Saturday, October 8, 2011


Review: Dirty Girl
2 stars (out of 5)
By R. Kurt Osenlund

For a movie hellbent on marketing itself as the seedy tale of a small-town tramp, Dirty Girl sure has an odd way of making good on its promise. There's a girl, and she's prone to dirty acts, but that's just one patch of this arbitrarily stitched quilt of white-trash, Bible-Belt transgression, which flattens under the weight of a truckload of half-realized ambitions. Writer-director Abe Sylvia claims the 1987-set film is derived from his experiences as an overweight closet case at his Oklahoma high school, and the daily debauchery of his promiscuous female classmate, who he desperately wished was his right-hand hag. With Dirty Girl, Sylvia dreamily concocts the friendship he always wanted, casting newcomer Jeremy Dozier as Clark, a sparkly eyed version of himself, and Juno Temple as Danielle, the campus whore whose fabulous authority-bucking is irresistible. But in this process of joining two outcast forces and telling their parallel coming-of-age stories, Sylvia lets the glitter fly like he's Michael Patrick King Jr., packing in so complete a roster of tacky queer clich├ęs you'd think he somehow knew this would be not just his first feature, but also his last.

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