Dirty Girl

| October 7, 2011

Abe Sylvia, writer and director of Dirty Girl, brings ten years as a dancer and choreographer on Broadway into his debut feature film. It goes without saying that Dirty Girl is filled with a slew of nostalgic music hits such as Teena Marie’s Lovergirl, Melissa Manchester’s Don’t Cry Out Loud, and The Outfield’s Your Love, and dance scenes that liven certain character roles.
Dirty Girl is set in Oklahoma during the 1980’s and centers around Danielle (Juno Temple) and Clarke (Jeremy Dozier), two high school misfits who become friends through fate and chance. Danielle is the natural born rebel that has a bad reputation, has a killer body and drives around looking for trouble in a red mustang. Clarke is an overweight, witty, closeted virgin, and suffers the emotional and physical abuse of his domineering, homophobic father, Joseph (Dwight Yoakum). If Joseph finds out Clarke is gay, he will send him to military school. Danielle’s unruly behavior forces the school principal to send her to remedial class where she is paired up with Clarke to complete a parenting project. Danielle is disrespectful and bitter towards her mother, Sue-Ann (Milla Jovovich), and Sue-Ann’s Mormon fiancé, Ray (William H. Macy), maybe because she feels left out or maybe she doesn’t connect with the new future her mother is embracing. Either way, Danielle recruits Clarke to go with her to California to locate Danny Briggs (Tim McGaw), the father she never met.
Finding the rebel inside of him, Clarke takes Joseph’s prized Cadillac and his parent’s credit card to finance the getaway trip. Danielle and Clarke learn and laugh at each other along the journey. They even pick up Joel (Nicholas d’Agosto), a stripper who Clarke eventually becomes intimate with. The fun comes to a halt when Joseph reports his car stolen to the police and catches up with the two. Clarke stays with Joseph to take the beatings while Danielle forges ahead to California. When she reaches Danny Briggs, he’s not interested in a father-daughter relationship. Both Danielle and Clarke were forced to grow up quickly under their dysfunctional family circumstances. In the end, the truth has set them both free. Clarke is now out of the closet with his mother, Peggy (Mary Steenburgen) and Joseph, and Danielle realized her mother loved her enough to not to have an abortion.
Dirty Girl is a creative and exciting movie. Each cast member holds their own when shifting between neuroses and normalcy. Director Abe Sylvia was very crafty with keeping the music in tow when tough scenes emerged. Overall, Dirty Girl is fun to watch and is a great first start for Sylvia to build upon.

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An attorney residing in NYC serving the film and digital media community.
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