Throwback Thursday Review: According to Greta

 
  • Actors: Hilary Duff, Ellen Burstyn, Michael Murphy, Evan Ross
  • Director: Nancy Bardawil
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: January 19, 2010
  • Run Time: 92 minutes



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            Teen melodrama at its worst is rampant in According to Greta, a film which seems intent on making Hilary Duff out to be some kind of admirable rebel. Music video director Nancy Bardawil frames her protagonist as if she were the star of just that. Music videos are about making the key figures look good rather than real, and that is exactly what Bardawil does with this predictable teen drama. What is most interesting to me is the fact that Bardawil’s name is completely missing from the DVD, which instead focuses on the cast and Duff’s producer credit. There is no director as far as the DVD is concerned, and the movie has that same feeling. It feels more like a vanity project for Duff than a complete film.

     

            We’ve seen this story before with Lindsay Lohan and numerous other bratty teen stars. Greta (Duff) is a troubled seventeen-year-old with a quick wit and rude manner. In other words, Greta is trying as hard as she is to be a clone of Juno. She is sent to live with her grandparents (Michael Murphy and Ellen Burstyn) in New Jersey while her mother works on yet another failing marriage. Being the unwanted teenager is supposed to justify Greta’s reasons for deciding to commit suicide by the time she is 18, but mostly she just comes off as melodramatic and whiny.

     

            When Greta isn’t planning her own death and rebelling just for the sake of seeming cool and different, she is usually rude and forward. This is the way she talks herself into a serving job at the age of seventeen. There is also a teenager cook in the back, one with a troubled background that Greta sees as a way to annoy her grandparents. She brings the black co-worker home in hopes of shocking her grandma, and instead starts a relationship with him. She is rude to her customers and they like her for it. Something about this film comes off as a teenager fantasy rather than an honest film.

           

    Entertainment Value: 4/10

    Quality of Filmmaking: 3/10

    Historical Significance: 1/10

     

     

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