Let's get the lineage issue out of the way: Francesca Gregorini is the step-daughter of Ringo Starr; Tatiana von Furstenberg is the offspring of fashion icon Diane von Furstenberg. You'll hear the schadenfreudians crowing that this writer-director duo's boarding-school drama is another blinkered product of privilege, the sort of narcissistic entitlement-filmmaking attributed to famous scions like Sofia Coppola. (The movie's overlit slo-mo shots of frolicking young women couldn't be more Sofia-lite.) Those naysayers aren't wrong, necessarily, but pretend for a nanosecond that pedigree played no part in this female-friendship tale. You'd still be left with nothing but a tone-deaf, clich-ridden mediocrity at best.
It's bad enough that Tanner Hall's quartet of private-schoolgirls-behaving-badly stories could've come off a coming-of-age narrative assembly line: There's the goody two-shoes (Mara) pining over a married man; the pathologically damaged Brit (King) with beaucoup mommy issues; the sexually confused artist (Ferguson); and the precocious flirt (Larson) headed for disaster. But did each narrative strand have to be thrown together in such a sloppy, slapdash way, ping-ponging from the pitifully embarrassing (given the sexual slapstick foisted upon teachers Chris Kattan and Amy Sedaris, both comedians should sue for damages) to the painfully obvious ("Gee, why are there no male characters in your comic books?"). If Gregorini and Von Furstenberg's goal was to construct a cinematic Sunday Styles spread of the plaid-skirt-and-tie crowd, then kudos. As filmmakers, however, these two have some serious growing up of their own to do.
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