An ode to teenagers some would say, and is hard to digest others would conclude, The diary of a teenage girl explores the unrestrained feelings of teenage girls.
The story, fiction, or semi-autobiography by Gloeckner is stationed in San Francisco and fixed in the year 1976.
The feeling and emotions of most teenage girls are well fabricated without any veil. The diary of a teenage girl is well showcased on all platforms i.e, by pen in 2002, on stage in 2010, and on-screen in 2015 distributed by Sony Pictures Classics.
1. The Novel
The novel, “The diary of a teenage girl: An account in words and pictures“, came up in the year 2002. The protagonist of the critically acclaimed graphic novel featuring graphic nudity, and drug use; Minnie Goetze is featured in many previous works of Phoebe.
So if you are planning to read the novel, it is advised to first read “A child’s life”, 1998. Not only to promote good continuity but to have the basic idea of the main element of the diary of a teenage girl.
1.1. The Author
Phoebe Gloeckner, the author of the diary of a teenage girl, started cartooning at the age of 12. Her first work mostly comics appeared in underground publications. Her stories are highly influenced by the sequence of events in her life. Ranging from her mother’s divorce at the age of 4, her mother’s remarriage, and then her mother living with her boyfriend.
Minnie Goetze (Bel Powley) a 15-year-old girl gets into a complex love affair. Hard to believe! but with her mother’s Kristen Wiig boyfriend. She wildly explored what could be called a girl’s sexual and artistic awakening and the story ended with a sense of self-love and self-worth.
2. The Characters
The diary of a teenage girl has portrayed teens’ attraction to sexuality in what turned into a complex love affair with her mother’s boyfriend Monroe Rutherford.
All this is made possible by the refreshingly honest portrayals of the cast of the movie. So, here is the list of characters and the respective cast played by them in the movie The diary of a teenage girl.
2.1. Minnie Goetze (Bel Powley)
Bel Powley played the role of the main character, Minnie. Minnie is a curious 15-year-old girl. She questioned her sexual desire so much so that she ended up having a sexual relationship with her mother’s boyfriend, a boy of her age, and a lesbian. The emotional weaving with the sexual desire didn’t let anyone term her as a lascivious person.
2.2. Charlotte (Kristen Wiig)
Kristen Wiig played Minnie’s mother. The skin she is in the film is hard to maintain after two divorces, two daughters from different marriages, and having a boyfriend Monroe Rutherford. The extravagance with which she explores her womanhood certainly had a deep impact on the teen mind of our protagonist.
It is Charlotte’s indifference and lack of love for her daughters which led Miinie to explore her side of sexuality. The overall portrayal by Kristen Wiig is wonderful
2.3. Monroe Rutherford (Alexander Skarsgård)
Monroe rutherford (Alexander skarsgård) performed a terrific pedophile, beautifully portraying a confused man and it becomes really hard to understand his true characteristics till the end. For viewers, it is hard to bind him in a few words, “Bad Guy!“. I will credit him here for his acting skills.
2.4. Kimmie (Madeleine Waters)
Kimmie is an important character in the diary of a teenage girl. It was through Kimmie, Minnie was introduced to drugs.
2.5. Pascal (Christopher Meloni)
Pascal, Minnie’s stepfather first sensed Monroe’s sexual intention for Minnie. Pascal even warmed his ex-wife Charlotte for his bad intentions. He even said to Minnie that he loves her as his daughter Gretel.
Apart from the above, there are the other characters in the film that help smooth sailing of Minnie’s transition from looking for lust to looking for love inside.
3. Movie Info
The movie “The Diary of a Teenage Girl” is incepted under the same name as the novel by Phoebe Gloeckner.
The R- Rated movie was released in August 2015 and is 102 minutes long. The film got this rating due to a long list of parameters. These may help you frame the content before you watch it. Drinking – all involving teens, sexuality – even in dialogues, drug use, and graphic nudity.
3.1. The Production
The caviar co-financed movie with cold iron pictures after the three main roles were set to Bel Powley, Kristen Wiig, and Alexander Skarsgård. Caviar co-produced the film with Archer Gray Productions.
3.2. The Premiere and the Release
The film, The diary of a teenage girl premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2015. In August 2015 Sony Pictures Classic was accredited by the distribution rights.
The film hangs around what is a funny and provocative account of teenage girl Minnie Goetze bel powley sexual awakening.
The 15-year-old Minnie starts a complex love affair with her mother’s Kristen Wiig boyfriend the most handsome man. Here you may ask Why?
The “True Blood” actor Alexander Skarsgård, in the movie, is seen as the most handsome man and boyfriend to Kristen Wiig, Minnie’s mother.
It could be termed a difficult age story. Here the actor Monroe Rutherford, a grown-up man, and Wiig’s boyfriend the most handsome feels more comfortable in the company and having sex with the teenage girl’s sexual and artistic thoughts about it.
Resulting in a funny, provocative, and sharp account of a complex love affair.
Most teenage girls desire to love, and acceptance and look for some sense of purpose at this, I would like to call tender age. But why an affair with her mother’s Kristen Wiig boyfriend?
3.3. The Summary
Here are answers to the above questions in three parts.
3.3.1. The Opening of the Film-The Diary of a Teenage Girl
The movie opens with Minnie Goetze (Bel Powley) passing through the park with an ecstatic smile. Her world had changed. And in a voiceover she revealed had sex that day and exclaimed, “Holy shit!” Then she smiled at whoever came her way, people throwing Frisbees or picnicking at the park.
Now you may question who and why? Minnie’s mother forced Minnie to accompany her boyfriend to a club and enjoy drinks with him as she was tired that evening. Minnie couldn’t resist sexual advances made by her mother’s boyfriend Monroe Rutherford.
