“Why didn’t you go to summer?”
“Because it’s school… in the summer.”
I always wondered what it would have been like if I had gotten held back in school. I was not a very good student in high school. I was not bad I was not crazy and disruptive I just was not a good student homework and school work wise and I never put any effort into my studies. But as time went on I got a little bit better, not a whole lot better but I cared a bit more about my homework and passing tests. I made the Dean’s List my last semester as an undergrad. Anyway, I am sure I could have dealt with being held back. Sometimes I wonder why I was not. One of my brothers got held back and he did well. I am sure most kids gets held back when they are in the lower grades like kindergarten or first grade when their learning skills are developing. Unfortunately for the main character in the 2012 movie Picture Day the main character gets held back in her senior year of high school.
Claire Paxton (Tatiana Maslany) is forced to repeat her senior year of high school. She did not want to waste her summer so she decided to go back during the regular school year. Clair has zero ambition in life. She hangs out at a local dive bar and starts sleeping with the lead singer of a band who is much older than she is. Her mother is really just an alcoholic housemate.
During the first week of “13th grade” Claire runs into a freshman named Henry. She realizes Henry is a kid she used to babysit when they were both younger. Henry is a smart quiet kid who has been sheltered by his parents. Well, not so sheltered, he has a pot plant growing in his closet as well as a box filled with things from Claire and videos she took of them together. Claire sees Henry as someone she can mentor and help make friends.
Claire has to deal with her own feelings. They are a complete mix of wanting to be an adult but also wanting to be a kid with no responsibilities. She has always been sexually active which has unfortunately lead to her nickname “Twist Off.”
By the end of the movie Claire realizes how much of a screw up she is and how she needs to change that. She had missed a lot of classes and was also suspended so she has to plead with the principle to let her finish. Claire tells the principle she has a friend who is smart and who can help he pass math and science and push her to be better. In remedial gym class Henry pushes Claire to run when she wants to give up.
Picture Day, to me, is a great realistic teen movie. It is angsty but not annoying angsty. You can feel the frustrations of both Claire and Henry. He wants to break out of his boring life and she wants to somehow be a better person with a purpose in life. I have to admit I am twenty-six years old and I feel the same as the characters and I felt the same way when I was sixteen. Deep down I am sure we all have the same mix of feelings as Claire and Henry. I liked Claire as a character because she is so flawed. The girl has good intentions she is not bad she just does not care to help herself. The story was well written I liked how these two flawed kids needed each other for their boost to be better people. The dialogue is funny and real to the point where I blushed a little but laughed and loved it. Picture Day is a very good movie that I definitely suggest seeing if you can find it.
And if you are wondering, yes, I do watch Orphan Black. I absolutely adore Tatiana Maslany the girl has a ridiculously amazing range. There is a scene in Picture Day where she says “Alison, yeah?” and I nearly fell on the floor. If you don’t watch Orphan Black you should get on the ball with that. You will never be the same again! Every episode is literally amazing.
And that has been my Orphan Black PSA for the day.