Yes, you read that right — this is a movie called White Girl. It's a sticky New York City summer when Leah — the titular white girl — meets Blue, a Puerto Rican drug dealer that lives in her Queens neighborhood. It's a very 21st century, Trap Queen romance: Girl meets boy, girl and boy sell a bit of cocaine, boy falls in love, girl looks for her next party. Leah is a 20-something hedonist, using her fair skin and blonde hair to float above the realities of Blue's life as a Latino man living on the fringes of her glitzy life of parties and privilege. When he's busted for selling cocaine, she thinks she can beg, borrow, or smirk her way into getting him out of prison. And that's exactly what Leah tries to do. White Girl made waves when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this past winter. At Variety, Peter Debruge criticized its "rampant negativity," and called it an unromantic coming of age story; At Buzzfeed, Anne Helen Peterson said it was a kind of treatise on whiteness and privilege. The latter feels closer to the truth: White Girl might be romantic, but it's not romanticized. Underneath the bong hits and blow jobs, director Elizabeth Wood is showing how Leah's whiteness is the real drug, begetting a kind of cluelessness and zeal that infects and intoxicates. White Girl stars Morgan Saylor (Homeland), Justin Bartha (the Hangover movies), Brian "Sene" Marc, and Chris Noth. It is directed by Elizabeth Wood (read her Q&A with R29). The movie is set for a wide release September 16.
This summer, we're celebrating the biggest movie season of the year with a new series called Blockbust-HER. We'll be looking at everything film-related from the female perspective, interviewing major players in the industry and discussing where Hollywood is doing right by women and where (all too often) it is failing them. And now...let's go to the movies!