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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Cool
Highly Recommended as an Example of How to Stage and Sequence a Complex Scene.

If you like black comedy, you should enjoy "Confessions of an American Girl". Rena (Jena Malone) is the embodiment of that old cartoon where the guy is sitting on the ground with a noose around his neck and a broken rope in his hand; captioned "some people can't do anything right"...
Published on July 28, 2005 by Only-A-Child

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Confessions of an American Girl
I belived it was gonna be a good movie but was not what i was expecting and glad to say it was not scratched or damaged. Fast delivery and the case was great condition.
Published on December 13, 2011 by lively


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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Cool, July 28, 2005
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This review is from: Confessions of an American Girl (DVD)
Highly Recommended as an Example of How to Stage and Sequence a Complex Scene.

If you like black comedy, you should enjoy "Confessions of an American Girl". Rena (Jena Malone) is the embodiment of that old cartoon where the guy is sitting on the ground with a noose around his neck and a broken rope in his hand; captioned "some people can't do anything right". Rena lives in a mobile home with her somewhat "strange" family, is suicide challenged, is pregnant by a guy who doesn't want to be seen in public with her, and blames it all on the unfair eight year absence of her loving father, who is in prison for murder. Her dim idealic memories of her father are somewhat biased.

The highway and its exit ramps are metaphors for her life and her desire to end her life. The film is not quite as good as "Ghost World" but has much the same tone and feel.

Alicia Witt plays Rena's half-sister. Because Malone and Witt are arguably the most intelligent actresses in Hollywood, you immediately wonder about the wisdom of casting them as moronic trailer trash. But Malone has a special talent for playing this kind of "slack-jawed" character and Witt's standard sarcastic teen character works fine even in this environment. Their scenes together are the best ones in the film; with their reconciliation scene toward the end especially good.

Brad Renfro does a good job as Rena brother, O-Lon Jones (remember the waitress in Seinfeld's "Bubble Boy" episode) is excellent in a small role and Clifton Collins Jr. is great as Buddy, the prison trustee, who quickly sizes up the situation and sets the forces of change in motion.

While "American Girl" is an above average film, its main scene (the picnic at the prison which actually takes up the majority of the film) pushes it into cinema classic territory. This scene is an example of the way storytelling should be done, and the pacing is absolutely inspired. It is staged perfectly as Buddy orchestrates a sequence of revelations that changes all four visiting family members. Even if you hate the subject of this film it is worth watching just to see how wonderfully they manage this climatic scene. The disasterous visit over, the family leaves the prison with the statement "it went better than it could have".

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 stars for a courageous movie!, March 16, 2005
By 
Laudan Tehrani "TehraniGirl" (Charlotte, NC United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Confessions of an American Girl (DVD)
At first this movie seemed trite, but less than halfway into it, it became something much more. An honest look at a dysfunctional and insecure girl, her older and just downright mean half sister, her brother John, who is the calmest and simplest character ( with a dark secret ) in the movie. Her hardworking single mother ( played superbly by Michelle Forbes ) and her over the top father sent away to prison for two consecutive life terms for murder.
Jena Malone's character dreams of seeing her father, knowing him and making him proud right at the time that she realizes she is pregnant.
In one day at the annual prison picnic ( do these things actually exist? How scary!! ) the family reunites reluctantly except Rena ( Malone ). What follows therafter are numerous amounts of surprises and several laugh out loud moments. While some of this movie may be funny, this is certainly a more serious film that deals with coming of age, the longing that comes with having an absent father in a young persons life, suicide, depression, and coming to terms with one's reality and not just the dream they want.
I was amazed at how good this movie actually was. The acting by all cast members is really great and the story is not boring, however shocking or disturbing it may be, it is simply real. Possibly someone else's reality which makes it all the more interesting.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful indie flick., December 7, 2005
This review is from: Confessions of an American Girl (DVD)
Dysfunctional, Open-Minded, and down right humorous describes "Confessions of an American Girl". Jena Malone (Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys, Stepmom) shines in this film, just like she always does. Two things that will always go together are Jena Malone & an Indie/Black Comedy. But I'll have to admit some of the best acting in this film was that of Brad Renfro (The Client). He plays a 'closet' homosexual, and the obvious reason he hides it is because of his "tough as nails" prison father.

