Fat Girls

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Fat Girls
Directed by Ash Christian
Regent Releasing
Opens November 2

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Not many fat girls appear in Fat Girls, but that's not a problem: In this movie, nearly anyone can be a fat girl—it's a mental state, one that Rodney (writer/director/star Ash Christian) tends to assign to the stranger members of his entourage, and that we may recognize in the entire oddball cast. Rodney is a gay high-school senior and a spiritual fat girl; his best friend, Sabrina (Ashley Fink), is a literal one. They mope in and out of classrooms wearing expressions of gaping, undisguised horror that alone justify the existence of this film. Rodney's characteristic awkwardness is so severe as to inhibit most normal conversation, and it sometimes escalates from amusing to tragic, as when he rejects comfort after his father's death. He engages more successfully with the imaginary worlds of porn and plays, and dreams of starring on Broadway. Don't worry: He isn't talented. This film goes to some lengths not to be another high-school movie, which means prom stinks and no one can sing. Given Fat Girls' honesty, and its delicately drawn examples of social hopelessness, the sudden, sugary, puzzling finale feels out of character. It's as though the film forgot how to talk to us.

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