She's Too Young (2004) Marcia Gay Harden, Alexis Dziena, Mike Erwin, Miriam McDonald, Megan Park, Joe Dinicol, John White Movie Review

She's Too Young (2004)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Alexis Dziena in She's Too Young (2004)

Sex, Lies and Syphilis

Fourteen year old Hannah (Alexis Dziena - When in Rome) has always been responsible and her parents love her for being such a good girl. But then when she starts dating the school hottie, Nick (Mike Erwin - Jesse Stone: Innocents Lost), they become concerned and a good job too as Nick has been sleeping with lots of girls at the school. Ignoring the concerns and advice of others Hannah's world comes crashing down when one of her friends is diagnosed with Syphilis and everything points to Nick being the root of the disease.

If you were to sit down and write a list of all the problems that a teenager could face I am sure that the list would be long as things such as peer pressure, drugs, alcohol, over protective parents, poor parents and a lot more would feature on it. That is the first problem which causes problems for "She's Too Young" as it tries to cover absolutely everything from Hannah's parents being overly protective to her friend Dawn having a bad parent who through her own dating habits and encouragement sets a bad example to her daughter. Don't get me wrong as whilst all the issues shown in the movie are valid to condense them into "She's Too Young", an 84 minute drama, causes it to come across as forced.

Mike Erwin in She's Too Young (2004)

Forced is also how all these problems are dealt with in "She's Too Young" as Hannah's parents are portrayed as over protective stereotypes, Nick the sports jock is portrayed as being over arrogant. And I could go on because there is not a single character or issue in this movie which is not portrayed in an overly forced manner. It is why as a movie for teenagers "She's Too Young" fails because it comes across as trying too hard, it becomes too cliche by trying to make everyone an extreme stereotype and quite patronizing in the way it plays out.

All of which is a shame because in amongst all the various teen problems "She's Too Young" tries to cover it does cover some important ones. Ignorance when it comes to sexually transmitted disease is certainly an important issue but because it also tries to cover everything else from parents ignorance of what their children are up to it ends up crowding it out. And sadly the whole styling, from trying to be hip with snappy camera work and loud music only contributes to the forced feeling. The same when it focuses on the parents dealing with the discovery that their children are sexually active, the in the face camera work just makes it cheesy.

What this all boils down to is that "She's Too Young" tries to be a hip sex education movie not just for teenagers but also parents who are blinkered to their teenager's habits. But it tries to do too much, cover every possible angle and by doing so it comes across as forced, extreme and at times sadly corny.