FILM REVIEW – Story of a Girl: About self-reflection in a modern digital age

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Facebook. Instagram. Twitter. Snapchat. There are so many platforms these days on which we can share all of our content. Pictures, videos, status updates. You see them a lot more than you would expect. 99% of the time we know and approve what we post or what is posted about us but sometimes it can happen that a photo or video is shared without our knowledge or permission. That’s the start of Story of a Girl, the directional debut of Kyra Sedgwick, who starred in The Closer and The Woodsman (alongside her husband Kevin Bacon). Based on the novel from Sara Zarr, Sedgwick tells the story of a (young) girl whose life is turned upside down due to one short online indiscretion but one with massive consequences. It’s all about self-reflection in a modern digital age.

When a sexual video of the 16-year-old Deanna (Ryann Shane), the girl in the story, and upper-class man Tommy (Tyler Johnson) from school, circulates through the entire school, her life would never be the same again. Her reputation as school slut was born and her humiliation got ever worse, especially when her father Ray (Jon Tenney) got to see the video by accident, which causes even more tension in the household. The family already went through a rough time when the girlfriend Stacey (Sosie Bacon) of their son Darren (Ian Belcher) got pregnant and when the couple decided to live in the family basement because they couldn’t afford their own house to raise the baby.

As a result of that leaked video, the pressure reaches a climax and Deanna decides that it has been enough. With her brother, sister-in-law and their baby, they agree on renting a house together but that’s has been said easier than done, especially because there’s almost no money to spend on the rent. For that reason, Deanna starts working as a server at Craven Pizza, the only place where she could get an offer, under the protective wings of her gay boss Michael (Kevin Bacon). First step towards a great future but when a ghost from the past re-appeared, the future might not look that bright.

You’ve probably already notice it; it’s a story that really fits in this modern area so we’re not shocked that Sedgwick decided to make and release the movie now. The fact that Deanna is very strong young woman combined with Laurie Collyer and Emily Bickford Lansbury as screenwriters and Sedgwick in the director’s chair gives a very powerful female touch to the movie without becoming a movie ‘just for women’. So getting all those women on board was a very well-considered and valuable choice. Also the decision to screen movie on Lifetime, an American television channel with predominantly female viewership, is really an advantage for this movie.

Another key to the potential success of this movie is the cast. Thanks to Shane her acting talent, we’re catapulted back to our own youth. We’ve maybe not experienced the exact same thing as Deanna but we’ll really recognize ourselves in her and the world she lives in. We feel the emotions, from anger to love, from being disappointed to happiness. Johnson portrayed Tommy, the very popular school boy, with a lot of confidence and also every other classmate we encountered during our high school was represented in The Story of a Girl. Kevin Bacon shines as the gay boss without being too gay and too cliché and we could all learn something from the advice his character Michael gives to Deanna. Bacon’s daughter Susie and Ian Belcher are great together as the couple whose lives together haven’t always been easy but whose love for each other always will win, no matter how rough the times are.

We hope that Story of a girl will gets a full cinematically release and that the screening on Lifetime is only the start of its well-deserved success. The great story (Thanks to Zarr obviously) that fits perfectly in today’s world, the powerful female touch throughout the entire movie and the fabulous cast is definitely worth your time (and money).

Film and Celebrity Reporter – Liselotte Vanophem

 

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