Brittany Robertson brilliantly portrays the main character, Katie Kampenfelt, who tells her story via her blog, "Undiscovered Gyrl." I wasn't sure what to make of the film, so I watched it twice. I was intrigued, grossed out, surprised and heartbroken. Katie exemplifies the sad virtues of a girl abused as a child. Her want of older men, dissatisfaction with self, suicidal tendencies and promiscuity all point to the typical sexually abused.
This book is pure fiction, a statement that may be hard to believe given the twists and turns of a story that never stops revealing. Mr. Burnett is to be commended for producing a most fascinating and intriguing story that could easily be thought of as the female version of "The Catcher in the Rye." I can only imagine that Katie is a symbolic representation of tens of thousands of American teens. The ugly secret of childhood sexual abuse arises, mid-story, and turns front and center. As a childhood sexual abuse survivor, I heartily applaud Mr. Burnett. Too few stories truthfully exclaim the enormous dysfunction, sorrow and pain that follow abuse survivors their entire life.
The movie is gritty, raw, honest and holds nothing back. It's definitely for mature audiences, late teens and up. The subject matter isn't for the sensitive souls.
Oh, there are other actors clogging the screen. Martin Sheen with his ever present love of cigarettes; Christian Slater and his bad boy charm; Robert Patrick as the washed-up, foul talking alcoholic absent father. Speaking of fathers, Katie's moms boyfriend, Mark, played by the mustached Andy Buckley, presented me with the most moving scene in the whole film. Katie is being attacked and Mark forcefully steps in to protect her. That's just the survivor in me talking, but I was deeply touched that a non-biological male would step up to protect a young girl.
There isn't a lot of judgement or finger-pointing regarding Katie's erratic behavior, rather...a number of people seem genuinely concerned and are trying to help her.