Dorie Barton makes her writing and directorial debut with “Girl Flu,” a hilarious yet wonderfully accurate look at a young girl as she begins the process of becoming a woman. Yep, she gets her period. Precocious 12-year old Bird (Jade Pettyjohn) and her mother, recent transplants from “The Valley” now live with Grandma on the other side of town. Adjusting to her new school and environment is one of the many challenges for Bird. Jenny (Katee Sackhoff), Bird’s mom, isn’t going to win the coveted Mother of the Year Award—not by a long shot. In fact, it’s frequently Bird who is more mature than Mom! Jenny is a self-centered, pot-smoking yet loving mother who believes the world revolves around her. Jenny’s boyfriend, Arlo (Jeremy Sisto), gives some stability to this chaotic family, but when Bird, a bit of a geeky outcast at school, gets bullied and then humiliated as she (wearing white pants) gets her first period, an explosion of emotions occur, warranting both mother and daughter to begin growing up.
“Girl Flu” is a no holds barred look into what every mother and daughter have experienced on some level. And you brothers/fathers/husbands have gone through it as well just by your mere presence in the background. Now we have a film that lays it all out there to laugh and empathize with all parties involved. While some of the situations are obviously over-the-top, it does so in a way to call attention to the situation and make you laugh. Pettyjohn is extraordinary in her performance, giving truth and comedy to this point in a girl’s life. This wonderfully developed character not only has to figure out her own life, but also find a way to help her mother all the while attempting to wrangle her first crush feelings. Oh, to go back to that time in your life…would be a curse!
Barton hones in on this time “period” perfectly with succinct writing and precision direction of this talented cast. The dialogue she creates is fast-paced, smart, and unbelievably witty as well as relatable. Every word out of Bird’s mouth has either been said or at least thought by every female out there! And if you’re a mom with a daughter who has already gone through this, it’ll be even more hilarious! Barton is bold with a
topic matter that I don’t think has been broached in such an incredibly inventive way before.
Jenny and her best friends seem to provide her with all the aspects of motherhood, but even Jenny’s friends see that it’s time for her to step up to the plate. With pressure from Arlo, Jenny has hit a wall and having a hormonal teen on her hands is more than she can handle. Her responses are wildly strange (and hilarious) as she throws a coming of age party and attempts to show her how to insert a tampon. It’s a journey for all involved as not only do Jenny and Bird grow up, but the film addresses love, peer pressure, identity, confidence and bullying as well as first love. “Girl Flu” is a simply charming, sweet, honest and comedic look at what happens to us all, shown with vivid imagery.
“Girl Flu” is a rite of passage that gets it right! It’s a film for every mother and daughter to see and if you guys want to get a glimpse of what we go through, check it out! You’ll be enlightened and wonderfully entertained. Now available on Video on Demand.