Girl (1998)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Coming-of-Age, Teen Movie  |   Run Time - 96 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Derek Armstrong

An otherwise inconsequential tale of a privileged high school senior's dalliances with rock & roll groupiedom, Girl achieves a measure of interest by gathering a who's who of young actresses just before they became known names. Lolita's Dominique Swain is the titular lass, and she's flanked by a punked-out Tara Reid, as well as Selma Blair, Portia de Rossi, and Summer Phoenix. These debutants give it their best shot, but the script dangles them in a story that tries to tackle the high-school social order, hero worship, teen suicide, and the failing loyalties of friendship, all against a Pacific Northwest music scene that already feels dated by the film's 1998 release. The dialogue is immature, especially Swain's hasty narration, which reads too much like teenybopper diary entries -- even when that's what it's supposed to be. Populated with character types rather than characters, Girl is heavy on suggestions of universal truth -- right down to its presumptuously overreaching title -- and light on believable examples of same. But its appeal to viewers who find themselves in a similar station of life shouldn't be underestimated, nor should the wealth of talented young actresses, making more promising strides toward maturation than their characters.