Tanner Hall contains all of the expected storyline from a film about a sheltered
New England boarding school for teenage girls. There is both a teacher who lusts after one of his students (played by Chris Kattan) and an older man who actually has an affair with one of the high school girls (played by Tom Everett Scott). But the film is really about the relationship two very different girls have with each other, and how it develops and changes during their final year.
Fernanda (Rooney Mara) is the practical one out of her group of friends. She follows the rules and has a sense of decency and morality that seems to run deeper than the rest and perhaps it is this maturity which attracts an older man to her. This secret is one which Fernanda keeps from all of her friends, though there is still a danger she may be discovered when an old family friend joins her school for the last year. Victoria (Georgia King) is manipulative and cruel, playing with the lives of others for entertainment, which makes her the worst person to know Fernanda’s secret.
All of the performances are good and the story is believable, but it isn’t original or memorable in many ways. The older man and teenage girl storyline is tired, and all of the rest of the coming-of-age clichés run rampant throughout the film as well. We’ve seen this all before and better elsewhere. Tanner Hall is engaging and entertaining, but also entirely forgettable. The Blu-ray includes a commentary track with writer/director/producers Francesca Gregorini and Tatiana von Furstenberg.
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