Peppermint Soda (1977)

Synopsis:
13-year-old Anne (Eleonore Klarwein) and her older sister Frederique (Odile Michel) grow up in 1960s Paris.

Genres:

Review:
First-time writer/director Diane Kurys’ autobiographical film about the travails of female adolescence rarely hits a false note. Kurys well remembers the small pains of teenage girlhood: anxiety over getting one’s period, jealousy of one’s older sister, curiosity (and laughable misinformation) about sex, the desperate need for pantyhose when all your friends are wearing it– Slightly less effective are the scenes taking place at the girls’ authoritarian school, where the teachers come across as stereotypes rather than individuals, and the children’s behavior (as well as the discipline that follows) seems excessive. Nonetheless, Kurys must be applauded for telling her story the way she remembers it, and for creating a film filled with so many moments of quiet, poignant authenticity.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Eleonore Klarwein as knobby-kneed Anne
    Anne
  • Many memorable, often amusing, glimpses of adolescent angst

Must See?
No, though it’s not to be missed by those who enjoy coming-of-age stories.

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