Cinema Review: The Girl in the Book | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Monday, March 30th, 2020  

The Girl in the Book

Studio: Freestyle Releasing
Directed by Marya Cohn

Dec 14, 2015 Web Exclusive
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Marya Cohn’s debut feature is a surprisingly charming story of stifling male patriarchy in the book publishing industry. Alice (Emily VanCamp) is a promising editorial assistant who, despite her savvy and intelligence, is time and time again inadvertently stifled by the important male figures in her life. It’s frustrating when her dad, a successful literary agent, insists on ordering for her in restaurants, or when her boss saves only the most inane tasks for her in an increasingly hostile work environment, but these minor misogynist slights only reinforce a lack of self worth that can be traced to Alice’s 14th year, when she was a talented aspiring young writer taken under the wing of her father’s new client, the heralded Milan Daneker (Michael Nykvist). He encourages her talent and exploits her naïveté, ultimately taking advantage of her both sexually and emotionally.

The Girl in the Book jumps back and forth between adult Alice grappling with the emotional fall-out of her teenaged trauma, and a gradual revelation of those sordid details that led to that trauma. Aside from a couple clumsily handled instances of teenaged sexual abuse during the flashbacks, and a cringe-y side-plot involving “Alice’s Blog” and a lot of obnoxiously cutesy selfies, Cohn otherwise adeptly balances elements of contemporary romantic comedy and scathing cultural criticism in a film that is obviously deeply personal and simultaneously universal.

Author rating: 6.5/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10


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