Girls Rock!

Girls Rock! (2007)
★★ / ★★★★

After hearing about this film, I knew I had to rent it because I liked what it was trying to accomplish. However, as much as I like the ideas behind the film, I can’t quite recommend it because I felt like it didn’t have enough focus; it tried to tell stories of about five bands so its an hour and a half running time wasn’t enough to dig deeper into these children’s lives. There were moments in the film–especially near the end–when it captured some of these girls’ loneliness and their reasons for joining the camp. I wanted to know more about that instead of how they make music. There’s also a great message about kids having to learn to work through their problems in front of those same people who they are having frustrations with. It not only applies in a band or group dynamics but also in the real world. However, what I found distracting was the little animations and statistics flashing on the screen. I felt like I was watching a college student’s documentary and those tidbits took me out of the whole experience. Those minutes combined should’ve been used to further explore the campers’ psychology. Still, there were some interesting characters here such as the Korean girl who hates herself, the girl who has a brother with Downe Syndrome and the girl who’s been through a lot of tough times being transferred from one foster home to another. I wish the filmmakers would’ve primarily told their story and then talk about how music has changed them. This is not just about the camp. It also comments on how society is designed to make women feel second rate, how music has changed in the 90s and how that correlates to women and expectations regarding their bodies. Having taken a few Women’s Studies courses, I found it to be insightful but (at times) a bit preachy. Again, this film has a plethora of good ideas but it needed to have an extra punch by working on its execution.

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