Movie Review – Ask Me Anything (2014)

Director: Allison Burnett

Stars: Britt Robertson, Molly Hagan, Andy Buckley, Robert Patrick, Justin Long, Christian Slater, Martin Sheen, Max Carver, Max Hoffman

Katie (Robertson) decides to take a year off before going to college to find herself. She starts writing a blog about her various sexual experiences, like her relationship with a 32 year old, or the status of her relationship with her boyfriend, but dark truths start coming out about her life.

Ask Me Anything is framed as a light-hearted teen comedy about sexual escapades, and this isn’t helped by the cover photo on Netflix. In reality it’s a dark drama with a lot of heavy material that slowly peels away the layers of the mindset of this young woman. The score is melancholic and this highlights the mood of the film. Robertson is exceptional in the lead role, and fools you into think that this girl has everything figured out because she’s so assured and confident, and yet when confronted with the reality of her situation with some harsh – yet needed – truths, her facade slips and she starts to see things as they really are.

But it’s impossible to talk about this film without focusing on the ending because it’s proving to be divisive, and it’s easy to see why. I’m going to do my best to not spoil anything too much. Basically the ending takes a complete turn and leaves many questions. It also twists the rest of the film on its head. Sometimes twists are great as when you rewatch the film you can see how everything makes sense and was leading to it, but here I feel the ending wasn’t foreshadowed enough and it just comes across as jarring. It also muddies the waters about the message of the film. I get the impression that the director (who also wrote the script and the novel the film is based on) wanted to make a film about the dangers of blogging and revealing too much about oneself online, and how easy it is for people to bully others over the internet. Yet the blogging aspect of the film isn’t given enough attention for this. On occasion it shows a few comments from the users on Katie’s blog, but it didn’t feel like the focus of the film.

The film doesn’t glamorise casual sex and indeed shows that Katie’s life is actually rather empty at the end of the day, but how you feel about the ending is largely going to determine how you feel about the rest of the film. Aside from being jarring it also raises more questions than it answered. With a little more development this could be a truly great film but instead it’s going to fall into a like/hate category. Despite the ending I still liked the film and it’s definitely worth checking out, but unfortunately the points it wanted to make were lost somewhere along the way.

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