It’s a tall ask for explanation and clarity, isn’t it? The film Another Girl has title credits that work as an invitation into the world that’s about to open for us: A collage of female faces next to their text messages that they sent to their obsessed-over fictional book character, like fan and hate mail. This information isn’t known well at first, as the film credits run behind the messages, overshadowing their visibility and readability. It’s a big no-no that could’ve and should’ve been fixed in post-production editing. Or… not done at all.
Another Girl follows in the footsteps of a previous frustrating watch I had, called IRL, a movie of grand pompousness and creeps so strong, a shower and a fire to clothes was needed. That’s harsh, sure, as Another Girl isn’t riddled with as many wide faults, but it’s all too similar to what I felt back then. Sorry, but it’s true. A film about a young woman with severe depression and trust issues, sharing memories and events with a strange online user who may or may not be the same fictional character from above (breaking dimensional boundaries in some manner of physics that I can’t comprehend fully), should be engaging and profound, one would hope. Another Girl is confusing instead. Confusing and turgid.
Actress Sammi Hanratty plays the lead with gusto and force, in the film’s only real positive element, aside from some gorgeously lit and shot scenes. She gives life to a wounded woman on or past the brink of reality, heartbreakingly so. Unfortunately, the focus isn’t on her performance, but her words and actions. Writer and Director Allison Burnett - who adapted his own novel for this and probably catered the production too - must’ve felt it fit to give no context to the introduction into our lead’s life and struggles. Yes, it’s understood that she teeters between sadness and suicide, between poor choices and comprehension of what’s real, but I was thrust so hard and so far into her situation, and without any life preserver that explains anything, that I was just lost and constantly shouting questions at the screen. Who is this book character she cares so much about, and why does she believe it’s literally alive? Huh? What? Where am I? More than that I yelled out, believe it or believe it.
A film doesn’t have to give a direct clue to anything, but anything to grasp would’ve been nice. Such a perplexing lack of coherence for a script so full of confidence. Overconfidence, but still.
No, Another Girl isn’t IRL level bad, but bad it is. Or maybe unfortunate is the better description. A scene early on has our protagonist being the victim of a college guy’s lame and terrifying pickup line. She waxes cute and with false wit, striking an oddly alien conversation that leads to a horrific relationship that starts with sex and ends with desperation. It’s sad, how much of a misfire this is. Just sad. 1.5/5