Young Augusten Burroughs absorbs experiences that could make for a shocking memoir: the son of an alcoholic father and an unstable mother, he's handed off to his mother's therapist, Dr. Finch, and spends his adolescent years as a member of Finch's bizarre extended family.
At the edge of adolescence, Tracy is a smart straight-A student--if not a little naive (it seems...she smokes and she cuts to alleviate the emotional pain she suffers from having a broken home and hating her mom's boyfriend, Brady.) When she befriends Evie, the most popular and beautiful girl in school, Evie leads Tracy down a path of sex, drugs and petty crime (like stealing money from purses and from stores). As Tracy transforms herself and her identity, her world becomes a boiling, emotional cauldron fueled by new tensions between her and her mother--as well as, teachers and old friends.Written by
Out of all the films that have been made about the adolescent experience REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE is still the best. It may have been made in the 1950's but it's issues are as timely as ever. Unlike most other teen movies it tried harder to be honest and wasn't caught up with simply being hype or trendy. It seems like every time someone comes out with the latest 'relevant' teen movie the more irrelevant they actually become. Like with a lot of the others this one is way more smoke than fire.
The main problem with this one is that it is just too much of what you'd expect. One 'shocking' scene is piled up by another with a very tiring regularity. None of it has any impact and it all seems very one dimensional. Just about every imaginable facet of outrageous teen behavior is shown. You feel almost cheated when she doesn't runaway and become a hooker with an abusive pimp. It is all very exploitive, leering, and degrading. Saying that this is simply a 'honest look at todays teens' shouldn't forgive it.
The film may have some validity, but it all seems meshed together in effort to create some seedy paranoid nightmare. It seems to have gotten inspirations from Larry Clarke's excellent docudrama KIDS. This film though fails to be as compelling or as hypnotic. In many ways this films style is very distracting. They seem even more obsessed with the hand held camera than THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT.
The Hunter character could easily qualify for the worst parent award. She misses all the obvious signs and seems to have no ability to control, punish, or even confront her daughter. She also looks and acts too much like a teenager herself. Maybe this is the point, but still a some more meaty confrontation would have given this thing a little more electricity.
Wood as the star is certainly an up and coming actress. She shows a lot of composure and is all around outstanding. She has a very sweet and delicate face, which makes her transgression all the more jarring. Yet the character she plays is smart and sensitive and who already seemed to have a lot of friends. It seems to be pushing it to think that she would have fallen so completely in with the wrong crowd when she really didn't have too. Reed, who co-wrote the screenplay and plays the new friend with a bad influence, is a much weaker actress and is hardly effective at all.
Overall it is easy to see that this was written by a young novice. The story is aimless and pointless. In the end it amounts to nothing, but a waste of time.
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