Published on September 5th, 2013 | by Dan Gvozden



“Stream My Reels” is a weekly column that will feature one recommended streaming title from many different sources (Netflix, OnDemand, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc.).

Bradley Rust Gray’s The Exploding Girl captures that exact sensation that makes uncertain romantic entanglements so intoxicating and sensitive.  I particularly love how Gray’s shot choice at times hides our protagonists in the corners of apartments, behind traffic, and just outside of the camera frame.  In this way the characters become a part of their surroundings and the realistic dialogue is allowed to take on a life of its own.  This tapestry of realistic imagery and conversation (while sparse) intrigues, misdirects, and most of all delays gratification, an altogether not unfamiliar feeling.

exploding-girlZoe Kazan’s (Ruby Sparks) central performance as Ivy is the key element here; it did win her Best Actress at the Tribeca Film Festival.  The camera loves her face and allows it convey more than the dialogue ever could.  Much of the film takes place offscreen as she talks to her college boyfriend (Franklin Pipp) through her cell phone.  The film makes you feel the distance between the two and makes it impossible to resist the chemistry developing between Ivy and her friend Al (Mark Rendall).  The warm cinematography pops off the screen and the textures of the story will invite you right into its soft and warm embrace.

When I think of films that captured how I felt about love and heartbreak in my late teens/early twenties, as well as that overly cute and romantic notion of casual love between friends that I always sought, The Exploding Girl jumps right to mind.  This is the kind of film you curl up with under a warm blanket that has been drying in the sun on a summer day.

“The Exploding Girl” is now available for instant streaming on Netflix Watch Instant, Amazon Prime, Hulu+, YouTube, and Redbox Instant.

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About the Author

Do you remember that dorky kid from elementary school who loved movies and comic books? Dan's him, but an adult... well in most senses of the word. All that matters is that he's an aficionado of all things pop culture and wants to share his interests with the world.

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