‘Miller’s Girl’ Review – A Tumblr-Level Writing Exercise
Jenna Ortega has become Hollywood’s latest ‘it girl’ over the last couple of years.
From her success in the Wednesday series produced by Netflix, coupled with a few appearances in the most recent entries in the Scream franchise, there’s no doubt that Ortega is certainly over with Generation Z — leading Hollywood to believe that she can be the leading star of her own movie.
The problem is that Miller’s Girl, Ortega’s latest film, fails to utilize her newfound star power — mainly due to most people not even knowing this movie exists. Where exactly is the appeal in a film about a couple of 50-year-old men trying to bang a couple of teenagers? Not the biggest sell.
In the film, Ortega plays a young girl named Cairo Sweet, who lives on her own in a small town in Tennessee. She is infatuated with her English teacher — failed writer Jonathan Miller (Martin Freeman) — who is taken aback by the fact that there’s somebody in the town who actually recognizes him from his literary work.
The relationship takes a turn for the worse when the two begin to work together for a creative writing assignment, as Cairo decided she wants a much closer relationship than Miller is comfortable with.
Miller’s Girl is a film that was purchased by Seth Rogen’s production company. If you never heard the name Jade Halley Bartlett before, there’s a reason; she has never written or directed any film before this movie came out. A baffling character story with some very questionable material, to say the least, Miller’s Girl perfectly reflects Bartlett’s lack of experience.
In a film where everyone talks like they’re from the Southern Bayou of Louisiana, despite being set in Tennessee, a rich obsessed girl teams up with her slutty teenage friend in order to seduce their English and gym teachers, for nothing more than a narcissist thrill.
Taking Jenna Ortega and marketing her as a sex kitten is one of the more baffling creative decisions over the last couple of years. Despite the fact that the actress is 21 years old, she still looks like she can be underage.
Miller’s Girl comes off as a middle-aged woman’s X-rated fan fiction rather than a drama with any human element to it. While film describes itself as a black comedy, you would have to be made aware of this fact in order to know that it is one.
Why? Because if Hollywood’s idea of a black comedy is misery porn, then they hit this film right out of the park.
Martin Freeman plays a man who is unhappy with his life — married to a drunk writer who ignores him all day. When Ortega’s barely legal Cairo gives him the slightest hint of attention, his character folds without much of a fight.
At its core. Miller’s Girl is about a young narcissist, and borderline psychopath, who uses emotional manipulation to destroy the life of her superior for no other reason than to stroke her own ego. And with a storyline like this, you wonder why it fails to register with the majority of its audience.
If you don’t care for the main story, the side mission isn’t much better. Cairo’s slutty teenage friend Winnie decides to sleep with her gym teacher because “older men have been harvesting virginity since the dawn of time.” That’s an actual line of dialogue from the film.
Miller’s Girl a Tumblr-level writing exercise that passes itself off as intellectual clairvoyance. A film that is all about writing, yet it fails to take a course about how not to write a movie.
Sometimes all you need to know about a cinematic project is who’s writing the script — it will tell you everything you need to know about the film itself.
Miller's Girl (2024), Lionsgate
- Stylish cinematography.
- Solid acting from the leads.
- Cartoonish dialogue.
- Poor writing.
- Flat ending.