Girls Girls Girls
Finnish director Alli Haapasalo has already picked up an award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival with her latest feature Girls Girls Girls, a fresh and candid portrayal of young womanhood. It’s the story of three girls exploring their sexuality and the complex world of relationships, as they navigate through the exhilarating highs and lows of adolescence. In a sense, it is just another coming-of-age story, yet, thanks to realistic dialogues and excellent performances all round, it manages to make commonplace scenarios of heartbreak, parent-daughter troubles or tension between friends really come alive.
Mimmi (Aamu Milonoff) is an angsty young girl who has no friends aside from Rönkkö (Eleonoora Kauhanen), her frank schoolmate who keeps her in check. The two are inseparable as they also work together in a smoothie shop, a place where they often discuss their fears and desires. Rönkkö is on a quest to experience sexual pleasure, while Mimmi seems apathetic until she meets Emma (Linnea Leino), a figure skater whose disciplined life is worlds apart from her messy existence – but for this very reason, the two are immediately attracted to one another and embark on a whirlwind relationship.
The events of the film unfold over three consecutive Fridays, and although episodic, they form a convincing snapshot of what it’s like to experience life through the filter of adolescence, which intensifies every moment and turns everyday challenges into fierce battles. What is most striking about Girls Girls Girls is the sense of authenticity at the base of every exchange. Carefree moments are swiftly followed by anxiety and self-sabotage, only to turn to angst and rebellion and then melt into surrender and a state of vulnerability. The film brilliantly captures this rollercoaster of elusive, fast-changing emotions without overdoing actions or conversations.
The film does take a while to draw the audience in, but then it gradually becomes more and more convincing. Unfortunately, male characters are mere caricatures, and conflict resolutions are not always free from contrivance, but the leading trio carry the film beautifully and make up for these imperfections. Although not exactly original in its scope, it is a raw and refreshing take on modern-day teen life.
Girls Girls Girls is released in select cinemas on 30th September 2022.
Watch the trailer for Girls Girls Girls here: