The Diary of a Teenage Girl

If you want to see a film focusing on the emotional trauma of a teenage girl, then leave this movie in the gutter and re-watch the classic Inside Out.

The Diary of a Teenage GirlReceiving critical praise in many quarters, The Diary of a Teenage Girl is actually a semi-porn film that would have strong appeal for Jared Fogle, Subway’s deposed spokesman. Taking place in San Francisco during the 1970s, you watch a 15-year-old girl’s sexual awakening centering on booze, cocaine and an affair with her mother’s 35-year-old boyfriend.

Bel Powley plays the teenager who embraces the term “hot to trot”, and nothing is hidden from the screen. You see her completely naked in scenes ranging from intercourse with mom’s beau (Alexander Skarsgård), lesbian encounters with an attractive girl she meets at a party to oral sex with a stranger while posing with a friend as prostitutes. If the purpose of Director/Screenwriter Marielle Heller was to give us a film reflecting a coming of age story of an average teenage girl, every mother in the audience will be motivated to hire a security guard to accompany their daughter whenever they leave the house.

This film delivers nothing close to what I expected from critics far more talented than myself. Every character on the screen is not only flawed but profoundly unlikeable. That begins with Kristen Wiig, who plays Ms. Powley’s alcoholic, divorced mother. She is chemically loaded in nearly every scene, all of which takes place in her small apartment, and it is hard to imagine how any man could find her appealing unless your only desire was to quickly get laid.

As the boyfriend who is banging both mom and her daughter, Mr. Skarsgård is the definition of a wretched human being. He is as unappealing as Ms. Wiig  and his continual encounters with a teenage girl resemble little more than a film to be played by a prosecutor during a child molestation trial. He was great in the overlooked The East (2013), so he is free to dilute this mess from his movie resume.

Ironically, I saw this film in San Francisco. There were less than 10 people in the audience, all men sitting alone. I couldn’t help but laugh as I considered  what they were doing in their seats watching a film that resembled what we used to call a skin flick back in college. However, I will leave that thought to your twisted imagination.