All Over Me

Bomb Rating: 

This film may prove to be the king of missed advertising opportunities. Three words: "young lesbian sex." If I make a film that has young lesbian sex in it, let me tell you, I have those three words plastered on every hat, T-shirt, plastic Slurpee cup and McDonald's Happy Meal I can get my hands on. Soon, every man in America is sucker-punching nuns in a scramble to be the first into the theater.

Aside from missing an obvious marketing scheme, the sisters Sichel (Alex directs, Sylvia writes) commit the easiest of cinematic sins: they're boring. "All Over Me" is another tale of adolescent misery that takes place in New York City. It's basically "Kids" or "Welcome to the Dollhouse" or "Girls Town" with a little lesbian titillation thrown in. Are there no miserable childhoods being lived out in Nashville or Phoenix or Seattle? I'm starting to think that wretched adolescence can be traced to East Coast drinking water.

The film follows Claude (Alison Folland) and best friend Ellen (Tara Subkoff), two 15-year-olds living across the street from each other in Hell's Kitchen. Claude is having trouble with her sexuality while Ellen is experiencing trouble with her brain. Claude's affection for her friend begins to wither as Ellen starts hanging out with the no-good Mark (Cole Hauser), who looks like he'd beat a baby seal with a two-by-four if it looked at him the wrong way.

The gist of the movie is that Claude and Ellen grow apart, which is even less fascinating than it is surprising. Claude discovers she's gay; Ellen discovers drugs. Claude discovers her compassion; Ellen discovers her idiocy. By the time they split, the end of their friendship is less a catharsis for Claude and more a relief for the audience.

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