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.
HEY! IT'S THAT GUY!: 6
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.
GRAND TOTAL: 32
A high score for a great movie. And it's available on Youtube! Alarmists of the world unite!