Ray’s Reviews – The Diary of a Teenage Girl

As part of our Screen Queens initiative (all about feminist + queer film discussion) we put on regular movie nights and run a great podcast. Recently we received some funding from Brisbane Pride Festival’s Kal Collins Memorial Fund which has allowed us to program 3 special films to play on Friday nights at Metro Arts for the rest of 2017, and to pay our new reviewer, Ray, to write about the films for us.

Below is Ray’s review of the first of these three films – The Diary of a Teenage Girl – thanks, Ray!

The Diary Of A Teenage Girl beautifully captures the colours and feelings of San Francisco in the 70s. Minnie is a fifteen-year-old who loves to draw and dreams of becoming a comic artist. Like most teenage girls, Minnie keeps a diary. Hers takes the form of cassette tapes on which she records her thoughts and feelings about sex, her fascination with her body image, and her emerging sexual relationship with her mother’s boyfriend.

The film explores the transitional stage between being a child and being a woman. Minnie starts being treated like an adult because of her body, but she still has the coping strategies of a child and is put in situations she isn’t yet emotionally ready to handle. Along with her best friend Kimmie, she explores her sexual boundaries and how others see her.

Throughout the movie, Minnie’s love for drawing comes to life on screen through illustrative animations similar to Lizzie McGuire and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. These drawings show her thoughts and reveal her perspective on what’s going on. A character that comes to life most often is Minnie’s favourite comic artist, Aline Kominsky-Crumb who is a pioneer and role model for a lot of female comic artists today.

Initially, I was silent. I dreaded seeing Minnie’s sexual encounters with her mother’s significantly older boyfriend. I also found her interactions with her mother unsettling and cringe-inducing, especially when she encourages Minnie to wear more makeup, “get out there” and told that she won’t have this body forever. However, there were still parts of the movie that made me laugh like when Minnie comments, “I guess that makes me an adult.” after having sex for the first time.

The Diary Of A Teenage Girl was a fantastic movie even though it was deeply uncomfortable at times. I found the way it showed how Minnie felt pressure on her body image and about sex to be relatable. I would definitely recommend watching it if you want to see an honest and uncensored depiction of teenage life.

– Ray


One thought on “Ray’s Reviews – The Diary of a Teenage Girl

  1. Great Review Ray.
    I suspect the film might make me uncomfortable too but your review makes me want to see it. Clearly it has some deep themes running through it and your review captured these. And San Francisco in the ’70s would be cool!
    thanks

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