By Keshia McEntire
On a lazy Sunday afternoon, while Netflix and chilling in the most literal sense, I ran across a teen drama that I’m glad I didn’t overlook. As a twenty-something who is happy to be done with her high school years, I wasn’t really in the mood for a campy teen movie. A few teen movies are exceptional (Mean Girls, Love Don’t Cost a Thing, John Tucker Must Die, any early Amanda Bynes flick), but most don’t know how to take classic high school tropes and make something original.
That is not the case for Deidra & Laney Rob a Train, a drama that is as real as it is entertaining. In this film, two spunky teen protagonist with an estranged father and an incarcerated mother work to keep CPS off their backs by keeping food on the table and making life look as normal as possible. Meanwhile, the oldest girl is worried that she will have to give up the money she was going to use for college to take care of her siblings. So what’s a girl to do? Rob a train, that’s what!
I don’t want to dig too deep into the plot in case readers want to check it out themselves, but I did want to highlight three things about the film that I find amazing and would like to see more of.
Teens are portrayed as intelligent beings
In a lot of teen movies, the kids are dramatized to fit a certain stereotype, be it the airhead cheerleader, mean jock, or quiet loner. They are not painted as full, well-rounded people. This film paints teens as well rounded and intellectually on even grounds with the adults in their lives.
Teens deal with real issues
Most teen movies would have you believe that the only thing teenage girls care about is the cute boy in their math class or what dress they will wear to prom. These girls deal with body image issues, divorced parents, morality issues, and money problems.
Teens of color can be quirky, too
You can usually count the amount of people of color in quirky teen movies like Juno and The Fault in Our Stars on one hand (and even that might be generous.) This movie stars teens of color and doesn’t paint them as one-dimensional stereotypes. How bout that? If only more films would follow suit.
So if you are looking for something to watch as you kick back and enjoy the weekend, check out Deidra & Laney Rob a Train.
To read an expanded review of this film, check out Jamie’s write-up here!
Keshia McEntire is a storyteller residing in Indianapolis, Indiana. Her nerdy interests include reading too many books and watching too much Doctor Who. You can follow her on twitter at @Keshiamc12.