In 1993, a teenage girl is forced into a gay conversion therapy center by her conservative guardians.
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The Miseducation of Cameron Post
stars Hollywood It-Girl Chloë Grace Moretz (If I Stay
) in the title role as a teenage girl who is caught making out with another girl on her prom night. She is promptly sent to a Christian conversion therapy camp run by a psychotherapist named Dr. Lydia Marsh (Jennifer Ehle from Fifty Shades of Grey
and Zero Dark Thirty
) and her brother, Reverend Rick (10 Cloverfield Lane
's John Gallagher Jr.), where she will "pray the gay away." Cam bonds with her fellow "campers," particularly with a pair of rebels named Jane (Sasha Lane from American Honey
and Hearts Beat Loud
) and Adam (The Revenant
's Forrest Goodluck), who all help her deal with the naturalness of her Same Sex Attraction.
Adapted from the Emily M. Danforth novel of the same name by writer/director Desiree Akhavan and co-writer Cecilia Frugiuele (the same team behind Appropriate Behaviour
), The Miseducation of Cameron Post
is a sweet coming-of-age story that, even though it is set in 1993, is strikingly poignant today. Parts of the film are disturbing, even horrifying, but the overall feel is similar to that of Short Term 12
(John Gallagher Jr. even plays a similar, albeit less with-it, character). The Main difference between The Miseducation of Cameron Post
and Short Term 12
is that in Short Term 12
, the audience knows that the counselors are there for the kids and have their best interests at heart. There is none of that feeling in The Miseducation of Cameron Poe
. All the kids have is each other.
There's a subtle retro feel to The Miseducation of Cameron Post
that children of the nineties will appreciate. It doesn't make a big deal about its era, but little things like Cameron's The Breeders tape (that she got from Columbia House) will make any alterna-geek kid smile. There's even a fun scene where the kids, in the middle of their kitchen duty, start awkwardly belting out the 4 Non Blondes' (one) hit "What's Up" at the top of their lungs (just like the song tells them to), at least until they are unceremoniously and predictably shushed by the camp's staff. There's no flannel and ripped jeans being pranced in front of the camera in every scene, but The Miseducation of Cameron Post
does leave the audience feeling selectively nostalgic for the grunge era.
Even though it concerns itself with the very serious subject of Mike Pence-style conversion therapy, The Miseducation of Cameron Post
is a surprisingly feel-good movie. It's got its dark spots, and there's an air of righteous oppression that lingers over much of the movie, but when all is said and done, there's a One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest
, us-against-them optimism to it. And who doesn't love a good underdog story, even if everyone knows the underdog is going to win?
There's a great chemistry between the main trio of Chloë Grace Moretz, Sasha Lane, and Forrest Goodluck in The Miseducation of Cameron Post
. Lane and Goodluck seem like old friends, and once they let Moretz's character into their exclusive fold, the trio is like the three musketeers. They argue and bicker just like kids are bound to do, but when the chips are down, they have each other's backs against the unjust authority of Dr. Lydia and Reverend Rick. All of the young stars in The Miseducation of Cameron Post
interact well with one another, but there's just something about Moretz, Goodluck, and Lane that is a lot of fun to watch, and their relationship really sells an already good movie.