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This high school film went to new places

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“A threesome in the movie I’m watching with mom and dad. What do you do? Go to the bathroom? Laugh? Die?”

This tweet was sent by my daughter the other night as we watched the high school movie Dare together. I don’t tweet while watching movies, but I could have written just about the same.

We’ve talked before about how you really don’t want to watch films with a very detailed sexual content in company with your parents, but as a matter of fact it’s almost as embarrassing watching it with your kids.

I threw a glance at her between the fingers that I had put up in front of my face as a protecting cover and I noticed she had done exactly the same.

She let out a sigh: “I KNEW I should have watched this on my own”. Then we both went back to our intense staring at the screen, each one pretending we were alone in the room.

I think we all were taken by surprise. Not only did this film have a seven year rating; it was also American, and they have a reputation for being prude.

The cover says it’s a “triangle drama”, which made me assume that we’d see power games in the classroom, canteen and on the dance floor, like in other high school films. But this goes further, all they way into the bedroom and while it doesn’t show any details, the assumed activities are pretty advanced. Not safe for children, regardless of the rating.

Low budget but charming
But if we put the embarrassment perspective behind us, assuming you’re watching this film on your own or in company with someone from your own generation, I rather liked it.

Based on a short film by the same director, this is the story about three seniors at high school, one girl and two boys, who set out for a mental journey where they explore their friendship and sexuality and finally come of age.

The film isn’t without flaws, which I suspect partly can be attributed to the low budget they probably had to work with. The dialogue is a very clumsy at times and it’s hard for the screenwriter to juggle the stories of the three different characters, keeping all of them in the air, giving all of them appropriate attention. Some balls that are tossed up in the air are never taken care of. For a while it’s heading into a direction where it resembles to an episode of In Treatment and the next moment this is abandoned for something else.

Despite this I was rather charmed and my enthusiasm grew as  it went on.

It has a positive, modern and open view on sex, reminding me of a younger sister to Tom Tykwer’s “3”– not as elegant and accomplished, but somehow endearing. I also liked the way it took me by surprise. Usually you can predict every scene in a high school film but this one brought the genre to new places. I didn’t where it was going.

If you’re a parent with kids in the upper teenage, you could do worse than putting this film in their hands. Just make sure to leave the room.

Dare (Adam Salky, US, 2009) My rating: 3/5

Written by Jessica

July 4, 2012 at 1:00 am

Posted in Dare