Director : Susan Skoog
With : Liza Weil, Chad Morgan, Gary Wolf
In what could be described as an even darker, bleaker, fusion of “River’s Edge” and “Dazed and Confused,” the acclaimed indie film “Whatever” is a refreshing look at the hedonistic world belonging to a few rebellious teenagers in the 1980’s. The world is seen through the eyes of Anna who dreams of going to Cooper Union to continue her painting, and her best friend Brenda who has shamelessly pursued the reputation of school slut. The story is set in suburban New Jersey, within dream reach of New York City, but too far away to actually know all that much about it.
On the surface Anna and Brenda are merely simple caricatures of that chain smoking, hard partying, boyfriend’s-got-a-suped-up-rebuilt-Mustang bad crowd that dresses to fit the part as hippyish/stoners. However, beneath the clothes and habits are people genuinely looking to discover some sort of lasting substance to their lives. Both girls predictably come from broken fatherless homes, and both of their mothers have had to find pathetic breadwinning replacements further clouding their daughter’s perspectives on life and love.