A true online short film shows a glimpse of adolescence

By Noah Robischon
March 24, 2000 at 05:00 AM EST

”Head Gear Girl”

Robohead. Metalmouth. Who among the dentally impaired hasn’t been taunted with such nicknames while running to class, just like the adolescent heroine (Megan Casey) in the 11 1/2-minute true story Head Gear Girl? Our brace-face never does win over the femme bullies who hunt her down on their bicycles like a pack of sharks, whisper obscenities at her in class, and nail her with a soccer ball during gym. But in this too-hip update on the ugly-duckling tale, she does win the private affection of Potential Boy (Trevor James), and, in the process, writer-director Emily Weissman gives a glimpse of Head Gear Girl’s inner coolness and the woman she will one day become. As in Todd Solondz’s Welcome to the Dollhouse, the audience is privy to a girl nobody else can see — one whose personality shines as brightly as her orthodontia. B+