THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL

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Completely unnerving and overwhelmingly awkward is how I would describe it, which pretty much sums up my teenage years, so I guess they’ve nailed it with this one.

When you’re faced with a title like this, you’re likely to assume that it’ll be filled with ungainly, first-time sexual encounters, one too many references made to ‘puberty’ and a bucket-load of angst. Although you would, in fact, be correct in assuming this, I can assure you that this film is actually so much worse than that.

Having not seen the trailer, the plot line was a little unexpected, if not a little shocking. But it was also really great. And confusing. Because it was sort of funny in an ‘I definitely shouldn’t be laughing at this’ sort of way, but I definitely laughed out loud a lot. As did my two companions. 

Kristen Wiig is amazing, as always, and it’s great to see her taking on a more serious role. Bel Powley, who takes on the role of protagonist Minnie, plays the part of a teenage girl in a way that no man ever could, which sounds completely ridiculous and nonsensical, but if you’re a woman, you’ll know what I mean. And as for Alexander Skarsgard, he couldn’t have been any less attractive in it if he tried. You’ll see why when you watch it.

In short, I loved it. But at a BBQ on our recent ‘am I in Spain or am I in South London?’ scorcher of a Saturday, a friend drew my attention to something I don’t love: the fact that the film has been rated as an 18. How can a film that is centred around our awkward teenage years be accessible only to the adults who have already survived them? The truth is, I don’t know, but apparently Powley is campaigning – or at least was campaigning – to have the rating lowered so that actual teenagers could watch it and feel a little less weird about their obsession with sex, not having sex and feeling older than their years. Yes, the film touches on what it’s like to have not grown into your face yet, but it also addresses some heavier issues from teenagehood. And that’s important.

Despite my minor gripe with the certification of the movie, I would still recommend that you take your girlfriends, along with a large bag of popcorn to go and see it. You’ll squirm from the comfort of your cushioned seat throughout whilst laughing uncontrollably, hoping that the people behind you aren’t judging. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions but well worth the ride.

I must warn you, however: do not, under any circumstances, take a parent. Or someone you wouldn’t want to watch a sex scene with, such as your nan. Or a work colleague.

No, seriously, trust me on that last one.

The Cinema

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Not being able to concentrate for longer than an episode of Eastenders means that the cinema is most certainly not my first choice of date location. But it isn’t solely down to my short attention span that I opt for sushi over screenplay. The cinema is a scary place. A place of awkward shuffles and popcorn crunching. A realm of uncertainty and self-doubt. And sometimes I think it’s best to go it alone.

Take my first ever date for example. It was indeed, a trip to the cinema. I was thirteen; ridiculously self-conscious and for some reason finding it appropriate to rock denim on denim (including a fetching cap which read “babe” in pink). It was a time when I thought the film wasn’t the main attraction and the cinema was a magical place. Instead, this disastrous “double date” showed me just how bad it could be. My best friend and her boyfriend snogged the whole way through, whilst me and some boy sat on either side, unsure of where to look. This is not how I thought cinema dates were supposed to go. I thought I was supposed to sit next to my date? Maybe even hold hands? Instead, I actually watched the film.

Over the next few years came a flurry of lateness, munching, lost tickets, mice ridden theatres, popcorn throwing, bust ups and tears so I took a little sabbatical from movie dates until I left school and a guy insisted on taking me back to that dark place. He bought Nachos and he eats like a rhino. Enough said.

I thought my movie days were over until I went on a sort of date with a sort of friend who perched his hand comfortably on my knee. This all felt pretty ideal until I realised my leg was basically numb from sitting in the same position for about forty-five minutes. I remained in this position until I thought I would never walk again and then made an excuse about getting some water. As I stood up, I realized that in actual fact, I couldn’t walk. So with every step I took, I stumbled. The whole way down the stairs.  And to make matters worse, we haven’t mentioned it since. Until now, obviously.

So although it’s taken me around ten years, what I’ve realised, much like sitting on the loo, is that the cinema seat is made for one person, popcorn is the poorest choice of silent snack and lateness is a buzz killer to those who enjoy watching the trailers. But a picture perfect date is boring and sometimes it’s worth taking that risk.

Anything can happen in those 90 minutes, and most of the action happens in your seat, so hold on tight and enjoy the ride.

Seatbelt anyone?