Based on the graphic novel by Phoebe Gloeckner, the screenplay focuses on the sexual awakening of 15 year old Minnie Goetz during 1970 San Francisco. Armed with her cassette player and recorder, she chronicles the ups and downs of sex, her need and desire to explore the subject fully, while documenting her escapades for posterity.
The story starts with Minnie’s declaration that she wants to have sex. Her targeted paramour, her mom’s 35 year old boyfriend Monroe. Despite their 20 year age difference they embark on a journey to find love and happiness between the drugs, alcohol, lies and insecurities of the times. When Monroe isn’t available, our protagonist looks for other means to feel touched and wanted, showing us how emotion and desire can make or break us. Through it all, she faces slut shaming and rejection from the ones she loves as her secrets are revealed.
Forty years ago, this type of work was unheard of, even in the underground comix scene, were the author gained respect and notoriety. Women then found a voice, shaping the medium to express their concerns about life, love and gender roles, reaching a broader, more receptive, audience. Even though Phoebe was part of the zine and underground movement it wasn’t until 2002 that she combined her notorious prose and graphics to share her take on the life of a teenage girl amidst feminism and the sexual revolution. Her work is admired by her peers and held in high regard. (See the She Changed Comics website for more info.)
The movie stars Bel Powley (Minnie), Alexander Skarsgård (Monroe) and Kristen Wigg (Charlotte, Minnie’s mom), with appearances by Christopher Meloni (Pascal) as Minnie’s ex-step dad. Watch On Demand, or stream online.