film). See more »
Leah puts a cigarette in her mouth, tobacco end first, then tamps the same end down in a small pile of cocaine (to get some in the cigarette?) then puts it back into her mouth, again tobacco end first. When she removes her hand, the cigarette has reversed so that the filter end is now magically in her mouth.
White Girl is about being white. And being a girl.
Thematically, White Girl is exactly what it says on the tin, it's about race, and about gender. It's an attempt at outlining the main character's naivety and her ability to come out of it unscathed as a result of her privilege. An idea that, if it wasn't already obvious enough, Elizabeth Wood beats us over the head with in the scene where Leah has dinner with the lawyer.
White Girl is unapologetically feminist, and being directed by a woman, it gets a lot of this right, Leah isn't a trope, she's not a stereotype, she's a naive young girl who makes a lot of really, really terrible decisions. But while this is the basis of her character, the protagonist, as well as the rest of the people in this film, are only explored on a surface level. Meaning that it's difficult to care about what they do, or what happens to them. Especially Leah, who knows that as a pretty white girl, there's a lot that she can get away with, and come out unharmed. And we know that too.
Not only is White Girl difficult to get pulled in to as a result of its lack of a real sense of consequence, it also seems to push us away with its sloppy attempt at shock cinema. Every other scene is someone snorting coke, getting their tits out, or puking their guts up (is there anyone in this movie who doesn't do drugs?) Some of the comments on sexuality, especially female sexuality are interesting, and there's clearly a lot to say here about the male gaze and the danger of that towards young women, but then the gratuitous sex scenes never stop in an attempt to shock us, and we lose interest.
As a drug dealer drama, and a comment on race, Wood hits all of the tropes that we'd expect. Many of the characters are stereotypes, and the writing for the male drug dealers sounds like it was written by my dad, guessing how he things a drug dealer probably talks. The attempts at making the love interest more of a love interest and less of a sex interest were hilarious at times, this movie just couldn't get the dialogue right for those characters at all, it was awkward as hell.
White Girl was summed up for me when Doug from The Hangover got cocaine snorted off his dick.
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