Girls Against Boys

Written and directed by Austin Chick, Girls Against Boys is a unique and interesting take on the rape/revenge genre.  In fact, to pigeonhole it as simply a rape/revenge movie would be a disservice.  It’s more of an exploration of the old adage “Hell hath no fury like a women scorned.”

Shae (Danielle Panabaker) is a college student who has just been dumped by her boyfriend who, apparently, has a family; this is news to Shae. That evening at work, she meets Lu (Nicole LaLiberte) and the two become fast friends. After an evening spent dancing with a group of men, the two ladies go back to one of the men’s apartment. Just when it looks like we’re in the company of gentlemen,something ugly and unnecessary happens to Shae.

Seemingly in shock, Shae looks to Lu for comfort. While at the police station filing a report, Shae is treated as a number. She isn’t a human being who has been assaulted;she’s just another person waiting her turn to fill out paperwork. This obvious lack of sympathy compels Lu to take matters into her own hands.

Lu is fascinating; she ‘s beautiful, engaging and intelligent but, clearly, has no soul. LaLiberte really did a great job inhabiting a character that is fun to hang out with, yet, capable of cold blooded murder at the drop of a hat.  Lu has decided to take Shae under her wing and the two friends begin dispatching all of the men who have done them wrong. The tone is one of moody seriousness with a haunting, melancholy score always playing in the background. It’s this specific tone that makes this movie interesting and engaging as opposed to crass and  graphic.

As the story progresses, an interesting development in emotional investments between Shae and Lu takes this story to a whole other place of “hell hath no fury”.  Panabaker and LaLiberte play their roles with an almost apathetic, yet wounded and dreamy disposition. Despite their lack of basic, good human qualities I found myself rooting for Shae’s emotional recovery and Lu’s flat out, no apologies, vengeful outlook on life. Panabaker’s expression during the last scene is, in a word, priceless.

Chick has written a story about the many ways some men take women for granted, but neither male nor female escapes this story unblemished. We’re all capable of succumbing to our basic, violent impulses and this movie illustrates this in it’s own unique way.

 

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