Abe Sylvia’s Dirty Girl starts and ends with the same line: ‘nobody likes a dirty girl.’ Sylvia must’ve known something, because minus the guy whose bombastic laugh echoed throughout the theater at every punch line (—seriously was he a mole from the studio?) reviews everywhere have been pretty bad. I’m not going to bash it. But would I say it’s a good film? No—it’s not art. Would I say it’s a sort-of cute movie? Sure.
Set in Kansas in 1987, Dirty Girl follows the zany relationship between Danielle (Juno Temple) the school “dirty girl,” and Clarke (Jeremy Dozier), the school’s overweight, closeted teen as they navigate a home economics class for “bad kids.” The couple’s first assignment– taking care of a baby made of flour–couldn’t be any more formulaic, and what follows, as their friendship is cemented, becomes even more expected. Danielle’s got a who’s-my-dad problem (Spoiler alert: Tim McGraw!) and a mom-is-engaged-to-a-religious-nut problem, while Clarke has an I’m-gay-and-my dad’s-a-homophobic-bastard-and-my-mom-is too-scared-to-do-anything-about-it problem.
So they decide to hit ther road. After stealing Clarke’s father’s car, they drive to California, discover Danielle’s real dad is living. Of course, on the way they bond, sing songs, take care of their flour baby, pick up a hot-stripper “hitchhiker” that Clarke totally loves, and run out of money.
If you like teen coming of age flicks, you might love Dirty Girl. But be warned: John Hughes, this is not.