The 2013 teen drama "Claire," which Monarch Home Entertainment is releasing on DVD and VOD on May 27 2014, is tough to judge if you are outside the target demographic. In this case, this tale of teen football star and all-around stud Jack becoming obsessed with learning about the life of the deceased titular character seems very geared to tween girls.
Early scenes establish that Jack is back at school but still recovering from serious injuries that he sustains in a football game. This BMOC initially shrugs off news that a drunk driver killed his classmate, whom Jack does not even recall, until a series of events reveal that Claire was physically close to Jack on at least a few occasions and may have had a crush on him.
This investigation coincides with initially seemingly unrelated incidents that create conflicts with Jack's best friend, teammates, and girlfriend.
All of this has the makings for a compelling drama or thriller in the proper hands. However, the writing and the acting are not very good in this one. The actors are deadpan and seem merely read their lines, none of which are very insightful or clever.
The following clip, courtesy of YouTube, of the trailer for "Claire" provides a good sense of the themes and tone of the film.
Many other films, such as the recently reviewed early Keanu Reeves movie "Permanent Record," simply do a better job telling a tale of teen angst and/or intrigue.
To the credit of the "Claire" writers, there are some interesting twists and a few good scenes. They additionally do an excellent job with the morals associated with Claire's life and the circumstances regarding her death.
The gut response to "Claire" is that it rates roughly 1.5 stars; a little more pondering prompts thoughts that it realistically portrays high school even beyond not living up to its potential.
On a broad level, high school is like "Claire" in that it is often tedious with some moments of excitement.
Narrowing the scope a bit, the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" television series and other shows and films have expertly portrayed the theme in "Claire" of unpopular kids being invisible to the cool kids. Similarly, these cool kids can suffer from a harmfully inflated sense of self.
More specifically, the interconnected interactions among the main characters in "Claire" are textbook (of course, pun intended) high school. Obsessions, extortion, shameful secrets, and consequences related to responding to all of the above are standard for the teen years.
The end result of all this is that taking the perspective described above makes "Claire" more appealing to anyone who is not a girl between the ages of 11 and 13.
Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Claire" is welcome to email me. You can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.