What’s it about?
Diary of a Teenage Girl is told from the perspective of Minnie (Bel Powley), a 15-year-old girl, living in San Francisco in the 1970s. She and her sister, Gretel, live with their single mother Charlotte (Kristen Wiig) who’s nothing less than ‘unconventional.’ It’s safe to say that drugs, alcohol and free living rule Minnie’s household and not in a completely GOOD/SAFE way. This seems normal to Minnie as her character doesn’t seem to have any real complaints about her home life. What we get is a young girl yearning for someone to love her, which I could identify with when I think back on my days as a teenager. The majority of the film is about Minnie’s relationship or as I like to call is (NONCONSENSUAL RELATIONSHIP) with her mother’s boyfriend Monroe (Alexander Skarsgard) and her dealing with the affair that ensues between them… I KNOW IT’S BIZARRE.
What I appreciate:
I truly love the feminism in this film. From Minnie’s freedom to express her sexual desires to the way she asks for what she wants, you get a sense that she is a developed female protagonist. Another element to this feminism is the expression of her inner life and desires through the use of animation.
The movie, based off of Phoebe Gloeckner’s The Diary of a Teenage Girl: An Account in Words and Pictures uses animation in tandem with live action to fully pay homage to the graphic novel while also revealing more about Minnie’s character. This film has woman all over it. It’s so incredible to watch a film so true to being told from the perspective of a woman/girl that I felt a loss when it ended.
THE PEDOPHILIA. I mean wow. It’s definitely tough to watch. It’s also tough to watch Minnie spiral. The sex scenes are definitely explicit and it’s very uncomfortable knowing that Minnie is a teen. This is something to be mindful of before you watch it, because the sex scenes may not be gratuitous but the disturbing nature of them MAKES THEM FEEL THAT WAY.
On another point, race in this film is almost none existent except in relation to sex. Meaning THERE ARE ALMOST NO PEOPLE OF COLOR in this movie. There are also a few lines in this movie referring to the hyper sexuality of black people and their body preferences in a very stereotypical way. I couldn’t help but experience that part of the movie the way I would experience a micro-aggression. Sigh… it sucked.
Should you see it?
Yes, because stories like Minnie are hard to watch but are desperately needed. The acting is absolutely amazing. The movie also makes you laugh sometimes and I felt like a better person after watching it. My other piece of advice would be to stay until the end.