I saw the movie 8th Grade yesterday. Wow. I'm not even sure what to say, but if my 17-year-old son's reaction was anything to go by, it was an accurate look at the torture (and potential) of that time in life. He was cringing so much, and also laughing. The movie nailed so many small details that highlight the awkwardness of that age...the close-ups of acne, braces, posing, social media addiction, bodies in all stages of development and many more.
Although the movie is about one especially awkward girl, you get a glimpse of some of the other "types" of kids (the hot guy, the snobby girls, the nerd...). We don't get to know any of them well, but it feels like they would each have their own bigger, more nuanced, equally awkward and painful story to tell.
The main character, Kayla, makes advice videos about topics like being yourself, getting out of your comfort zone, taking a chance (kind of like some of the things I write about!). In some it's a close-up of her face, and in others her voiceover is heard over her doing some of those things (or not doing them) to painful effect. What's fun, and also excruciating, is watching her feeling her way through things. I sat in the theater willing her to make the right decision knowing it could go either way. (I won't tell you which way...don't want to ruin the surprise.)
By the end of the movie, when Kayla is headed to high school, we definitely have the feeling she has grown a bit, and is a little wiser, but that there are more bumps ahead. There are also some hilarious and touching scenes with her father.
Gucci. (If you see the movie, you'll understand.)