This is a profile of an 'outta control' teenaged girl who is such a nightmare that nobody can stand her. She is called Greta, hence the title of the film (which in America has been released both as GRETA and as ACCORDING TO GRETA), but in Britain the film was released as SURVIVING SUMMER. Greta is meant to be 17, but she is played by Hilary Duff aged 22 at the time, and although Duff manages all the mannerisms, self-pitying voice-whine, and body language OK, her face just looks too old for 17. Never mind, it's a movie. Nightmarish teenagers have been portrayed on the screen before, but rarely has such a total nightmare as Greta been seen. We eventually learn some background, and discover that her father died in Viet Nam when she was six (it seems therefore that the action of this film is meant to be set in about 1980), and because her mother is such a narcissistic nutter, she has never even been shown a photo of him. So one of her many problems is that 'she needs to be loved' and is searching for a father but is too proud to admit it. (Meanwhile the mother is trying to work out her relationship with the man whom Greta calls 'husband number nine'.) However, the world is full of girls who need to be loved, have lost their fathers and have crazy mothers, but they aren't all as wild and impossible as Greta. While the mother sorts herself out (an impossible task in itself), Greta is dumped for the summer with her maternal grandparents, played to perfection by Ellen Burstyn and Michael Murphy. They live in one of the only two decent resort towns on the New Jersey shore, namely the northern one, Ocean Grove (the southern one being Cape May of course). They live a very tranquil summer existence in one of those genteel, rambling Victorian chocolate box houses. Suddenly dynamite blows up in their faces, by way of the granddaughter Greta's unwelcome arrival. She strides in, sulking and rude, sprawls on the sofa with a remote in her hand and whines that they do not have cable TV so that she cannot watch her reality shows. It gets worse and worse and worse. At first we think no one will survive summer, and indeed Ellen Burstyn does have a heart attack from the stress caused. Greta is so obnoxious, revolting, and horrible that it is impossible to feel any sympathy for her, and countless viewers must have wished she could be humanely put down. However, the story is of the progressive taming of the wild kid. The film is very well made, and I guess Greta, the poor thing, is worth a bit of sympathy at the end because she is not really a bad person, she is just a crazy mixed-up kid who is more extreme in her disorders than most. To her credit, she refuses to take the tranquilizers which have been prescribed for her. (Never take one of those!) As a human tornado, wreaking damage on all sides, Hilary Duff is entirely convincing, so much so in fact that I would hate to run into her in a dark alley anywhere. I suppose the film is all about learning compassion. There is a very sensitive and excellent performance by the young actor Evan Ross of a boy who tries to understand Greta and is fond of her. As the saying goes, he 'has his work cut out for him'. The film is directed by Nancy Bardawil and is her only feature so far. She shows not only considerable directorial ability but a great deal of courage in taking on a project as challenging as this. Michael Gilvary wrote a very convincing screenplay. But anybody thinking of spending the summer at Ocean Grove had better watch out, and above all avoid any sulky young girls, as they might be the terrifying Greta!