“White Girl” poses a troubling but unspoken question: To what degree has hard partying with sex and drugs become entrenched as a hazardous rite of passage for bored millennials? Leah (Morgan Saylor), the doll-faced blond protagonist of this movie, written and directed by Elizabeth Wood, is an ebullient New York City college student with an appetite for marijuana, cocaine and casual sex.
When she and her equally wild best friend Katie (India Salvor Menuez) move to a seedy apartment in Queens, she thinks nothing of running downstairs and asking the boys hanging out in front of the building where she can find some pot. They follow her upstairs, and it isn’t long before Leah is having sex against a wall with Blue (Brian Marc, also a rapper known as Sene), a Puerto Rican drug dealer and the best-looking member of the group.
The movie, which observes the world from Leah’s entitled perspective, is the latest in a continuing line of shockers (including “Kids” and “Spring Breakers”), whose depictions of greedy drug-taking and promiscuity are inescapably titillating. Had “White Girl” been directed by a man, it would probably be accused of misogyny. But Ms. Wood has said that it is semi-autobiographical. When shown last winter at the Sundance Film Festival, “White Girl” received some obligatory tut-tutting from nervous male critics.
The movie has what seems to be a heart, although you can’t be sure. Leah entertains no expectations of a serious relationship with Blue. Yet when he is arrested for drug dealing, she goes to considerable lengths to help him try to avoid prison. She consults a sleazy, high-powered lawyer (Chris Noth), and in a state of semiconsciousness endures what appears to be a rape.
-via N.Y. Times