Spared or Spoiled Reviews: The Diary of a Teenage Girl

The rules are simple. The good get spared. The bad get spoiled.

The Diary of a Teenage Girl (Sony Pictures Classics)


Written & Directed by Marielle Heller  Based on The Diary of a Teenage Girl: An Account in Words and Pictures by Phoebe Gloeckner

Starring Bel PowleyAlexander SkarsgårdKristen WiigChristopher MeloniAustin Lyon & Quinn Nagle

I saw The Diary of a Teenage Girl a few days ago.

Verdict: SPARED


“Yes. I know. He’s gonna review the movie now. No. I haven’t read it yet but I was… what do you mean he wimps out? How do you wimp out on a movie review?”

You know me. I try to be as honest as possible at all times, because I believe it’s a waste of energy to lie to someone. If I need to lie to a person then I must not respect them or know them and then why the hell am I talking to them. And that’s my general view on conversation. I try to do the same thing with my blog. To be completely honest. But being honest doesn’t mean everyone needs to know everything. Take sex for instance. I talk about sex all the time but not about my own sex life or my sexual experiences, unless I think it makes a good story and my experiences might help someone.

Alexander Skarsgard and Bel Powley in The Diary of a Teenage Girl

“You know. When I’m 50, you’ll just be turning 30.” “Yes. And when I turn 30, you’ll still be in prison.” “Wait… What?” “Just kidding.”

But here is a movie, The Diary of a Teenage Girl, that is ostensibly about sex. An incredibly well-made Indie film told from the point of view of a teenage girl. A film that I took so very personally, I didn’t even want to write a review of it. Hell, I didn’t even want people to see it. I wanted to cover it up with a blanket and tell you people to stay out of my room. STAY OUT OF MY ROOM.

Diary of Teenage Girl comic book collector

“I’ve got the weirdest feeling like someone’s in my room screwing up my comic book collection.”

I saw The Diary of a Teenage Girl a few days ago. The movie is so good it felt like I was watching myself at that age. I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned this, but when I write these reviews, I write them straight away. That’s why they’re always so emotional. I don’t give myself time to think about the movie. I just right down my first impressions. Although, I don’t usually post them. I go back a couple of days later and edit and ease back on the hyperbole or my general disgust or the cursing. But I watched The Diary of a Teenage Girl a few days ago and I’m still not sure, even after all this time, if I can write my thoughts on the film and post them where people can see them. I’m still not sure I want to.

diary of a teenage girl Kristen Wiig and Alexander Skarsgard

“I think it’s the clothes. Do you think it’s the clothes? I think it’s the 70’s clothes reminding Mel of his childhood and it’s freaking him the fuck out. Do you think it’s the clothes?” “Yeah. Yeah. Sure. It’s the clothes. You got any more of that cocaine?” “It’s gotta be the clothes.”

And it was hard to watch at times. The Diary of a Teenage Girl was hard to watch a lot of the times because I felt uncomfortable from the first scene to the last. With the drugs and the sex and the relationships. And I love that. If you’re a regular reader of my blog then you know I absolutely love when that happens. I like when a film challenges my world view or my self view and this movie did that. I just took it so personally. And obviously I was never a teenage girl. I was never a girl. I was never a white girl. I wasn’t even a teenager in the 70’s. But this fucking movie felt so familiar and so personal and so much like an invasion of my own sexual identity that… I don’t want to talk about it.


“Do you think you might be bisexual?” “Maybe.” “Well, do you think you might be a sex addict?” “That’s possible too.” “Do you want to kiss me?” “Ya damn right I do.”

The Diary of a Teenage Girl was titillating. And that made me uncomfortable because I’m a grown ass man at this point. And again the main character’s a teenage girl and it was provocative. The film takes place in the seventies but if it were made back in the seventies it would have never gotten anything less than an X rating. And not because it’s porn. It’s not porn by anyone’s standards. But because it’s about this teenage girl, portrayed superbly by Bel Powley, who is in charge of her own sexuality. And that’s definitely something that would scare the shit out of people in the seventies.


“Do you think this movie would have scared people in the 70’s?” “I think my haircut would have scared people. I think your parenting would have scared people. I think my relationship with…” “Okay I get it. Eat your sandwich.”

The Diary of a Teenage Girl was creative and artistic and not just sexually but socially and politically and graphically with bits of animation and flights of fancy that fit the fantasies of the young subject and narrator. And still the sheer amount of ways I identified with the main character are far too many to mention. And like I said, I don’t really want to.

The Diary of a Teenage Girl

“Is this an inappropriate relationship?” “Yes.” “You’re still very hot though.” “I know. It’s a curse.” “Should I even be in a bar?” “It was a different era. Drink your beer.”

I saw The Diary of a Teenage Girl a few days ago. It’s a really good movie. I mean, one of the best films of the year. It’s an indie gem for sure with a great cast. Well written and directed with fantastic performances. Kristen Wiig is impressive. Alexander Skarsgard is still smoking hot but kind of creepy in this one. And Bel Powley is a revelation. She’s amazing. And I highly recommend it. I just don’t think I’ll be able to write a review of it. And I’m sorry. The movie was just too personal for me. I feel like I’ve let you all down.

Dear Diary of a Teenage Girl you rocked

“Dear Diary, Has Mel lost his damn mind? This was a review. A pretty good one. Also if this old bitty keeps giving me side-eye I’m gonna have to cut a bitch.”

But you know me. I’ll make it up to you guys somehow.

– Mel


2 thoughts on “Spared or Spoiled Reviews: The Diary of a Teenage Girl

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