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Our Song

By Adele Marley | Posted

Our Song, the second feature by Girls Town director Jim McKay, has such a firm grasp on the ordinary that it seems like a view from a window--albeit a window looking out onto a specific landscape: a busy Crown Heights, Brooklyn, neighborhood. In focusing on the disjointed, episodic story of three teenaged girls, traditional narrative patterns are abandoned, which adds to the film's naturalism . The trio consists of schoolmates and fictional members of the real-life Jackie Robinson Steppers (which give rousing renditions of pop classics like Lauryn Hill's "Doo Wop [That Thing]") who drift apart over the course of a hot New York summer. Sensitive but ambitious Lanisha (Kerry Washington), whose divorced parents seem to be the most loving of all her friends' folks, looks forward to transferring to a better school in logistically inconvenient Queens; Maria (Melissa Martinez) contemplates her future when she learns she's pregnant by an aloof guy she hooked up with at a party; status-conscious Joycelyn (Anna Simpson) aspires to befriend a sophisticated, mochacinno-sipping clique of girls. Our Song's nonjudgmental perspective and mastery of cinéma vérité style is admirable, but it doesn't change the fact that the flick is still as dull as dishwater.

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