The Exploding Girl

Posted by ron On September - 17 - 2010

All eyes are on Zoe Kazan who played Ivy, a young college girl who is about to learn a tough lesson in being young with a fragile heart.

The Exploding Girl chronicled the events of a epileptic naive college girl headed towards her first major heartbreak during Spring Break in Ithaca, NY. Writer/director Bradley Rust Gray captured the sensitivity of emotionally confused youth without laying a thick coating of cream cheese dysfunctional family syndrome, an exhausted trope ever since American Beauty commanded Oscar gold.

At the center of this character study, Zoe Kazan played Ivy with cute curious complexity. There’s nothing to divulge her thoughts when she was alone but her obsessive cell phone checks. At the same time, her soulmate Al played by Mark Randall doing his best impression of Seth Green needed a place to stay after getting kicked out of his parents’ home in NYC. Young men don’t come as uncomplicated as Al. His role was served as just to advance the character and be there for her till the end. As one might have guessed by now, the man who can’t appreciate Ivy by cheating on her will ultimately nudge her to see her best friend in s new light as a committed lover who will be there for her when she’s in sickness or health.

Romantic films similar to the plot in Exploding never seem to progress beyond the cliche’ difficulty communicating feelings between young people. Even through the marvels of modern technology, the ability to reach someone always leads to yet another cliche’ way to ignore someone and yet, they can’t seem to notice what a jerk one person was over another until the 90 minute mark. In the film’s most therapeutic scene on a secluded NYC rooftop at Dawn, the Ivy finally unleashed a meltdown of tears as pigeons in formation fly around them. Its a sweet release to a tender story about two aimless young hearts finally acknowledging that the best person for them was right in front of them all this time.

In an era where romantic films accentuate career and distractions, this film kept it simple and in some ways it was easier to get through. However, the acting performances were extremely limited by the lack of content to work with. Hence, a beautifully shot and contemplative climax never goes beyond the superficiality of a story that was nonetheless predictable.

In my ode to George Thorogood’s One bourbon, one scotch, one beer I am rating the Exploding Girl a modest beer that is easy and smooth but not anything complex or full of richness.


7 Responses to “The Exploding Girl”

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