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By Ilana Lindsey | December 7, 1998

Girl is a low rent teen comedy/drama hovering somewhere between Clueless and an amalgamation of the first season of Beverly Hills 90210. It contains mediocre directing, charmless performances and a plot that feels as if it were conceived during an extended bathroom break. Andrea is a bubble-headed good girl living in a suburb of Seattle. While slumming in a squat populated by cheerful homeless people she bumps into Todd Sparrow, the lead singer of local band The Color Green, and is instantly smitten. Despite her friends’ warnings she tosses out her cardigans in favour of skin-tight animal prints and becomes a full-fledged groupie. Along the way to the utterly formulaic and contrived ending she and her friends deal with losing their virginity, date rape, growing apart, teen suicide, bullying, lesbianism and abusive parents.
Dominique “Lolita” Swain is a cute little thing but she’s got the screen presence of a Twinkie. The rest of the cast is primarily forgettable with the exceptions of Patrick Sean Flannery as Todd Swallow (Kurt Cobain without the heroin or the angst) and Portia de Rossi as his long-suffering sister, Carla. The incredibly silly screenplay based on Blake Nelson’s novel was written by David Tolchinsky and directed by first timer Jonathan Kahn. Admittedly, the film does have a number of funny moments. Of course, you’ll only get to the funny moments if the constant superfluous and utterly annoying voice over narration doesn’t drive you screaming from the theatre first. The quality moments only end up contributing to the film’s overall tonal schizophrenia in which one moment young Andrea’s parents are showing her how to put a condom on a banana and in the next one of her close friends commits suicide. Instead of concentrating on the slim but sufficient groupie/coming of age storyline the film bizarrely tries to deal with each and every teen dilemma in existence. This leads to some astonishingly shallow and glib handling of issues such as date rape, bulimia and teen suicide. Ultimately, the story says very little as the plot is far too messy and contrived to successfully support it’s rather trite message about doing it for oneself.

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