I was really REALLY pleasantly surprised with this movie, so much so that I saw it a few times over a weekend.
"Don't Talk To Irene" is about Irene, a chubby teenage outcast stuck in a sleepy, dumpy North American town. Due to her over-protective neurotic mother, Irene has no computer, TV, or Cell-phone which makes her "the biggest loser in her town's entire teenaged history." With no friends or family to talk to, constantly ridiculed by the student body and bullied by the popular kids, Irene lives in a fantasy world where she gets daily advice from Actress Geena Davis and dreams of becoming a cheerleader.
When her bullies' latest prank lands all of them into community service at a retirement home, Irene decides to form her own unusual cheer-squad, made up of bored seniors and various other town eccentrics, in order to win a National Talent Constent to prove her school and her dismissive mom that she is a cheerleader material...
Firstly, the acting AND the casting were phenomenal! From the mean popular girl to the transgender outcast to the widower ex-boxer to the over-protective mom, all the characters had their own stories to tell. Seriously, all the characters were so unique and quirky that it was great fun watching them clash, bicker, bond AND Dance with each other.
Even though, the movie has a sharp, witty and whimsical tone (thanks to its Award winning script), it also explores a lot of profound themes such as depression, bullying, loneliness, and Prejuidice. ALL the characters were somehow broken or hurting badly, which made them so much easier to relate to. And, it was all the more powerful to see their pain ease up a little as they all get involved in Irene's crazy scheme to be on National Television. It was also quite touching to see Irene bond people for the first time in her life and grow as an individual.
I went in feeling very sorry for the lonely Irene but when the movie ended, I was like, she is so lucky to have that many amazing people in her life. I wish I could I attend to their weekly Vodka and 90s Music Dance Parties!
80s & 90s soundtrack was spot-on and I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the film's message of individuality and always following your dreams no matter how many people try to discourage you. life is not a popularity contest; it's about following your passions while connecting with other people and having fun.
If you like feel-good Indie movies like Little Miss Sunshine, Billy Elliott, Napoleon Dynamite; give this one a try!