18 September 2007 | tedg
Sudden Happiness Has Indeed Made Me a Coward
Teens are cinematic, both ways. They take their identities from the patterns they see. So it is very easy to show or reference those identities in film. Plus, kids think in simple arcs, and that helps the mapping of image to idea. Its almost too easy to make a movie that is about how kids hew to stylistic exclusivity and ironically make the film obsessed with the very same stylishness.
That's what this one is. This time around it is teen girls, and we're given the two poles: one girl is a frilly girlie candypop and the other is a spitting, scowling James Dean derivative in a "motorcycle" gang. Both are fantastic exaggerations and that exaggeration is most of the fun.
The story is all about the stories these girls tell themselves, and incidentally to each other. At the end, we get a rather nicely wrapped bit about explicit fiction. Along the way, we get three stories about clothes, symbols on clothes and validity. The world we see is as magically abstract as their fantasies of it.
What's rather interesting here is how sex is excluded, exorcised from the equation. Oh, its referenced and bound with love, but only as the escape from style. The second act is weak. Stick with it.
To enhance the experience, I saw this with a DVD of a Suicide Girls "Tour." This business about the hardening of femininity is pretty profound.
Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.