Review: “To the New Girl”

Year: 2020
Runtime: 80 minutes
Creative Director: Adriana González-Vega
Directors: Aurora J. Culver and Ambika Leigh

Writer: Samantha Macher
Stars: Skyler Vallo, Dawn Noel, Leslie Simms, Alexandra Boylan, Charlotte Evelyn Williams, Mara Klein, Lavetta Cannon, Lauren Emily Castle, Kelly L. Goodman, and Samantha Carro

By Morgan Roberts

If you could talk to your ex and their new partner, would you? What would you say? Who would you address more? The new partner? The ex? Both?  “To the New Girl” explores through monologues how people would address their exes and new partners in an open mic night setting in Los Angeles.

It is a really intriguing concept. Ten scorned women address their previous partners and the new significant others in their lives. Each woman has a different level of hurt, a different longevity to their past relationship, and different level of knowledge of the new partners.

“It is pretty incredible what each of the actresses accomplishes in their monologues.”

One thing that struck me most was how most of the monologues focus on the new partners. That, at times, perpetuates this idea that the new person “stole” the partner, when the ex is just as culpable for any hurt caused.  There are some monologues which focus on the new partner, and others which merely reference that someone new is involved.

The actresses involved have a very difficult task: build story, empathy, direction, and context in about ten to fifteen minutes. It is pretty incredible what each of the actresses accomplishes in their monologues. That was the part which intrigued me the most, the ability to crawl into the shoes of these people, give life to their narratives, and create something impactful from that.

I found that there were some stories I was drawn to more than others, which allows for all types of women to be recognized in this film.  My favorite monologues were about a high school teacher addressing her ex’s new partner and her former 18 year old student, and one about a woman married to a man with diminishing cognition. 

“There is an intimacy in the staging and having each woman alone on stage lets each story, each narrative, and each bit of pain be individualized.”

While the film’s concept is intriguing and the acting is stellar, the narrative at times feels monotonous and dragging.  There were a few monologues which were too closely matched tonally that the second monologue started to lose impact as it got lost into the previous monologue.  

The film is very niche. It is entirely made up of monologues on a stage in an open mic setting, though performed by actresses. If you are a fan of theater, this is definitely one to watch during quarantine as it brings the theater into your home. There is an intimacy in the staging and having each woman alone on stage lets each story, each narrative, and each bit of pain be individualized.

Available for pre-order on Vimeo and Amazon and will be released on August 11, 2020

Find out more here:

Trailer: https://www.tothenewgirl.com/

Official Website https://www.tothenewgirl.com/

Twitter : @newgirlfilm

Instagram: @newgirlfilm

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