Just what we need: An antidote to dumbed-down rom-coms and dick flicks. The Runaways is "one of the most piquantly feminist films to touch down this year," Chris Lee writes for the LA Times. He also calls it:
…A punk- infused genre pic with a pronounced generational viewpoint and no shortage of blood, drug abuse and bodily effluvia.
Sounds awesome. What more could you want?!
The film is written and directed by Floria Sigismondi, "a striking woman with a mane of raven-black hair who was clad in a vampire-chic, all-black ensemble." (You may know her as the director of such goth-tastic videos as Marilyn Manson's "The Beautiful People" and Christina Aguilera's "Fighter.") According to Lee, It's not a band movie, per se, but: "an impressionistic character study illuminating a unique female predicament: What happens when teenage girls get handed too much, too soon via worldwide rock stardom?"
Sigismondi explains the concept thusly: "It's young girls getting swept up into a world they couldn't handle… Feeding on those confusing feelings that develop from moving from girl to woman, I could reach deep into myself to find those things." There's even some girl-on-girl action; Dakota Fanning, who plays Cherie Currie, makes out with Kristen Stewart, who plays Joan Jett, at a roller rink.
"In 'Edgeplay,' Cherie mentions that Joan is really good in bed," Sigismondi said. "I thought, 'I have to pry into this a bit. It will cause an explosion in the film. Why not go there?' "
Not only is The Runaways a rocker-chick film directed by a woman, featuring two women who talk to each other about something other than a man (hence adhering to the Bechdel rule), it's got Joan Jett's approval. Watching Fanning and Stewart perform her music, was "surreal," she says, "But I [had] a smile on my face."