The Diary of a Teenage Girl
Directed by Marielle Heller
Written by Marielle Heller
Starring: Bel Powley, Alexander Skarsgard, Kristen Wiig, Christopher Meloni, Austin Lyon, and Quinn Nagle
In the 1970’s a young girl (Powley) living in San Francisco blossoms into womanhood and her sexuality.
The Diary of a Teenage Girl is an excellent coming of age story. The film manages to explore a young woman finding her sexuality without portraying the protagonist as a slut or resulting to slut shame the protagonist. There are two times in the film where the protagonist is called a slut for exploring her sexuality. However, the film does not make that assessment. The movie asserts that the exploration of sexuality is a natural part of adolescence. Sexuality is something that should not be shameful, but it is something that should be explored without shame. The cast in The Diary of a Teenage Girl was fantastic. Bel Powley as the protagonist was excellent; she gave a performance that was relatable and layered. The supporting cast in the film was strong. Skarsgard, Wiig, and Meloni all add something to the movie, whether it is a lustful figure, a maternal figure, or a surrogate father figure. The Diary of a Teenage Girl also has a strong script. The film fully develops its central themes and Powley’s relationships with the characters around her.
While the relationships in the film are developed well, I thought that the mother/daughter relationship between Wiig and Powley could have been utilized more. That relationship could have been an important subplot in the movie; instead, the film gives just enough information to understand the dynamics of the relationship. There is also a point in the film where Powley starts exploring some homosexual stuff, and the film could have spent some more time with Powley exploring this facet of sexuality. I do not understand what the deal with animation was, aside from one scene where it made sense to have it, the animation took me out of the movie. Other than being some quirky indie and that the source material for the movie is a prose/graphic hybrid novel, I did not see the point in placing the animation in the film.
The Diary of a Teenage Girl was a strong coming of age story with a strong script but underutilized certain aspects of that script. The Diary of a Teenage Girl receives 3.75/5.