“DIRTY GIRL”— Running Away

“Dirty Girl”

Running Away

Amos Lassen

We all know how difficult it is to discover who we are and that is what “Dirty Girl” is about—the search for identity and the redemptive power of friendship that is not expected. Set in 1987, Danielle (Juno Temple) is the local high school’s “dirty girl” and she decides the time has come to run away. She enlists her fat gay friend Clarke (Jeremy Dozier) to come with her and another friend, Joan, also joins them. Danielle’s erratic behavior got her put in special education classes and that was the straw that broke her back.

The movie blends comedy and drama and this is what makes it such a good movie. Written and directed by Abe Sylvia, we get a look at the relationship between a straight girl and a gay guy and we are with them as they mature. We go from Norman, Oklahoma to Los Angeles. Danielle is looking for her biological dad and Clarke is just tired of homophobia. We get a celebration of the music of Melissa Manchester and how it helped so many gay kids in accepting themselves. The movie is a vehicle for Juno Temple and she uses it well. I understand that it is based on the life of the writer/director and it is unfortunate that he threw so much camp into the film. I found it hurt the flow.

There is a lot about Danielle being abandons by her father and Clarke also suffers from a dad who does not understand him. This is not by any means a great movie but it s fun and I particularly like the way the gay/straight friendship is handled.

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