When David learns that his high-school newspaper may be replaced with an online blog, he seeks out the perfect story to keep the written word going, even if he has to get a little creative. Directed by Zachary Lapierre, written by Lapierre and Ian Everhart and starring Noah Bailey, Ansley Berg, Isaiah Lapierre and Timonthy J. Cox.
With a constant bombardment of films, television and the like, showcasing teens that care solely about social media and…well that’s about it, it’s a refreshing change of pace to see examples of motivated, dedicated teenagers, especially any person under the age of 18 that cares about the written word and doesn’t want to see everything on a screen. Our principal young actors feel slightly over dramatic at points but given the environment the film takes place in, it does feel appropriate, adolescents after all are the kings and queens of drama. There is a slight problem in the principal actor portraying a bossy, stubborn, smart teen which can come across as pretentious, making them less relatable but it begs the question of whether it’s simply a clichéd role or if it is actually possible to have a character in that position without them coming across in some form as pretentious? Regardless there are a few particular points throughout which feel more representative of the film as a whole, giving the more comedic and heartfelt moments, with one rather enjoyable reaction from Cox’s Dr. Bradley.
There are glimpses throughout of interesting style, it’s unfortunate that it doesn’t quite feel completely consistent for the entirety but it is still unmistakably present. The writing of the film is a more complicated issue, there’s some great dialogue, especially a very satisfying ending line but the story has problems with contradiction and at points is almost hypocritical. It would have been advantageous to see slight more of that comedy woven through the film as a whole, as the moments that are present add the sense of fun which the story definitely asks for. One key element the film does nail however is perfectly befitting its story, the atmosphere, music, acting, characters, plot development and just the general feel, all hit the nail on the head in regards to being a high-school film.
Overall, the film has areas for improvement but you can clearly see what the aim was for the project and they achieve that, it’s a little bit clever, fun and gives us a story of teenagers without following the typical, boring modern stereotypes. It’s almost becoming far-fetched to find young people with real values today in on the screen, this is a pleasant exception.
But make your own verdict, Dirty Books is readily available to view right now on Youtube