A Girl Like Her

By: Courtney Kaner

Grab your box of tissues and get ready to go on a journey through the eyes of a teenage girl in high school. A Girl Like Her is a shocking and real life portrayal of the most talked about issue to date- bullying.

The movie took us on a journey through the eyes of Jessica Burns, a young high school girl struggling with the effects of being harassed and bullied in school and online by the “popular” girl and former friend, Avery Keller. The entire school is uneasy after Jessica tries to commit suicide. No one quite knows why she would commit such an act, except her friend Brian Slater, who sees the abuse everyday. He takes a stand and has Jessica weara girl like her a “button” camera for six months, to hopefully prove that Avery’s harassment has gone too far, and finally end the trauma.

The director, writer, and producer Amy S. Weber took a documentary style approach. She places herself in the film, playing a documentary filmmaker, doing a movie originally focusing on the prestigious school system, but instead turned the films attention to the situation at hand. She shows the first hand experiences of the bully by giving her a camera to create a video diary and by showing her dysfunctional family life, which is a clear source of her problems.We see Jessica’s side of things, by following her family during hospital visits and showing the school trying to take action against the situation.

This is indeed no ordinary “bully” film. Unlike other “bully” films, this movie also shows the victimization of the bully. Although the film did an incredible job of showing the remorse Avery’s character feels toward harassing Jessica, it also left me uneasy with the movie’s result. It’s almost as if the film was giving the bully a free pass because of her sudden emotional realization in the end. There are no excuses for bullying. Showing the consequences to such actions would have pushed the film’s anti-bullying campaign a step further.

Audience members should also note the cast. The three teen actors, Lexi Ainsworth, Jimmy Bennett, and Hunter King give very authentic and passionate performances. Never was there a moment when an emotion was forced or a tear was faked. For being so young, you can see their own real life experiences through the eyes of their characters. Their performances were definitely noteworthy and recognizable.

A Girl Like Her is a journey like no other. It will take you back to high school and into the depths of bullying.