Why Parents of Preteens Should Go See ‘Eighth Grade’
This weekend I headed to the movies, not to see Christopher Robin like I had originally planned, but to go see another movie that was just given wide-release on Friday.
The movie Eighth Grade was released a couple of weeks ago to select theaters in the U.S., and I've been keeping my eye on it ever since. There's a good chance you haven't heard of the movie yet, since it is more of an indie flick, so here's the summary from IMDB:
"An introverted teenage girl tries to survive the last week of her disastrous eighth grade year before leaving to start high school."
When I first came across the trailer for Eighth Grade several months ago, I knew immediately that it would resonate with me. I wasn't "cool" in middle school. I had about two friends, I was in band, I had braces, I had crushes on boys who wouldn't give me the time of day, I couldn't afford brand name clothes, and I was hopelessly awkward and desperate to fit in. Being a preteen was very rough for me, and to see that stage of life portrayed on the big screen was absolutely cringe-worthy. There were times that I had to close my eyes because I was so uncomfortable. I think that's what made the movie so good.
Elsie Fisher, the 15-year-old actress who plays the main character, Kayla, is absolutely perfect for the role. I love that they cast an actual kid for the film, instead of trying to pass off some hot 20-year-old as an awkward teen. I 100% believed that she was just a random middle-schooler from any school in the world.
The other thing that I really loved about the movie is Kayla's relationship with her dad. That's the main reason I think parents of preteens or soon-to-be preteens should see the film. You can tell that he truly loves her and wants to help her and that he so badly wants to be a part of her life, but she's got that typical teen attitude and spends all her time glued to her phone. It's so realistic that it's kind of scary. As much as I can relate to Kayla's character, social media was just getting started when I was in middle school. We had AIM and that was about it. I can't even imagine growing up in today's world where you already have the struggles of puberty and fitting in and "finding yourself," but now you also have to be worried about your social media presence. It just makes things that much harder.
I cannot recommend Eighth Grade enough, and, apparently, neither can critics. It's currently getting a 98% on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie is showing at multiple Corridor theaters, so here's the trailer if you want to check it out: