The Diary of a Teenage Girl

Movies, Drama
4 out of 5 stars
The Diary of a Teenage Girl

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

A smart and scandalous coming-of-age story.

In the unofficial book of Hollywood double standards, only teenage boys are allowed to fumble heroically into the wilds of sex. Most girls are either virginally waiting for Mr. Right or “slutty” supporting characters. So yay for indie drama The Diary of a Teenage Girl, which breaks the rules with Lena Dunham levels of brutal honesty (and humor).

It’s the story of precocious 15-year-old Minnie (British actor Bel Powley, terrific), growing up in 1970s San Francisco. Her hippie mom (Kristen Wiig), unwilling to set boundaries, lets her daughter join in her boozy, coke-fueled parties. Dangerously bright and curious, Minnie slips into a sexual relationship with her mother’s easygoing boyfriend, Monroe, played by Alexander Skarsgård (who makes his character likable but never lets you forget that he’s one weak douche bag). At 35, Monroe might actually be less mature than Minnie is. 

It’s a squirm-inducing idea to build a plot around, but to the movie’s credit, the sex is dealt
with incredibly sensitively, always with a female perspective in mind. Directed by first-timer Marielle Heller, Diary is based on the acclaimed hybrid novel by Phoebe Gloeckner that mixes words with comic strips, as does the film. Minnie is trying to work out what kind of woman she wants to be, constructing herself out of drugs, Iggy Pop and random hookups. I can’t think of another film that nails being a 15-year-old girl, when you sometimes wish the ground would swallow you whole, yet also when you feel more alive than ever.



Release details

Release date:
Friday August 7 2015
102 mins

Cast and crew

Marielle Heller
Marielle Heller
Bel Powley
Alexander Skarsgard
Kristen Wiig
Christopher Meloni

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