17 Girls is allegedly inspired by true events, but this diffident, dreamy film is so insubstantial it's hard to believe there's a speck of reality to be found in it.
| Original Score: 2/4
The film suggests a state of grace between childhood and adulthood, but the narrative feels increasingly tentative, and the characters remain opaque - "local divas," in one teacher's estimation.
| Original Score: 2/5
The question is why this incident seemed worth dramatizing, especially in such a dreamily romanti-cized way - with perfect pregnancies and friendly baby daddies.
| Original Score: 1/4
The movie takes you inside the dreamy collective mentality of bored, mildly rebellious girls who look with horror at the lives of their mostly working-class parents.
| Original Score: 5/5
The movie needs a tighter grip, yet the narrative detours, including a beach party and one especially liberating confrontation, can be surprisingly joyous.
| Original Score: 3/4
The film's rhythms mimic the volatile emotional life of adolescence: the violent rushes between euphoria and despair, the overconfident contempt for adults mixed with regressive dependence when things fall apart.
"17 Girls" doesn't try to explain its many mysteries. That would have made for a better film, but this one does a nice job showing its effects.
| Original Score: 3/5
A lot of style, but not much substance.
Plays like the most lyrical after-school special ever; it gives lip service to the teens' anxieties and euphoria while threading in the occasional swoonworthy image.
The film captures a moment when irrationality and romantic self-delusion go viral -- and the difficulty of containing such elements.
Impressively, the rookie scribe-helmers' sense of equilibrium is unerring and also surprisingly subtle.