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  • This was in another spectrum of movies for Lifetime. Incredible acting, great story, amazing directing. The only thing needed was more scenes connecting the relationship between the father and the main character. I was confused as to who he was to her up until the last 20 minutes of the movie. Again, if this actually was made just for Lifetime, this would win the Lifetime Academy Award.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Story of a Girl," premiered July 23 on Lifetime, was not only better than the usual run of their movies but better than the previews for it had made it look. The credits, at least, made this look like a prestige production: the director and co-producer was actress Kyra Sedgwick, her husband Kevin Bacon and their daughter Sosie Bacon were both in the cast (albeit not in the leads), and the story was based on a highly regarded young-adult novel by Sara Zarr published in 2007 which was a finalist for that year's National Book Award and made the 2008 American Library Association's list of Best Books for Young Adults. The promos for the film made much of its most salacious detail: three years before the main part of the film takes place, its central character, Deanna Lambert (played by Ryann Shane through most of the movie but Bailey Skodje in the flashbacks), then just 13 years old, had sex with her boyfriend Tommy Weber (Tyler Johnston, just the right sort of decent-looking but not drop-dead gorgeous young guy Sedgwick and her casting directors, Ann Goulder in the U.S. and Jackie Lind in Canada, should have picked). Tommy filmed them with his smartphone and the clip ultimately ended up on the Internet and "went viral," instantly giving Deanna the image as a "slut" — indeed, quite a few online social-media posts about her denounce her whole family as "trash" — and also getting her father Ray (Jon Tenney) relentlessly angry at her. She's not the only member of her family who got into trouble over sex: her older brother Darren (Iain Belcher) got his girlfriend Stacy (Sosie Bacon) pregnant, and as a result both had to forsake their dreams of going to college and stay in the small beach town whose location is unspecified but which is portrayed throughout the movie as a place where dreams (and dreamers) go to die.

    Darren and Stacy are currently living in the Lamberts' basement and raising their baby, April, and Ray Lambert is crabbing almost constantly about their presence as well as the likelihood that her daughter, with her presumably "loose" sexual morals, may also end up "with child." In some ways Ray is the most unsympathetic character in the film, essentially Archie Bunker without the charm. As for the mother, Debbie (Caroline Cave), she's pretty much just along for the ride; her attempted "solution" to the domestic disputes swirling around her is to corral her errant kids around the breakfast table and make them deliberately "homey" specials like French toast and oatmeal. Things heat up (in more ways than one) for Deanna when she decides she wants a job, and she goes to the various coffeehouses and food places around town. At one she's told by the counter boy, who's barely older than she is, that she looks familiar, and she snipes back, "Maybe it's my online sex video." "You're going to have to work on your interviewing skills," says her Black friend Lee (Naika Toussaint), whose boyfriend Jason (Andrew Herr) is Deanna's favorite (but platonic) soulmate and sounding board. Eventually Deanna lands a job with Craven Pizza, whose owner Michael (Kevin Bacon) is first shown lying out on a couple of chairs inside his establishment — it's closed at the moment so he figures he can behave any way he likes, including smoking inside — with no shirt or shoes on. At first we figure he's going to hit on our heroine, but eventually he turns out to be the most decent man in the movie and the one male from whom Deanna's virtue is in no threat, mainly because he's Gay. Deanna's real sex-related problem at work is Tommy Weber, who by luck (or Sara Zarr's authorial fiat) also works at Craven Pizza (which got its name from Michael's love of recent horror films in general and Wes Craven's work in particular ), and he's too good a cook for Michael to risk losing him, so Deanna puts up with the cold war around Tommy (who makes it clear he'd like to screw her again) and also the snide sexual comments of the male patrons who congregate at Craven Pizza for beer pitchers and pizza (in that order of importance).

