The Exploding Girl Reviews
1) The main character has epilepsy but that's not the point of the story. Both of the stars I gave the film are for the refreshing normalcy with which a "disabled" character is portrayed.
2) It's otherwise a movie about people not answering their cell phones when you want them to, providing a blow-by-blow account of nothing happening.
There are such long moments of silence in this film, the camera trained on Zoe Kazan's often impassive face through much of it, that it is easy to lose interest in the story and characters.
As I watched the film, I thought that all of this must have happened to the writer or director, and he thought it was terribly compelling at the time and would've made a good film, but sometimes such personal stories don't translate. So much is built on silence, and sometimes I thought that whatever they were trying to communicate slipped through the cracks of understanding.
Overall, I think this is a film you either love or hate, either connect with or don't, and I found myself checking my watch instead of propelled by the character's journey.
"The Exploding Girl" is a naturalistic study of two characters sorting out their lives as neither Al nor Ivy have gotten to the point where they have made a clear break from high school friends to college. Of course, this does not happen the same way for all people and some remain friends for life, no matter what changes occur in their lives. The camera is held at an unobtrusive distance, giving the viewer a pedestrian's view of New York City which allows us to clearly observe the characters, seeing details about them that they themselves don't notice. And there are two fabulous shots that break with this, one on a rooftop late and a closeup of Ivy's face that closes the film.