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17 girls
Click for full sized poster

17 Girls

Starring Louise Grinberg
Written and Directed by Delphine and Muriel Coulin

IN SHORT: In French w/ subtitles.. [Not Rated. 90 minutes]

After 20 years of writing we know that the very idea of reading subtitles will keep our reading audience away from a movie theater. So we usually pass on the things.

In which a 16 year old girl named Camille (Louise Grinberg) gets pregnant and sixteen of her friends/ peer group decide "me too! me too! Set in the town of Lorient in Brittany, France, where minors can get all the sexual advice they need from the school nurse (as well as things like condoms and pregnancy tests, assuming we followed the nitty gritty details correctly). The film focusses on five of the girls while giving short shrift to the boys involved (no scenes), most of the parents involved (one scene), the replacement parental types at school (a couple or so) or the once almighty Roman Catholic church (now invisible). What passes for conflict in the story we won't even hint at, as it is the only variation that might keep you interested.

As for that "story" 17 Girls struck us more as a great idea whose writer/directors, sisters Delphine Coulin and Muriel Coulin, left most of the work to the actors to improvise. A small scene involving Camille's soldier brother and a teddy bear is as much masculine intrusion that the film will allow.

Ignore any semblance of a pun in that last sentence.

Pulling all the adults out of the supporting roles leaves the girls with very little to do, other than to dream of an "adult" life in which they all co-parent each other's children; in the meantime they get sonograms, watch their bellies enlarge and dream of the independence, from school and parents, to come. Eventually they'll push baby carriages around on their way to senior year classes. Yes, there is a third act surprise which we will not reveal. No, it is not big enough for you to spend your hard earned bucks to read the subtitled screen.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to 17 Girls, he would have paid . . .



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