    "Story of a Girl," written by Laurie Collyer and Emily Bickford Lansbury from Zarr's novel and quite effectively directed by Sedgwick ¬— who has the usual actor-director's gift for getting understated performances from her cast (one shudders to think what one of the usual Lifetime hacks would have done with this story and how much scenery the actors would have been allowed to ingest) and also has a quite sensitive camera eye — is not only a more psychologically and emotionally complex story than the Lifetime norm, it's given a quiet, dignified, mostly unsentimental presentation. At one point Deanna tells Lee that she will have a chance to break out of the town, go to college and make something of her life, while Deanna, her brother and his girlfriend, and Lee's own boyfriend Jason are just going to be trapped there for the rest of their lives. Later Michael makes his own sad confession, saying that decades earlier he had gone to Stanford but dropped out during his sophomore year because "I just didn't like doing homework," and after that he was married to two different women, both of whom he loved non-sexually but ultimately left because he knew the whole time he was Gay. "Story of a Girl" is probably the best thing I've seen on Lifetime since "Speak" (also based on an acclaimed young-adult novel and also about an alienated teenage girl whose life was ruined by a sexually predatory male, and which starred Kristen Stewart before she did the "Twilight" movies and was so good it made me want to see the "Twilight" cycle), and I certainly hope the Bacons will get to make a few more films like this.
  • Having just seen this "real life" movie together with mostly Syrian, Palestinian and Iraqi refugees in an asylum center for refugees, I can only marvel at how superficial some people's lives have become. The subject matter was ridiculous, unbelievable and extremely egocentric ,the acting was below par and at no time did the main characters solicit any emotion, except ridicule and disbelief. Surrounded by people whose life really was changed drastically, by war, famine, civil unrest etc. my only conclusion can be: a pathetic movie about First World Problems, made for people with Very Boring Lives who are addicted to antisocial media.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I didn't like this Young Adult story. Usually in YA fiction there is something sweet or insightful or romantic or funny. But here there are no likable characters. Everyone seems unpleasant and irritating from Dad to bro to mom to sister in law. The central character "the girl" is totally unsympathetic considering the reveal at the end. How can you feel for a person who brought it all upon herself? Miss Sedgewick's direction isn't great. The characters are haphazardly introduced, leaving it hard to figure out who is who. The cast lacks charisma. Not that they have to be pretty or good looking. Here they are just unappealing.

    Not worth watching.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    There is a stark realism to the depiction of the life of Deanna Lambert in "Story of a Girl." From start to finish, the film has the feeling of real life being captured with nothing sounded scripted in grim details of a human life.

    As she is completing her high school education, Deanna is tormented by her past, when at age thirteen, she had sex in a car with Tommy Webber, and the scene was captured on video. It later went viral, leading to a rupture in Deanna's family that has never completely healed, especially in her relationship to her father. The circumstances of the video being sent to Deanna's classmates is one of the secrets reserved for the end of the film.

    Deanna takes a summer job at Craven's Pizza, working for a kind man named Michael, who provides her with some good advice. The life lessons from Michael are taken to heart, as Deanna tries to cope with her life in which the walls seem to be closing in on her.

    There are things about Deanna that she finds repellent about herself, and the camera captures her self-destructive behavior unflinchingly. But the filmmakers also offer an indepth portrait of her motivation and how she is seeking surcease from the demons inside her.

    The tragic implications of this film clearly portray young people like Deanna, her brother Darren, his partner Stacey, and even the feckless Michael Webber as all-too-human in the frailty and their courage in becoming responsible adults. The film's ultimate message is encapsulated in the lyrics of the final song: "This is your life!!!"
  • I really enjoyed the movie for the story and excellent acting, only problem was it was really quite sad although fairly realistic. Sosie Bacon played an excellent part, she should have a great career ahead of her.
  • I wasn't expecting much given it being a LT movie as most of them a really corny but this was not that. It had solid acting from the main characters especially from Kevin Bacon and Ryann Shane. The story was well written and the directing was good.