My Summer as a Goth
Tara Johnson-Medinger, Brandon Lee Roberts, Gary Nolton, Kymberley J. Franklin, Megan Clare Foster (as Megan Johnson) for Little Miss Anomaly
directed by Tara Johnson-Medinger
starring Natalie Shershow, Jack Levis, Fayra Teeters, Jonas Israel, Jenny White, Carter Allen, Rachelle Henry, Eduardo Reyes, Sarah Overman, Sophie Giberson, Lorraine Bahr, Michael Biesanz, Gregory Miller, Kevin Cook, Payson Mitchell, Sami Yacob-Andrus, Natasha Duvall, Tristan Decker, Frank O'Brien, Connor Muhl, Marvella McPartland, Bob Barr, Lucas Townsend, Mason Treviño Brown, Zach Ovall, Jillian Venters, Dalhia Cortez, Tara Johnson-Medinger, Maddie Bumb
written by Brandon Lee Roberts, Tara Johnson-Medinger, music supervisor: Jana Cushman
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16 year old Joey's (Natalie Shershow) dad (Gregory Miller) has only
just died and now her mom (Sarah Overman) drops her off with her
grandparents (Fayra Teeters, Jonas Israel) for the summer because she has
to go on a book tour. And even though the grandparents do their best to
make her feel welcome, she feels somewhat suffocated - until she meets
neighbour boy Victor (Jack Levis), a goth with charisma and attitude whom
she finds quite simply fascinating. And he seems to like her as well, but
really doesn't care much for her middle-of-the-road appearance, so
together with his friends Pen (Jenny White) and Cob (Carter Allen) he
turns her as close to a goth as he can. And at first, Joey really enjoys
her new lifestyle, which includes spending nights in graveyards and the
like, but soon there are first cracks in their relationship, as every time
something's not going exactly to Victor's liking, he sulks and/or treats
everybody else including Joey with disdain. It goes so far that when
Joey's best friend Molly (Rachelle Henry) comes for a visit, she's shocked
by his attitude. Also at a genuine goth party, Joey feels she really
doesn't fit in, while Victor doesn't even try to hide his embarrassment.
But Joey's at a point where it's not so much just about ending a
relationship but also finding herself ...
In many ways, this film is your typical coming-of-age romance
that ticks most of the boxes and deserves extra points for its (virtually)
colourful outfits and its "be yourself"-message at the end.
However, it's also interesting to compare this movie to the teen hit Twilight
from 10 years earlier, which almost certainly has influenced this movie,
at least unintentionally - and frankly, My Summer as a Goth manages
to go right where the earlier film has gone wrong, maybe by just getting
the difference of fling and the love of one's life, and by taking
the creepiness of its protagonist totally into account. And of course,
adding a good dose of humour to the proeceedings doesn't hurt either. Now
sure, coming-of-age romances aren't everybody's thing, and they work best
with a certain age group I've long left behind, but as these movies go,
this one's well-made and well-acted, and manages to entertain well anyhow.