So actually, Minnie’s mother is twice divorced and Minnie shares her mother with her step-sister, Gretel.
3.3.2. The Film Midway
The movie progresses when Minnie begins having sex with boys of her age but didn’t like it as they make fun of her in front of their friends. Finding no way out she acknowledges Kimmie as her best friend who makes petty cash with sex acts with neighbors and various friends.
It was in her company Minnie begins drug use. Though Monroe Rutherford’s (Alexander skarsgård) tapes on business motivate Minnie and she decided that she wants to be a cartoonist.
She sends her work to Aline K Crumb. In between Minnie skips more classes and due to poor attendance was thrown off the school. She was then schooled at a public school and that too because of her artistic skills.
Later, Aline Kominsky Crumb acknowledge her work and motivates her to keep on doing the great cartoons.
Minnie begins seeing Tabatha, a lesbian hustler. She had sex with Tabatha too. The film moves with the entry of Pascal, Minnie’s stepfather. He came with all love and concern for both his daughter Gretel and stepdaughter Minnie.
He even cautioned his ex-wife Charlotte, Minnie’s mother’s Kristen Wiig boyfriend, Monroe. Later Charlotte finds audio tapes which were Minnie’s audio diary. Minnie’s mother’s Kristen Wiig boyfriend Monroe Rutherford(Alexander Skasgård) falsified all allegations.
3.3.3. The Last Wing of the Film
As the film develops, Tabatha further duped Minnie into a drug peddler for sex. Then in the film, Minnie realized that she is not sleeping with someone of her age when her friends tell her that she is with Pascal.
She runs home and asks her mother not to let Monroe in the house. Minnie begins going to school and stopped taking drugs and gave up drinking for two months.
But in the film when she saw her mother still at Monroe’s side, Minnie was devastated.
Minnie decided to consume the leftover drug in her purse for the last time.
At the end of the film, Minnie could be seen selling her works at the beachside and Monroe jogging. They crossed where Monroe bought the picture from her and she after exchanging good wishes danced in joy of liberation.
4. Graphics: The Diary of a Teenage Girl
The graphics used in the film the diary of a teenage girl are done by an acclaimed animation director and designer Sara Gunnarsdóttir.
The critically acclaimed graphic novel, TDTG by artist, illustrator, and author Phoebe left no stone unturned to use her artistic awakening in revealing Minnie Goetze’s subconsciousness and psyche.
The same is tried and tested by the debut director Marielle Heller. Marielle Heller based her cinematography on the artistic awakening of a girl’s sexual desire though innate.
5. The Diary of a Teenage Girl: Reviews
Whitney of Salon wrote, “The Diary of a Teenage Girl is one of the shocking, tenders, most brutally honest and beautiful portrayals of growing up in America.”
The most trusted quality measurement agency of movies and TV shows in America, Rotten tomatoes rated 95% fresh to the diary of a teenage girl.
Rolling Stone Magazine termed the diary of a teenage girl as one of the foremost 50 non-super-champion graphic novels.
6. The Diary of a Teenage Girl: The Message
Sony pictures classics released the first trailer of the film navigating through fading hippie movement and punk rock.
The elements displayed by the cast in the funny and proactive age story are a blend of the artistic awakening of Phoebe and Marielle Heller. Monroe Rutherford (Alexander Skarsgård) an adult wishes to explore his teenage boy sex desire in the fading hippie movement and punk rock times.
On other hand, Minnie begins fantasizing to explore sexuality in her teens as a woman.
Moreover the diary of a teenage girl and Phoebe’s A Child’s Life and Other Stories, both showcase strong sexual content and display how sex today is used to exploit one’s fantasies.
The former is a kind of sequel to the latter and could help researchers and practitioners working on sensitive issues like sex and child abuse.
The foremost idea of the movie, I found to be to believe in oneself and not to depend on anyone for one’s happiness. As is evident from the film, in the last scene where Minnie begins to realize the importance of self-worth as she is seen selling her work at the beachside and ignoring Monroe after brief greetings.
7. Do You Know?
Here are some interesting facts about the diary of a teenage girl, The Film.
- The British Board of Film Classification in England gave the film an 18+ rating. The producers though appealed the decision but were denied due to its sexual content.
- The film was set in 70’s San Francisco. This must be well researched as at that time people were grown-ups but emotionally 15-year-olds. True to soul punk rock and the fading hippie movement, What a youth culture!
- Lincoln Middle School in Alameda, CA was chosen to film the school scenes. Though the film crew was permitted to shoot on the campus. The subject matter objected to the educators there. So, the entire classroom scenes were shot in one night by lighting the lights outside to replace the sun.
8. Closing Thoughts
With a 95% rating by the Tomatometer, rotten tomatoes, the diary of a teenage girl is a critically acclaimed graphic novel. The film presents strong sexual content and the irresistible desire of the teenage girl to explore sexuality as normally as a boy in his teens would.
But if you wish to read some other graphic novel, then do follow 9 Iconic Graphic Novels Every Fan Should Read
The characters played in the film are outstanding. Yet questions the integrity of the teens living with the divorced mother whose image has set the wrong notion on teen daughters. Sex today has been portrayed as a funny and provocative account without self-chastisement by many teens.
The movie the diary of a teenage girl can be a topic of discussion with teens struggling to find their identity as young adults.
I felt like penning a few lines after this article, hope it sums it all up above.
“It’s ok to fall in love
It’s alright if a girl’s sexual desire is expressed
But to all teenage girls
And to all the lovely angels
Don’t confuse sex with love
For in the world, only Love is divine and
helps you to rise and shine
helps you to rise and shine.”