High-school senior Rodney Miller is one of the Fat Girls. So is his crush Joey (Joe Flaten), a Johnny Rotten clone whose unbuttoned shirts and habit of giving strangers bathroom blowjobs set him apart from the rest of rural Bloom, Texas. Of Rodney's misfit crew, only 300-pound Sabrina (Ashley Fink) is a literal zaftig femme; for the rest, being a Fat Girl is a badge of outcast honor—a mark that's unchangeable, yet embraceable.
Writer/director/star Ash Christian's debut feature shows his youth. It's provocative, imitative and heedlessly bitter against the hometown conservatives he left behind six years ago when at 17 he split Paris, Texas, for L.A. The first five minutes—during which our hero gives a furtive handjob to the quarterback, is tricked into drinking piss and vomits on a redneck's boots—revel in the raw shock value that's come to define Brave Indie Filmmaking. And Christian's habit of introducing new characters with a freeze frame and voiceover (as in, "These are my parents—they've never really understood me.") is lazy screenwriting masquerading as quirk.
Fat Girls places less emphasis on story (limited to whether Joey is Rodney's date for the graduation dance) than a junk drawer of gags like his pious mom's (Deborah Theaker) religious-themed dinners of Thessalonian taquitos and angel food cake and Sabrina's boyfriend Rudy's (Robin de Jesus) wacky Cuban accent (Vote for Pedro!). His characters lurch around the Bible Belt with fixed expressions of defensive disgust, particularly Fink who keeps her eyebrows cocked and her mouth agape like she really can't believe it's not butter and the thought repulses her. They loathe the outside world for shunning them, yet are loathsome themselves. Rodney tells Sabrina her sex life is disgusting and snickers at his father's death via a session with a dominatrix midget. The film just keeps hammering away at the insight that conservatives are, like, totally twisted.
Christian seems to despise his social pariahs even as he holds his them up as alterna-heroes. Sabrina's ass even gets stuck to the dashboard when riding her chubby-chasing lover and has to be greased out like a stuck pig. And all this bile builds inexplicably toward a resolution where Rodney decides to accept his inner fat girl. "I like her," he smiles. But by this time, we’re siding with the rednecks.
Cast: Ash Christian, Jonathan Caouette, Robin de Jesus and Ashley Fink
Director/Screenwriter: Ash Christian
Producers: Kim Fishman, Ash Christian and Kelli Lerner
Rating: R for strong sexual content including graphic dialogue, language and some drug/alcohol use—all involving teens
Running time: 82 min.
Release date: November 2, 2007 NY/LA