Question: Do you remember when you were a teenager? You thought you knew everything; the world evolved around you and your friends; boredom was the norm and finding anything exciting to do was one of your only priorities. The consequences of your actions were so unknown and incomprehensible that driving fast, smoking, experimenting with illegal narcotics, and drinking alcohol was so common place with you or your friends or both. Luckily you survived the angst of your teenage years fairly unscathed. Now you are a parent, and the panic sets in when your child(ren) become teenagers because now you know better. It's the cycle of life.
Now I have just viewed a film that made my heart hurt at the lack of common sense of a group of teenage girls. The film is 17 Girls, a French film based on the true story of a group of 16 year-olds who all became pregnant at the same time, on purpose. The reasoning for this "pregnancy pact" left me scratching my head at what we did wrong as a society or as parents that led these girls to thinking this idea was a good one.
17 Girls is a fantasy film, in a sense. It appeared to ignore what really happens to females when they become pregnant. Morning sickness, hormonal changes that lead to major mood swings, food cravings and a desire to eat and be healthy were all missing. These girls smoked (cigarettes and hash), drank alcohol, always appeared happy, unless they weren't pregnant or if they were alone at home.
But one thing in the film that was appeared accurate: these teenagers had a tendency to blame their parents for their unhappiness. It seemed appropriate because it's the age where girls are on the cusp of adulthood - a precarious and vulnerable stage. It's a rite of passage, of sorts. I am not saying their behavior to get knocked-up was appropriate. Many of the girls in 17 Girls blamed their current circumstances (boredom) on their parents because they worked, leaving them alone and couldn't bow to all their needs and wants. It's not easy becoming an adult when you are still stuck in the mentality of a child. I will say it again: it's a vulnerable stage.
So, become pregnant, have your own child and freedom (and happiness) will come...yep, that's what these girls thought. My head is still spinning at the concept. Too many moral, ethical, sociological questions surfaced while watching the interpretation of the real situation. And when it got to the end, well, the story might leave you a bit angry - especially at the main girl who started the pact.
As stated before, this is based on a true story - an American one actually. The film probably took a lot of liberties but I believe the essence is the same. The filmmaker of 17 Girls told on an unique tale without shoving their stance on the matter. A refreshing approach to a story that will make you think deeply about society and its responsibility or lack thereof. Bravo!
Review: 8 out of 10