Stephanie Daley

While watching Stephanie Daley, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had come across basically this exact story very recently. It was a novel I read called Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult, that told a story of a teenage girl accused of infanticide in a Pennsylvania Amish community. The lawyer woman who ends up defending …

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Napoleon Dynamite

Napoleon Dynamite is so flippin’ funny I can hardly stand it. I have no shame—I don’t care if Spielberg directed it. But I should preface all this by confessing that part of my giddy delight comes from the fact that our hero, Napoleon Dynamite, strongly resembles my socially inept younger brother. Like Napoleon, my brother …

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The Secret Life of the American Teenager: Volume 4

By now, most of us are well-versed in the premise of the ABC Family drama, The Secret Life of the American Teenager.  Regardless of whether you’ve actually seen the show, you’ve undoubtedly heard that it chronicles the high school experience of Ashley Juergens (Shailene Woodley), who becomes pregnant during Volume 1.  By Volume 4, the …

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Radio Rebel

Tara (Debby Ryan) is a quiet kid at her high school in always-sunny Seattle (har!). She freezes up when her teachers call on her, and she has a huge crush on a boy named Gavin (Adam DiMarco), who not only doesn’t know she exists, but he is dating the school’s beauty queen, Stacy (Merritt Patterson). …

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American Teen

Documentary filmmaker Nanette Burstein followed a handful of high-school seniors for their last year of school in small-town Warsaw, Indiana. With gossip, crushes, rejection, peer pressure, and bad skin, American Teen is a fascinating and well-crafted slice of life that has as much drama and often unintentional comedy as an 80s John Hughes movie (which …

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