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I don’t usually go to the movies. I prefer to chill at home with a DVD, but a friend wanted to go out one afternoon so we decided to to catch a matinee showing of a movie she’d been wanting to see, “A Girl Like Her”.

After watching the movie, I must say that the previews for the other movies coming soon were far more entertaining and much better in most respects. Let me elaborate with some sandwich action after the trailer:

And now some very spoilery thoughts are hiding behind the cut…

The Good

I do think the movie had a good message for the most part. It shows an honest look at what goes on between kids every day, and how things have changed with the ability to use social media. I think they also pointed out some real flaws in the whole “anti-bullying” movement.

The Bad

Where to start? First, I really don’t like the camera work in this movie. It’s done in mostly documentary style that ultimately gave me a headache. I also thought this movie, despite trying to make both victim and bully sympathetic, failed in most respects and didn’t really address some very important points. Let’s take a closer look:

Jessica continually subjects herself to text messages that are abusive and terrible, despite the fact that she can choose not to look at them. She allows her former friend to litter her Facebook with evil comments as well, a situation that could easily have been resolved by blocking Avery from her account. I think this is one thing we really don’t address enough: you have power. You can choose what and who you allow into your personal space and you need to do whatever you need to do to remove toxic people from your life.

Then we have Avery. She’s the mean girl who subjects her old friend to relentless verbal abuse and physical intimidation. The movie attempts to make Avery sympathetic by showing her “horrible” home life. She has a passive-aggressive mother who puts a “happy” spin on anything and everything going on in the family’s home. The mother blames everyone but her daughter for everything: not making a school club, the bullying accusations against her after Jessica attempts suicide, etc. The “fight” we see that’s a typical night in their home is so mild, I wanted to laugh. If this girl only knew real bad childhood home lives… how about learning some coping mechanisms? I think that’s another thing that has been sorely lost in this whole debate and in general.

Finally…. some more good:

The acting in this movie was excellent. I particularly liked the two female leads. They managed to get inside their character’s pain and brought it to the surface in a real way that was moving far beyond the material they got to work with warranted. I also liked Jessica’s loyal friend who tried everything to help her through the situation. His idea of the hidden camera was awesome and ultimately exposed the truth of what was going down at school.