The Diary of a Teenage Girl movie full length review - Horrible, horrible
I'm not even going to read what other people have written about this film, because whatever they find praiseworthy in it??some technical things, certainly??nothing can make up for the horror of what you're watching on screen.
You are watching 102 minutes of child abuse. In many scenes it's portrayed graphically, but from beginning to end child abuse makes up the content of the story.
Does it matter if the 15-year-old girl is curious about sex and asks for it from the 35-year-old boyfriend of her mother? Does it make it better? Does it matter if she enjoys having sex with him, or if she wants to continue when, after many months, he wants to stop? The girl is 15, naive, she doesn't understand the implication and the consequences of what she's doing, so doesn't think there's anything so terrible about what's happening, and because the story is told from her point of view, it all proceeds, scene after scene, for such a long time, as if there's nothing really so wrong about it. I think that's the worst part of it. But of course it's statutory rape. It's child abuse, a grown man taking advantage of a young girl's curiosity and budding sexuality (he tells her she gives him a hard-on, and when she's likes the idea, he takes her hand and shoves it down his pants), taking her into his bed when he should have gently turned her down and done a little fatherly counselling.
Even at the end, there's no sense of the horror of the abuse. The man who abused the child loses his sexual privileges with the mother and her daughter, but he doesn't pay any price. He walks away a free man, a little chastened after being rejected by them, but free and untouched. Neither the mother nor the daughter report him to the police. Nobody tells the estranged father, who would certainly have taken severe action. The movie treats the abuse as just an experience, just something that happened, just part of the girl's growing up. There's a tiny hint of the profound repercussions that would follow in real life, when she finds she can't make love to a boy of her own age, because she is too experienced for him, she knows too much about sex. It's a small sign; her life will be marked in many other ways, too. In the final scene we see her dancing crazily in her bedroom like a normal 15-year-old. Are we to believe that this is the end, that now she'll go back to being an ordinary 15-year-old? In real life it won't be anything like that. She'll be carrying with her the load of the many forms of depravity she's experienced. She will be deeply scarred. She knows from practical experience that if she needs money she can always give men blowjobs. Doing it once for money makes it much easier the next time. She's crossed so many boundaries.
Here's how my wife and I reacted through the whole movie ?? "Oh my god, no, no! This is awful, horrible! This is wrong!" I couldn't believe the film was showing this story. I was waiting for someone to show some regret, some reluctance, some conscience, some sense of right and wrong, but it never came until a little, just a little sense of morality, near the end.
And, as if sexual abuse wasn't enough, the girl is introduced to sniffing cocaine at a party her mother holds in their apartment, she approaches men in a bar and gives them a blowjob for $15, she is seduced by a heroin-addicted lesbian, and she almost agrees to having sex with a strange man as payment for her lesbian "friend" getting heroin.
Why weren't the producers charged with child pornography? They show a 15-year-old girl fully nude in various shots, they show her multiple times naked in bed with a naked man on top of her, they show her giving oral sex. If these scenes were not in the context of a "major motion picture," if they were just shown on their own, I'm sure they would count as child pornography.
I watched in open-mouthed horror from beginning to end. No, I didn't walk out. I was hoping for some kind of moral turn in the plot, some retribution against the abuser, some sense on the part of the mother and the girl of the profound harm that was done, but it never came.
I wish I hadn't seen this film. It left me with the nastiest feelings I ever remember after seeing a movie. I am going to do my best to put it out of my mind (this lengthy review, I hope, will help get rid of some of those feelings). I wish it hadn't been made. I wish the police would charge the producers with child pornography.