DIRECTOR: Ken Kwapis
I have to admit, that as a 32-year-old man, the idea of watching a film about a group off angst ridden American teenaged girls, who decide to share of a pair of jeans to find some enlightenment was not particularly appealing. Is that what I was subjected to? Well, yeah, sort of.
But done well, all of the above can be quite entertaining, certainly when watched with a member of its core audience. That is presuming that a 32-year-old woman counts, which I think it does. This is a pretty straight teen chic flick if ever there was one, but it was done surprising well, with solid performances from the four leads and slightly a more mature take than I was expecting.
It had its moment of humour, angst and trauma, but none were overbearing, leaving us with a light, level and palatable screenplay, with darker moments which could be taken seriously but not too diverting. I mean, let’s face it, how many films from this genre have a third act tragedy, usually involving the death or maiming of main character, in the attempt to place our leads in the midst of a life defining character excercise?
This doesn’t go down that road, instead focusing quite rightly on the more normal and mediocre trials of teenage girls. One who visits her estranged father only to be disappointed and to feel rejected; One who falls for the wrong bloke; Another trying to come to terms with herself and her mother’s untimely death, a point not truly explored until the sequel, and the one who stays at home, getting on with things.
This is a film which fulfils the tradition of American ‘Summer’ movies, a time when kids grow up and angst is at its highest, and though this can sometimes wear more than a little thin, this film does not, and becomes a worthy addition to genre.