“According To Greta,” directed by Nancy Bardawil, is an unconventional drama that follows a teen who is having trouble with her family and relationships.
Many films examine various facets of adolescence, but only a select number successfully capture the rebellious yet relatable nature of typical teenagers.
“According to Greta” seeks to focus on a few issues that are particularly challenging for teenagers, such as a tumultuous family life that further extended into self-centered and suicidal tendencies.
Greta (Hilary Duff) is a seventeen-year-old who, like many other kids her age, is highly realistic but also downtrodden and rebellious. Her difficult family life, in which her mother is more concerned with maintaining her romantic relationship than she is with her child’s future, nevertheless conveys the tale of an obviously estranged youngster who undoubtedly longs for love and attention.
Greta was never thrilled when her mother Karen (Melissa Leo), who is on her third marriage, sent her to spend the summer holidays with her grandparents in the New Jersey beach town of Ocean Grove. Greta was equally unhappy as the host. She was so rebellious that she even made a bucket list of things she really wanted to achieve before her suicide this summer.
Yes, she had even written down a list of possible suicide methods with the disturbing intention of putting an end to her life before the summer was over. Meanwhile, while working in a restaurant to pay for her daily costs and, as a rule, to live at her grandparents’ house, Greta meets Julie (Evan Ross), a chef who also happens to be a reformed ex-con.
Despite having a criminal past, Julie is now more motivated to lead a quiet life with a wish to have his restaurant. Due to his past and his ambition, Greta finds Julie to be incredibly fascinating. They become great friends, but when Julie learns about Greta’s worrying plan, he attempts to persuade her and even tells her grandparents.
“According to Greta” – Watch the Trailer
The plot of “According to Greta” is really lovely, straightforward, and predictable, but Duff’s portrayal of the character and the message it seeks to convey falls short. Her efforts to depict a troubled defiant girl were likely overshadowed by her earlier reputation as a teen idol with more apple-cheeked roles.
Nevertheless, Evan Ross delivers a solid performance, while veterans Ellen Burstyn and Michael Murphy as grandparents are just too good. “According to Greta” is at least a one-time watch.
Genre: Drama, Romance
Directed by Nancy Bardawil
Written by Michael Gilvary
Cast: Hilary Duff, Evan Ross, Melissa Leo, John Rothman, Maury Ginsberg, Michael Murphy, and Ellen Burstyn.
Cinematography: Michael Lohmann
Edited by Michelle Botticelli
Release Dates: November 25, 2009 (Australia); December 11, 2009 (United States)