One of the joys of Netflix is the ability to surf of an evening into a series of random films you would never normally choose. More often then not I just search trending or new to Netflix for inspiration. According to Greta is one of these movies. One I am very glad I got my hands on.
Starring a seventeen year old girl who is going through troubling times in life. Her father committed suicide when she was young, she was the person who found him. Leaving constant unresolved mental and emotional issues. Her mother barely takes any notice of her, more interested in career and her latest husband.
Greta is suicidal, determined to end her life before her next birthday. Making lists of different ways she could do it in a little notebook she keeps shoved into the bracelets she wears constantly around her wrist. Along with a list of things she feels she needs to do before she dies. Her mother packs her off to her grandparents, not knowing what else to do with her. While she works on ‘saving her marriage’ yet again.
Greta doesn’t want to spend her last summer in the middle of a retirement village full of grouchy old people without even the comfort of cable TV. She pushes people away, every single person who tries to reach her. Staying out late, going into bad parts of town hoping to get hurt. Her grandmother forces her to take a job for holiday. Reluctantly she bullies a local seafood restaurant manager into giving her a job.
Even there she is abusive to customers and staff alike. One of the chefs (a young man called Juli) catches her eye. A black man who went to jail when he was younger, now trying to turn his life around. At first she sees him as a way to get to her grandparents, to shock them into letting her go home. Over time feelings start to grow as he and her grandparents try to show her that there is more to life then just spending 16 years alive and waiting 60 more to die as she puts it.
This is a very identifiable movie. I think most of us have had a time in their lives where they feel as Greta has. The love, desperation and concern from those around her really shine through in the whole piece. Giving it a strong degree of realness as they panic if they can save her life or not. I’m glad that the film makers are now starting to go more into real issues faced by teens. Instead of countless feel good movies like Clueless.
I think it is highly important that teens see characters going through the same problems/emotions that they are so that they know it is all normal. That they are not alone, and in time these things will all pass.
A great piece of film making