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      The Young Girl and the Monsoon
    Not too short to box with dad

    A girl tries to figure out her divorced parents, and her father tries to figure out all the women in his life in the intelligent, personal drama "The Young Girl and the Monsoon."


    "I hate you," Constance announces over lunch at a Chinese joint. "Your clothes are so queer and they're always too tight. I hate you."

    Is this any way for a 13-year-old to talk to her father? Well, maybe it's a start. Queer clothes, as we eventually find out, are not the real issue for Constance (Ellen Muth) — just an ice breaker for the difficult talks she really needs to have with her dad. She's confused about why her parents have split up and is still deciding whether she respects her dad, an international photojournalist who makes a living by selling pictures of tragedy.

    Written and directed by: James Ryan.
    Cast: Terry Kinney, Ellen Muth, Mili Avital, Diane Venora, Tim Guinee.

    Related links: Official site
    Hank (Terry Kinney), 39, maintains a weary seriousness as a cover for any true emotions he may feel, which has led him to push away the women in his life, including his beautiful post-divorce girlfriend, Erin (Mili Avital). But he earnestly wants to do right by his daughter, and it's her unavoidable questioning that will force him to start opening up and confronting what kind of person he is.

    "The Young Girl and the Monsoon" is quite an intelligent drama that explores its main character's inner psychology without ever having to say an expository word about it. The film's only weakness is that it doesn't take the other characters as seriously as Hank — it feels like an ensemble story, so when it ultimately focuses in on Hank, there's a bit of disappointment because he's not the only interesting person with interesting problems here. But the film is well worth watching because it takes a good, clear-eyed look at the male personality without being preachy, angry or sarcastic. You may well recognize some of yourself or someone you love in this story.

    APRIL 25, 2001

    Reader comments on The Young Girl and the Monsoon:

  • music in the movie   from Amy J, Dec 15, 2002

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