Its 3:50 pm
Back in another life,I used to work at a club in San Jose,Calif called Marsugi’s. While it was known as a punk rock club,we used to host a poetry night there as well. We had some fine poets and performance artists and that led the organizers of a slam poetry event to ask if Marsugi’s would host two of the opening rounds. Of course we did and then a bunch of our own poets asked that I be one of the judges. Now,I had no idea they did that and I certainly didn’t feel I was qualified but I ended up in the judges table and it was there I saw my first spoken word performances.
None of the local poets did spoken word and I was so taken aback by the sheer power and passion of the artists involved. Needless to say,our two round winners were spoken word artists and soon after that our local poets started doing spoken word and were quite good at it.
I brought up that story as way to start our review of “To The Next Girl”.
“To The New Girl” which seems to be inspired by the “Cellblock Tango” from the film/play “Chicago”,showcases various women addressing their replacements so to speak. If you have forgotten about the “Cellblock Tango”,it had the various women on death row,do a spoken piece about how they ended up there. Each woman would tell their story while also doing interpretive dance before picking up the Cellblock Tango song. Quite honestly,its the best part of the film as well.
While “Girls” doesn’t do that,it does feature very similar music as each woman comes to the mic and speaks her piece.
10 different women enter a small space that is darkly lit and one by one they come to the stage to address the new woman that she is being replaced with. Some do via by reading letters,others doing via what they are wearing and one speaks her mind while standing in the dark.
It feels weird as a male to watch this film,I mean,I really liked it a lot but holy crow,I wish writer Samantha Macher had saved some of the heat for the lying,cheating,POS men who are equally responsible for the pain these women are feeling (well,except for Harriet). But I can also understand why she didn’t and quite honestly,its that more powerful as each scorned woman gets a crack at the mic and cuts COMPLETELY loose.
But one thing I liked about Macher’s script is the fact that while each of the women are speaking from the soapbox,their hands aren’t entirely clean,if you truly listen to what what they are saying,in many cases they are addressing themselves even if they don’t realize it. It makes the pieces all that more powerful.
There are 10 segments in the film and while I first thought the women presented were spoken word artists,it turns out that they are all actresses and after watching “Girls” three times,we can tell you they are all amazing.
The three segments that stood out the most for me were the following: