If Fast Times at Ridgemont High got into a hot tub with Bonnie & Clyde and Gypsy 83 and did the dirty, the result would be something like Dirty Girl, Abel Sylvia’s funny and moving retro-teen sex comedy now rolling out in theaters nationwide.
Danielle (Juno Temple) is a skanky high-school junior in 1980s suburban Oklahoma giving hummers in hopes of burying the feelings of abandonment she feels about the father she never knew—and the resentment she feels towards her mom (Milla Jovovich), who’s about to marry an uptight Mormon. (Is there any other kind?)
Put in the remedial class for acting up, she’s saddled with Clark (Jeremy Dozier), an overweight gay sophomore who’s only happy when he’s alone in his room dancing to hits from Melissa Manchester and other period pop divas. Determined to find her birth father, Danielle ropes Clark into a ill-conceived road trip to Fresno—with their worried moms (Milla Jovovich and Mary Steenburgen) and his abusive dad (Dwight Yoakam) hot on their trail. And yes, hilarity does ensue.
We caught the flick in New York, where it just opened, and it’s a refreshingly new take on a classic genre. (We’re saying right now that Temple is gonna be one to watch.)
But is it based on Sylvia’s real life?
As the director tells HitFlix, yeah kinda.
It was kind of a combination of things. I think there was a girl in my middle school we called “Dirty Debbie” and I was always really fascinated by her and she was 16 and we were all 12 and she seemed to know more about the world than the rest of us and she seemed so much happier than the rest of us. And I think some of my most significant, most special relationships have been with women who had a mouth on them. And I love a great chick. And I think that that particular fascination that I think that like, gay men have for that kind of girl, that Clark has for not only Danielle, but for all of the women who are in the soundtrack, I wanted to make a movie about that specific connection.
I spent a lot of years jumping up and down in my room with a few extra pounds on me, for sure. My parents were very progressive, though. They weren’t at all like Mary [Steenburgen] and Dwight [Yoakam]’s characters. They were very cool people.
Hmm, we think Mary Steenburgen and Dwight Yoakum would be pretty cool parents.
Below, check out Syliva, Temple, Dosier and hottie Nick D’Agosto (who plays a sexy stripper Clark falls for) recording their own It Gets Better video.
Dirty Girl is currently playing in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles and in numerous LGBT film festivals nationwide. Thanks to our friends at the Weinstein Company for their sponsorship.