FITTING IN – A Review by Jenn Rohm
Female health is a topic that has been taboo for years. Even when it is a mother and daughter having a conversation it can be uncomfortable. This is changing, and medical advances are being made about how the human body works. It is time for movies to tell the tales that some women have experienced. With a double-entendre title Fitting In, Molly McGlynn has written and directed a semi-autobiographical film about a teenage girl being diagnosed with a rare congenital disorder, that affects the female reproductive system, a male-dominated medical system, and a mother still healing herself.
Putting my “Parents see it first” comment here. From the start, this film makes it clear that sex is part of the story. Your children, your choice. You know what they can mentally and emotionally handle.
Lindy (Maddie Ziegler) is a teenage girl who is thinking about having sex with her boyfriend Adam (D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai). Her bestie Vivian (Djouliet Amara) encourages her to go to the doctor and get on birth control. In the exam room, by herself, she learns that not everything is “normal” with her body. She is referred to a specialist. With her Mom in the waiting room and medical students in the exam room, she learns she has MRKH. Working through her thoughts and feelings with limited information provided by doctors who talk “at” her and don’t listen she tries to find someone to connect with. Her Mother (Emily Hampshire) is willing to be there for her, yet she is also healing from her traumas. Lindy pulls away from Vivian and Adam in her search. Of course, in the end, she finds her support and her voice.
The acting was strong, with moments by Ziegler that felt like I was having a conversation with almost any teenager having a moment. Not many actors who are no longer teenagers can convey such apathy and yet lovability at the same moment. (You want to shake them, yet you also want to hug them and fix it for them.) Amara shows how to be fierce and vulnerable at the same time while remaining loyal.
The filming took place in Canada, with most of it feeling like it could be any town anywhere. With the topics at hand, I liked this choice. This could be anyone’s story and allows the viewer to play the “how would I handle/what would I do” game in their head after watching.
There are some important points in this film that I hope by making its way to wide release will create conversation that will lead to a better future. Not every human body is the same, and those differences may create some options for people, when not life-threatening does a “solution” have to be forced? Better bedside manner and talk with the patient, not at them. Being the top two for me.
*This film premiered at 2023 SXSW as Bloody Hell
Director: Molly McGlynn
Written By: Molly McGlynn
Cast: Maddie Ziegler, Emily Hampshire, Djouliet Amara
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexual content, language throughout, drug use, and drinking – all involving teens.
Genres: Comedy, Drama
Selig Rating: 3 stars
Runtime: 1h 45m
Release Date: February 2, 2024
Trailer: Fitting In Official Trailer
The Selig Rating Scale:
5 Stars – Excellent movie/show, well worth the time and price.
4 Stars – Good movie/show
3 Stars – OK movie/show
2 Stars – Well there was nothing else…
1 Star – Total waste of time.