TEENAGE GIRL: FIRST WHEELS (2023)
Release Date: TBD [VOD]
Genre: Comedy. Drama. Romance.
Studio: Mutt Productions
"When her family goes out of town, Alex and her fellow band geek friend Claire decide to take her brother's candy apple red 1966 Mustang on weekend joyride in hopes of appearing cool and impressing her high school crush."
OUR MOVIE REVIEW:
Coming-of-age stories are some of my absolute favorite narratives to dive into, especially when they’re short and sweet. Teenage Girl: First Wheels is a coming-of-age story in theory, but in its execution it manages to hit all the wrong notes and feature them on repeat for the entirety of its 86 minute runtime. I don’t want to fixate on the negatives of the film, but it can become a slog to get through in a very limited amount of time.
The acting is all over the place when it comes to the performances - some are manageable while others stand out in a not so fantastical way. One of the highlights and it’s truly a nostalgia thing over all else, is the inclusion of Corey Feldman in a few scenes of the film - he’s truly entertaining in his limited appearances. Some of the actors involved aren’t at fault here and instead are relying on a script that needed a little more fine-tuning to get the characters to interact and live more naturally in their day to day lives. The bully arc is repetitive with the same insults being hurled over and over, labeling our two leads “Band Geeks”; I’m truthfully unsure if the film says those two words or the phrase “a classic candy apple red 1966 convertible Mustang” more - it became insufferable.
Teenage Girl: First Wheels is shot well but it’s simultaneously edited with flaws and written with some serious first draft energy. The leads are the simple, one dimensional “nerds", as basic as back when the original Revenge of the Nerds created the ideology - their story goes to the most predictable points and ceases to exceed any potential it laid forth. The romance isn’t fully realized and the bullying in its most extreme form, clearly reflects the film’s budget and the barriers of the writing. This is a feature that needed some more time to develop and better realize itself because for a coming-of-age story, the film hasn’t even found its own footing.