Lisa Schwarzbaum
March 31, 2000 AT 05:00 AM EST

All I Wanna Do

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
94 minutes
performer
Kirsten Dunst, Lynn Redgrave, Rachael Leigh Cook, Gaby Hoffmann, Monica Keena, Heather Matarazzo
director
Sarah Kernochan
distributor
Redeemable Features
author
Sarah Kernochan
genre
Historical, Drama

We gave it a B-

Girl power, manifest without the websites of the 1990s, is the rallying cry of All I Wanna Do, a knock-kneed but likable just-for-girls drama set in 1963 that promotes single-sex institutions as the best breeding ground for future female senators and filmmakers. And if the alma mater is a genteel boarding school presided over by a pip of a headmistress (Lynn Redgrave), so much the better: What’s more exotic than the wholesomeness of young women in berets, fighting for the right not to share classes with boys?

Well, many things — The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie managed much more in 1969 — but writer-director Sarah Kernochan warmly re-creates some traditional rites of passage (flirting with a townie, tormenting a hated teacher), and demonstrates that certain modern dangers (bulimia, sexual harassment) aren’t so modern after all. The attractive actresses (all of whom have done well in the two years it took to get the film distributed in the U.S.) include Kirsten Dunst, Gaby Hoffmann, Rachael Leigh Cook, Monica Keena, and Heather Matarazzo.

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