The Diary of a Teenage Girl Review
The Diary of a Teenage Girl is a 2015 teen drama film directed by Marielle Heller and starring Bel Powley, Kristen Wiig and Alexander Skarsgard. It is a sophisticated, realistic movie.
It follows a 15-year-old girl who becomes sexually active by starting a relationship with her mother’s boyfriend. I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. The plot itself is seemingly empty on the surface, but is in the end not like that at all. That is mostly due to that ending with a wonderful quote from our protagonist in which she says that she may never be loved, but that isn’t the most important thing. That is great as it shows us how self-respect is by far the most important thing. It is way more important to love yourself than for others to love you. And accepting and loving yourself is the first step towards happiness. I absolutely loved that. But what I did not love is the film’s nature. I am not talking about nudity and sex obsession because that was needed for the plot and the story about sexually obsessed, not that pretty girl is very interesting and refreshing as we rarely see that in movies. But the whole cheating aspect to it is repulsive and so overused by now that it robs the movie of being more truthful and relatable.
Minnie is a great central character and her insecurities are really well explored here. I loved the fact that she was sexually charged while also being artistic, that was awesome. Her mother is a fine character as well, but Monroe is a typical and a bit boring character. And the rest are okay, but paling in comparison to our protagonist who is so well realized and grounded in reality. The acting is also excellent with Kristen Wiig being expectedly good and Bel Powley delivering a stupendous performance in an important role.
I absolutely loved some of the intriguing technical aspects in The Diary of a Teenage Girl. I am talking about the comic-book, cartoon sequences which are just fabulous. Those scenes are so unique and original while also being a great vehicle for her character. You get her, not only her sex obsession, but also her artistic side is well shown. Those scenes are very unique and very interesting to watch. The film is well shot and well directed. It doesn’t have the best pacing, but at least it is never boring and is never contrived. It starts off on an okay note, some of the middle parts are great whereas others not so much, but the ending is absolutely magnificent and the film ends with a great message. The various sexual acts here are essential, but still some are not needed. But I liked the theme of discovering your sexuality and that was very well explored and very important for our time and realistic for the crazy sex-obsessed seventies. The score is okay, but the songs are not that well chosen and that bothered me as this decade had some great music and they chose some lesser songs. The film definitely should have been more emotional. It is sophisticated and clever, but has no heart. The humor is okay and some moments are funny, but for the most part, The Diary of a Teenage Girl is more a drama than a comedy. The dialogue is solid, but some of it in the first half is a bit too simplistic. It is a good film, but still could have been much better.
The Diary of a Teenage Girl is undone by its cheating aspect which is so overused by now, but the film is still quite sophisticated and grounded in reality while also being relatable and well acted. The ending is great with a fantastic and very important message of self-respect and the comic-book sequences are very unique. It could have been better, but it’s still a good and even authentic movie.
My Rating – 4