After I was advised that I look like an actress in the film, I rented Normal Adolescent Behavior. Rental also accommodated my recent recession into older projects: watching everything ever made about teenagers having sex. And this one was explicitly about (only according to the director, writer, actors but not, perhaps, the actual communicated narrative) women having sexual desire and pleasure. It follows a “family” of six 17-year-olds who have been together since fifth grade or something. In order to rebel against the hook-up-weekends, party girls, and blow-jobs the six only have sex with each other. Every Saturday night they just hetero-pair and then fuck in the same room. To the taunts of their classmates, the women in the family flirt and make out. One girl, attracted to a boy outside the group, struggles to get out. At first she hides her relationship and eventually she speaks out against the family.
Sean: What? You don’t live in what world? The world of first dates? Of holding hands?
Wendy: No you jackass. Of disposable girlfriends. Of bracelets for blowjobs. Of macking and making out and going down and text messaging some asshole whose gonna come all over my shirt. That world.
It was completely confusing.
Femmephane buys into some parts– maybe– in a sort of polyamory, alternative relationships type of way. But, then, how come blow-jobs and stripper poles are tools of the hegemony but tantalizing lesbian-theatrics and rigid heterosexuality are not? Eventual message seemed to be: grow up protagonist-girl and burn your past so you can have fairy-tale relationship with boy-next-door. In her damning evil-of-family rant at the end she lists: cutting, secret boy/boy homosexuality, and crabs as the pitfalls of the cult-like group.
In an effort to better understand the very particular statement of the film, I also watched the commentary where the director describes that the group is a “monogamous” group of six. (Yet more confused) One of the actors clarifies, The Point is That the Family Is Totally Different but Not Perverted Or Anything. (What?)
The film also features some really shoddy acting and I couldn’t seem to remember the difference between the three brown-haired boys. (No, MORE than usual, I promise.) The particularly stilted acting of Kelly Lynch is distracting. She is not only unbelievable as an unathletic-housewife and an extremely effeminate hot mom but is also unbelievable as a professional actor or even a human. Or maybe I just can’t see her as anyone but the L-Word Season 1 NightMare Extravaganza: Ivan.
Only after the fact did I realize that this film is supposedly a sequel to the Anne Hathaway movie Havoc. No matter how dedicated I am to my suffering and your well-being I am not willing to suffer that one in order to understand exactly how NAB is a sequel. IMBD alleges that Havoc is about ” Two affluent suburban girls who clash with the Latino gang culture of East LA.” And all trailers seem to support that synopsis. Femmephane thinks maybe the person who named NAB is confusing the term “sequel” with the genre “adolescent teenagers have sexual tension.”