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"A Girl Like Her": A Fictional Film in Documentary Drag 

Wednesday, Mar 25 2015
A fiction film in documentary drag, Amy S. Weber's A Girl Like Her could be called a found-footage thriller on account of its deliberately subjective horror scenario: a high-schooler made suicidal from being bullied by her former friend. Or it could be called a mockumentary, except that mockery — inviting ridiculous characters to incriminate themselves while we laugh at them from a distance — seems like the opposite of what Weber has in mind. This very clearly comes from a place of woundedness; earnestly, it tries hard to move toward compassion and comprehension. The broad strokes of Weber's dramatization reveal a good understanding about how bullying trickles down, but her finer points are rough. The performers, particularly Lexi Ainsworth as the bullied girl and Hunter King as her tormentor, seem aptly cast and highly authentic — at least until they all get vacuum-packed like sardines into Weber's canned and fishy structure. Individual moments resonate, but constructed scenes play like cable-movie re-enactments. Well-intentioned but belabored, Weber's documentary conceit ultimately saps the story of its truthfulness and is therefore self-defeating.

About The Author

Jonathan Kiefer

SF Weekly movie critic Jonathan Kiefer is on Twitter: @kieferama and of course @sfweeklyfilm.


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