The Diary of a Teenage Girl ★★★★

(i wouldn’t call this description a spoiler but it’s pretty specific about a single scene in the movie, so reader beware)

There’s a scene where Minnie is fooling around with Monroe and she playfully yells “help I’m being raped!” in earshot of an open door where a sailor is standing guard nearby. Even though it plays as a joke you expect someone to come to her rescue, and to have a scene where Monroe freaks out or where Minnie is forced to convince her “rescuer” that she was just joking. That moment never comes. Instead, we get a shot a few seconds later of the sailor as he’s passed out on the dock, and the moment is very effective in saying something– no one is looking out for teenage girls.

I’m not sure that’s the chief message of this movie there’s also a lot of curious and condescension/judgment-free exploration of teenage female sexuality that I found really interesting and refreshing to see displayed so openly at the center of a movie. I also love that it doesn’t use dramatic irony to try and make any jokes at the expense of Minnie or paint her as naive, which seems like a very easy move for this kind of story. But that doesn’t mean the other message isn’t there.

I could see this film becoming a cult classic, especially if Marielle Heller starts to get her due after Can You Ever Forgive Me? takes flight. Also, Christopher Meloni’s role is very funny.