Odd Girl Out (2005) starring Alexa PenaVega, Lisa Vidal, Leah Pipes, Elizabeth Rice, Alicia Morton directed by Tom McLoughlin Movie Review

Odd Girl Out (2005)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Alexa PenaVega in Odd Girl Out (2005)

Over Crowding

Vanessa Snyder (Alexa PenaVega) is part of the in crowd at school, the group who swan around like they own the place and make fun of others. Queen of the group is Stacey (Leah Pipes) who thanks to her wealthy parents throws money around like it grows on trees and even treats her friends to expensive gifts. That is until thanks to the jealousy of another girl in the group they turn on Vanessa, not only ostracizing her but making her life a living hell, leading to her spiralling in to depression as she struggles to deal with the cattiness of her one time friends.

If someone asks you to name a movie about a girl falling victim to her catty friends at High School the obvious choice would be "Mean Girls". But it isn't the only movie which has explored this storyline, in fact there are a few movies which look at the life of a teen who ends up tormented by her one time friends and pushed to the limit by the snide comments and name calling. One of those movies is "Odd Girl Out" a made for TV movie which gets a lot of praise for its authenticity.

Now I am not going to knock "Odd Girl Out" as it seems to work for many people and it certainly goes through the range of emotions which a bullied teenager feels. We see the initial confusion at being ostracized, the sadness of feeling alone, the paranoia that your former friends are always saying things about you, the depression at suddenly feeling lonely, the sense that your parent's don't understand and so much more including that flip side when you think about reacting to get your own back on those making your life a misery.

The thing is that like other movies which attempt to highlight the issue of teen bullying "Odd Girl Out" suffers from over crowding, putting too much in there in too shorter time and rather than making this feel real it makes it feel manufactured. This has the effect of making Vanessa's life a misery but it just feels contrived to layer one trauma on to another so quickly. Despite this the performance from Alexa PenaVega is first rate and you feel for her as she ends up feeling all alone with not even her own mother understanding what she is going through.

What this all boils down to is that "Odd Girl Out" serves a purpose and is a worthwhile movie for grown ups to watch if they want to become aware of what their children may be going through. But like so many of these movies it suffers from trying to show all the issues that a teenage can go through and ending up feeling forced by doing so.