A lot of the characters in this film are like a lot of people you know & see in real life. And thought most label them as poor, white trash...You discover in "COAG" that they have passionate souls too.

Also, on another note..Clifton Collins, Jr. was one of the best things in this film, and one of the funniest too. So, buy it, rent it..do what you must. It's great!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Confessions, February 7, 2010
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This review is from: Confessions of an American Girl (DVD)
Jena plays Rena Grubb, a pregnant teenager. She resides in a trailer home with her brother who may possibly be gay, her half-sister, and her mom. Her father is in prison. In addition to the various assorted issues at home, the movie leads up to a family visit to prison where a few more issues arise. This movie is an awakening for Rena and her family. Before the visit, Rena idolized her father, however, comes to see that he is a loser. Incredibly, by the end of the visit, the family came to realize they have each other and can begin to move on with their lives. Which is the redeeming feature of this witty dark humored movie. Although the movie was released in 2002 it is timely, especially in light of the television hit, "Secret Life of the American Teenager." If you are a Jena Malone fan and for some reason have not seen this movie, you need to see it. Jena Malone at her best.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jena Malone Fans Could Enjoy, February 9, 2008
By 
Harry Young (Columbus, Ohio United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Confessions of an American Girl (DVD)
I like Jena Malone, and she does a good job acting in this movie. She struggles to find purpose in her world where her father is missing in her life, and she's pregnant. Her father is not dead but in jail, and he appears not very likable in this movie. So you feel sad for Jena. It seems her only ally is her brother, who I didn't like. I think it's because he's played by Brad Renfro, who was in Ghostworld. He just seems like a doofus. I think Jena's sister is Alicia Witt who didn't portray a likable character either. I think Jena's whole family has troubles, and it is an honest portrayal of what happens when the father is an inmate.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Confessions of an American Girl, December 13, 2011
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This review is from: Confessions of an American Girl (DVD)
I belived it was gonna be a good movie but was not what i was expecting and glad to say it was not scratched or damaged. Fast delivery and the case was great condition.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Confessions of an american girl, June 4, 2011
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The Late and Great "Brad Renfro" stars in this under-rated movie about a white trash family who lives in a trailer park in a small town with a father in prison for murder. It's a coming of age movie about a girl who has lolli-pop memories of her wickedly ignorant and violent daddy who they are getting ready to visit during a prison shindig. The movie revolves around the dysfunctional family's visit at the prison and as usual, Brad Renfro shines in this and gives this movie the only class it would otherwise lack. Clifton Collins, jr. also stars in this movie. The girl, much like many underprivaledged teenage girls is growing up the hard way and doesn't have a role model to help her out any. She is coming to terms with sex, the true nature of her violent father and her step into womanhood. This is a good movie with alot of laughs dealing with some serious issues. Like it's title, it's the story of alot of american girls. Farwell and Rest in Peace Brad Renfro.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Brad Renfro film, March 19, 2011
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This review is from: Confessions of an American Girl (DVD)
Hard to believe he played a gay person and that kiss near the ending had me in heat. A talented, very good actor who died from a drug overdose. Amazon has all of his movies on DVD.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good film, June 12, 2007
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This review is from: Confessions of an American Girl (DVD)
I've been a fan of Jena Malone since she started acting. I wasn't expecting too much of this film, I didn't even see it make a theatrical release anywhere near hear but I bought it because she's in it and the majority of her movies are well worth watching. We were surprised. I and my 75 year old mom watched this together and completely enjoyed it. Well done, well acted, well written. It's dark. It's funny. It'll make you think. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A wierd and wonderful jewel..a must see!, March 20, 2014
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This review is from: Confessions of an American Girl (DVD)
If you are a collector, or just like the those priceless little sleepers then this movie is for you. What a find! I love this movie.Great actors, including the late Brad Renfro and great acting make this wierd but wonderful movie a hit. A must see!
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Confessions of an American Girl
Confessions of an American Girl by Jordan Brady (DVD - 2005)
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