All Over Me

on April 25, 1997 by Lea Russo
Unlike "The Craft" and "Foxfire," which depict a group of teenage girls battling society's strict confines, "All Over Me" explores the more personal, internal struggle two best friends face as their relationship slowly begins to disintegrate. Compelling, gritty and sincere, the Sichel sisters' debut feature melds the rawness of Larry Clark's "Kids" with the angst of the '90s riot grrl scene.
A stocky wannabe guitar player with hair the color of red-tinted copper, easygoing Claude ("To Die For's" Alison Foland) mostly hangs out in her room with her best friend Ellen ("Freeway's" Tara Subkoff), a petite, mercurial blonde. But as their world becomes larger--Ellen gets a boyfriend ("Higher Learning's" Cole Hauser) and Claude makes friends with a gay rocker (Pat Briggs of the band Psychotica)--the girls change, altering their friendship forever.
With the exception of a cool soundtrack, which features Babes in Toyland, Patti Smith and Ani DiFranco, "All Over Me" often seems like a documentary due to its realistic portrayal of the girls' friendship. They may fight one moment, and hug the next, but they always speak the truth to each other--hard as that might sometimes be. Even when Claude betrays Ellen, she tells her immediately. Not always lovable or even sympathetic, the characters are human, easy to wound and quick to attack. Foland and Subkoff are naturals, registering a mass of conflicting emotions at once--desire, love, revulsion, fear. "All Over Me" reveals the adolescence most everyone went through (or witnessed) but no one talks about. Starring Alison Foland, Tara Subkoff, Pat Briggs and Cole Hauser. Directed by Alex Sichel. Written by Sylvia Sichel. Produced by Dolly Hall. A Fine Line release. Drama. Rated R for sexuality and drug use involving teen girls, and for language. Running time: 89 min. Debuts at Sundance.
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