This review of the Netflix film Confessions of an Invisible Girl does not contain spoilers.
‘Today’s nerds will be tomorrow’s millionaires, the ugly people will become attractive, the pretty girls will end up ugly and the cute guys will end up bald and fat. Or so Grandma says.’ Nobody cares whether you were popular in school when you’re in the future — an element of truth but this isn’t Tetê’s immediate reality. She doesn’t feel accepted at school or at home. On top of her dilemmas, her unemployed parents move back into her grandparents’ home and have to move schools.
The Brazilian teenager’s life is nothing short of a high school cliche — you know, the pretty mean girl and the ‘unattractive’ outcast. But, it has nothing to offer — the standard teenage ‘self-discovery’ or form of self-actualization but our protagonist Tetê (Klara Castanho) may intrigue you. With her enormous glasses, short brown hair and almost always sweating in some form, it’s easy to see why Klara nailed the role of Tetê but it only reinforced dated stereotypes in school with this typical appearance.
The mean girl, Valentina (Julia Gomes) is a conventionally attractive blonde teenager — not exactly surprising. The film is a textbook novel for a white cisheteronormative high school experience — the girl gets bullied/outcasted by the popular girls and popular cliques but her Grandma is the one constantly boosting her confidence in attempts to encourage her to become more open, outgoing, and willing to make new friends — reminds me of The Princess Diaries series! Not only is her Grandma there to support her, but it can also often be suffocating or overbearing — despite the positive intentions, it just reinforces the fact that she doesn’t feel accepted or feel like herself at home if she’s being scrutinized by her family.
As a cliche, it’s not really surprising that Confessions of an Invisible Girl is quite boring because we’ve been there before — a ‘nerdy’ girl who’s trying to desperately fit in, a guy who she seems to like and of course, the blonde mean girl.
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