Teen drama skews adult for laughs

About halfway through “How to Build a Girl,” this sweet teen drama becomes an adult-oriented comedy. The film earns its “R” rating in healthy doses by throwing its protagonist, 16-year-old Johanna Morrigan (Beanie Feldstein), into an advanced world of sex and alcohol mainly for chuckles.
Teen drama skews adult for laughs

And in this adolescent fantasy, a child adapts immediately to her awakening. Well, there is a comeuppance, of sorts, meant to find the right tonal balance.

Parents of 16-year-old girls everywhere will shudder. Could our delicate children be this cavalier about the loss of innocence? Well, yes, of course. They’ve been raised by Tik Tok, Instagram, Snapchat, GroupMe, WhatsApp, Discord, Tumblr, and the list goes on and on. There’s Twitter, which contains an unregulated amount of adult content. And Facebook, well, that’s just for old folks. The horrific soup du jour, OnlyFans, has gone from a creepy online platform to something of the pop culture mainstream.

But in “How to Build a Girl,” Johanna ventures out in the backward, technologically rustic world of the 1990s. The internet didn’t factor into her rough upbringing. She’s a girl from an English council estate. Her hapless, but good-natured, parents have their hands full with the unexpected birth of twins, bringing their child count to five. And from the look of things, much of what’s happened in their lives was unexpected.

Read the rest of my review online and in print in the Times-Herald:

Please follow and like us: