Tuesday, August 31, 2010

She's Too Young

Spoiler alert: No she's not!

Back when I lived in DC, I wrote a more successful blog called Why I Hate DC. The irony now is that I want to move back to DC since Columbus ain't working out. ANYWAYS, one of my self-selected beats on that website was Laura Sessions Stepp. I wrote about her a lot. She is (was?) a Washington Post reporter that specialized in moral panics about the teenagers. They don't date! They have sex parties! They're dancing suggestively! She even got a book published out of it. I lost my signed copy. Damn.

I would bet you a million dollars that LSS has seen She's Too Young.

Well, I hadn't. But I had seen the Frontline special that the movie wasn't based on. An affluent high school had a syphilis outbreak. My religion teacher played that documentary for us. I believe it was the first time I had heard about rainbow parties (of which there has never been a documented case). This was in my marriage class where they taught us about taking vaginal mucus and temperature samples to perfect the rhythm method. A fun class!

So! The movie! Hannah is a 14 or 15 year old girl. She and her friends are getting more popular because it turns out they may be tasty pieces. I don't know if they are or not since they are teenagers. But it's not like some movies where the high school girls are played by buxom sexpots. These actresses are clearly actually 14 or 15 (or look 14 and 15) and that adds a lot of sleaze to the proceedings.

It's good sleaze though since the viewer should, theoretically, be grossed out by 14-year-olds making with the intercourse.

Hannah is ready to start going on dates. Dad is ok with it. Mom is not. Mom loses this argument. Hannah has been doing great in school and great in her cello lessons. Hasn't she earned our trust?

Actually, so far, yeah she has. She goes out for ice cream with a bunch of clearly sexually active people. When they all go have sex, Hannah abstains and calls her mom to get a rescue ride. Trish says that Hannah can always call no questions asked and then she starts asking questions. They don't go anywhere.

Let me be clear here: I think Trish, aka Marcia Gay Harden is a fine actress. I've only seen her in Mystic River, The Mist, and, uh, The First Wives' Club. Please don't judge me regarding the latter. I saw that in theaters. No matter! Ms. Harden is a fine actress but she is horrible to look at. I don't mean that in a sexist or objective way. I need to make that clear after writing a review that talked about J-Love's boobs and used her previous tv show as a euphemism for masturbation. This is not about that. It's about Marcia Gay Harden being so god damned stern looking. You see her and you think angry. And that may be the point, but it's no good for viewing. It's like she's judging me for watching Lifetime when this blog is between me and my God.

So those ice cream sexually active people...two are besties who like to bone all the time. The other is a boy that Hannah is in love with. Eventually, that boy, Nick, asks Hannah out. Yeah, he may have a reputation, but he just wants to be with someone special.

After two dates, Hannah blows him.

Hannah's bestie, Dawn, is not having such a fun time. She used to be the girl blowing Nick. Now? Now she's just the girl who used to have sex with Nick and now has sores in her mouth because, oops, syphilis. When Dawn goes to the school nurse to get treated, she admits to having had sex with 15-20 boys.

From here on out, the movie goes out if its way to show a bunch of young high schoolers and a bunch of local property. Let's be honest here: The real name of this movie should be "She's Too White." There isn't a single black character here save for a nurse. All the panic here is class-based. "We never expected this when we moved here." And since there are no black students in the entire school, one just HAS to think that this shit was on purpose.

I have watched a lot of Lifetime. This is the most racist, at least by omission.

Hannah and Nick's third date doesn't go as well. Nick pressures her into an orgy and Hannah is appropriately skeeved. That's basically the end of the relationship.

Anyways, the nurse realizes that there is a syph outbreak afoot and asks Nick, Patient Zero, to get tested. A commenter named Kim mentioned this scene in some older comments.

"The skeezy guy who gives everyone syphilis goes to the school nurse to get his vaccination and says, "You better stick 'em all. Because I sure did." And then his friends give him high fives the nurse is PWN3D!1!!!1"

That is EXACTLY what happens and it is great.

So people get their syph shots and it should be no big deal but for some reason Hannah and Dawn dip into the latter's mom's liquor cabinet and go to town. When they pass out drunk and get busted, Hannah's folks freak out. To prove a point about not being such a good girl, Hannah drunkenly announces her sexually transmitted disease. But she also makes it clear that it's not, like, a real sexually transmitted disease since it was only in her mouth. Because that is bound to make a parent feel better.

Trish decides to take this news and run with it. She goes family to family to tell them that chances are their children are also slutty, but not as slutty as Hannah since she only went as far as oral. Parents don't really want to be hearing this and Trish doesn't get anywhere.

Well, she gets somewhere. She turns Hannah into a pariah. Her classmates take to the AIM to torture Hannah and accuse her of being a narc. Oh, did I say "AIM"? Whoops! In the sexy, sexy, world of She's Too Young, the instant messaging software is called Teen Playa. Because why not?

Hannah doesn't like being grounded for mouth love, so she runs off to a big hootenanny party even though no one likes her. She almost gets raped but is rescued by her obviously gay best friend who has been in love with her for years. Nick (not the almost rapist) feels bad about the almost rape. Maybe he will change his sticking ways?

Trish ends up at the same party looking for Hannah and sees marijuana and public sex. She looks as stern as always.

Hannah is super happy that her "straight" artsy friend saved her. She's also happy that he has a creepy stalker wall covered in Hannah pictures. Because stalking is more romantic than oral sex, you see. Hannah tries rewarding him with intercourse, going as far as to tell him "it's been two weeks since my syphilis shot so I should be clean by now."

Gay Dude refuses Hannah's advances, waits for her to pass out on his couch, and then he calls her parents to pick her up. AND THE END. THIS IS OUR HAPPY ENDING.


I should probably refer you back to the "sticking" dialogue. God, that was great.

This movie comes from the same writer and the same director as Cyber Seduction. I liked this one more. Porn is definitely funnier than syphilis (there isn't a syphilis version of the Golden Girls...yet), but this movie is funnier than Cyber Secudtion. Intentionally, I mean. There are fun little flourishes like Dawn stumbling around drunk or ridiculous snarky remarks about threesomes with 14-year-old girls. Really wonderful.


It's nice to have an Oscar winner, but you need more.


Boom goes the dynamite. I love how the father is villainized for being reasonable about dating and then is villainized for being too harsh for grounding his daughter for being drunk with syphilis. I also like how whenever someone mentions that Hannah is a good daughter, they cut to her singing along to a sexually explicit rap song. Little known personal fact: I lost my virginity the first time I heard hip-hop. I mean, not at that exact moment, but it was definitely the start of a downward spiral into promiscuous sex and drug use.


A high score for a great movie. And it's available on Youtube! Alarmists of the world unite!


Kate said...

Holy crap. I want to see this so bad. I think I saw part of it once, and I'm pretty sure Hannah is played by an actress who was in one of the many Russian-mob-themed Law and Order episodes. So, the Hey! It's That Guy! score should be like 11.

Rusty said...

One Law and Order episode? Really? This movie has Degrassi people and they're worth way more than one law and Order episode. I think I was an episode of law and Order once by accident.

Kate said...

My dream is to play the dead hooker in the first scene.

Skeezix said...

I'm convinced that we went to the same high school. Nothing like hearing from your mildly creepy single male religion teacher that he plans on NFP. Dude, you don't the equipment or have do any of the work- maybe let the lady decide that one.

Excellent recap, I always get have to watch this one when it's on. Hannah also was on the last season of Entourage. Her head always looked a little too big for her body.

Anonymous said...

The brilliance of this seems rather daunting. How could I watch this and then manage another Lifetime movie ever? It's quite a conundrum. I shall have to think on this.

Man, the only way this sounds like it could be better is if they managed to work in the stupid colored rubber bracelet sex act thing.

Daniel said...

Aw man, I love it when you review movies that I've already seen! This movie is INCREDIBLE. I've seen it like, twice. Also, and I want to die a little for knowing this, but, Hannah is totally in "Fool's Gold." Also, nothing says Rainbow Parties and Social Diseases like Degrassi. You should review that ish too.

Kim said...

I don't know if it increases the "Hey! It's That Guy!" score, but the little Christian friend who sneaks out to have a gang bang at the end of the movie is in "The Secret Life of the American Teenager." She's the little Christian girl who's father dies in a plane crash while she's losing her virginity.

Also, I LOVE THIS MOVIE. There is nothing better than watching a 14 year old girl yell, "I have syphilis!!!" and her mother responding, "Well, you sound proud of it!"

HRH King Friday XIII, Ret. said...

Move back to DC so I can give you mouth love for this awesome, awesome post!

Anonymous said...

Oh man, I just watched Whip It last week, and Marcia Gay Harden has the angriest eyebrows I've ever seen.

The term "mouth love" creeps me out.

I love Kim.

bcarter3 said...

Laura Sessions Stepp! Thanks to her, I can pinpoint the date when my last remaining shred of respect for the Washington Post disappeared: July 8, 1999, when the WP published the shocking "news" that teenagers were having oral sex on THE FRONT PAGE of what was once a good newspaper. I'd put up w/Krauthammer and Will, the neo-con agenda, even Sally Fucking Quinn...but that was the last straw.

Denizen of Tennallytown said...


The dude who was running Why I Hate DC ended up working for a site called We Love DC, and is now leaving DC for Madison, Wisconsin.

So move back to DC and reclaim your rightful place bashing the hell out of it!

Rusty said...

Please employ me at a reasonable rate and we'll talk.

Denizen of Tennallytown said...

What kind of job are you looking for? Any particular industry?

Denizen of Tennallytown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
danielle.royster said...

I watched this movie last night and unfortunately, that's the reality of the situation for teen's today. I began watching it on my iPhone at work and caught it from the beginning when it replayed in the morning. I love it and I think that Lifetime has some of the best movies. I work and subscribe to DISH Network and I use the TV Everywhere function to keep in touch with all of my favorite shows . It's great to have when you're on the road and you need a little bit of excitement to help you along with the trip. I use it when I'm not at home for a prolonged period of time and the app is free! It works with the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android devices. You can also watch pre-recorded or live TV! I am always recommending that people check out DISH Network and I am inviting anyone who comes across this post to explore the endless possibilities with DISH Network and experience a value unseen by any other TV provider!


safe meds said...

This is definatley one of the best movies I have EVER seen. It makes me think about life, and sex, and how every choice I make can affect my life someway. I would recommend this movie to everyone, no matter the age, its a great movie to watch again and again. "Two Thumbs Up!"

STD tests said...

I like your site and post a lot. You're a great journalist, and you really should write more on this topic

Zniyah said...

She's a pretty girl but is she really too young

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