Struggles of adolesence soon lost in Fat Girl

Coming to terms with one’s sexuality is something that all adolescents eventually deal with. Unfortunately for the girls in Fat Girl, this will never happen.

Fat Girl centres around the over-
weight, practical and sexually
curious 12-year-old Anais (Anaïs Reboux), and her promiscuous, yet still virgin, 15-year-old sister Elena (Roxane Mesquida). Anais, although shy and unaware of what sex entails, is very willing to lose her virginity and often tells her sister that love doesn’t matter for her first time–she "just wants to get it over with." Elena on the other hand, is curious and forward in her advances but still has moral issues. However, she allows herself to be fooled into having sex with false promises and cliché pickup lines.

Reboux steals the show and portrays Anais’ sense of awkwardness and curiosity impressively. Viewers feel embarrassed alongside each sexual encounter she experiences. Several scenes accurately portray the typical adolescent fascination with sex: Anais "devours" her banana split while watching her sister make out at the restaurant; she watches her sister having sex, pretending to be asleep; and in another noteworthy scene, Anais is romanced by two lovers. All the scenes tactfully remind the audience of Anais’ tender age and little knowledge about the subject matter.

The film deals with the sex scenes with grace and tact. The love-hate relationship between the two sisters is realistic. The father’s indifference and the mother’s selfishness are well described within the context of Anais and Elena’s lives, and the absence of a clear authority figure is shown in the lack of interaction with their parents.

Unfortunately, the movie quickly falls from grace when the audi-ence is forced to watch a 45 minute story played out in double the time, complete with a prolonged driving sequence, an unneeded shopping scene and 30 minutes of dead silence and conversational pauses.

Although the movie has a strong begining and offers a realistic look into the troubles of adolesence, the ending–a sad display of brutal violence–counters any sensitivity achieved around sexuality early on. What could’ve been a shining star in a host of teenage coming-of-age movies as of late, instead leaves the audience disgusted and confused.

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