Thirteen

Kind of crappy. I wanted to like it, really I did. I mean, I never actually got out of the house to see it, but sometimes it seems like the more excited I am about a movie, the less likely it is that Murphy will let me get there. Sometimes it works out, though, since I end up not having to pay for movies that will disappoint me. Case in point: Thirteen.

  • Holly Hunter and Evan Rachel Wood are my two favorite actresses on this earth.
  • I love really fucked up girls, and movies about same.
  • My So-Called Life is in my top 5 TV shows of all time list.

Maybe that’s the problem. Because I felt like someone was telling me the plot of the MSCL pilot, with the appropriate ten-year-forward adjustments: girl ditches nerdy friends, dresses provocatively, experiments with sex and drugs, gets weird with parents, but without the layer of, you know, good. Just plot, plot, plot, character, character, acting acting acting. And yes, I did like the acting, of course. The people are very good. But in a movie talking about teenage dissolution you have got to be careful of two things:

  1. You cannot let me think about it for a second, or I will fall out of the dream, and start thinking about how anti-drug movies never work.
  2. You cannot let the drug scenes be more interesting than the non-drug scenes.

This is a beautiful movie, a well-intentioned movie, a wonderfully acted movie, but ultimately it’s an afterschool special movie nonetheless. Evan Rachel Wood, I’m speaking specifically to you now: No more ingenue/relatively fucked-up/eating disorder/secret cutter roles. We’re on to you. Give me something else.

2.5 of 4 tongue rings awarded.

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