All Over Me

In All Over Me, there is teen angst in Hell’s Kitchen, with a difference: You can actually believe what you’re seeing. The first feature by the Sichel Sisters (Alex directs, Sylvia writes) has the obligatory post-Kids youth-movie staples — sex as raw escape, casual drug abuse, bad parents, delinquency so affectless and violent it borders on the psychotic — but the film’s true subject is the inchoate adolescent sadness that some kids can cultivate until it takes over their lives. (Dysfunction becomes a drug.) Aspiring grunge guitarist Claude (Alison Folland) overeats to convince herself she’s a loser and makes the occasional pass at her best friend, Ellen (Tara Subkoff), a baby-doll waif who’s too busy with her scary new leader-of-the-pack boyfriend (Cole Hauser) to respond. The performances are flawless, and Alex Sichel directs with an arresting, if occasionally meandering, intimacy. She literally looks at these girls from every angle she can. The soundtrack of tuneless, depressive mope rock would be unlistenable if it didn’t suit the film’s mood so well; these kids are living to a slowed-down heartbeat. And when Claude sways and weeps along to the incantatory phrases of Patti Smith’s great ”Pissing in a River,” the movie achieves a timeless rock & roll power. B+

All Over Me
  • Movie