tek's rating: ¾

The Miseducation of Cameron Post (not rated)
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This 2018 film is based on a book I haven't read. It's set in 1993, but that didn't feel important enough to me to consider it a "period piece"; I felt like it could have happened in pretty much any year between, say, the 1970s and the present. I also didn't quite feel like calling it a "coming of age" film, though I suppose that wouldn't be inaccurate. Mostly I just see it as a drama. I watched it on June 28, because it's the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. The movie has nothing to do with that, but both things are LGBT-related. Anyway, I wanted to like the movie more than I did, but I still thought it was a decent film.

Cameron Post (Chloe Grace Moretz) is a teenage girl who gets caught having sexual relations with another girl. I guess she lives with her aunt, since her parents died a long time ago. And she sends Cameron to a Christian gay conversion therapy center called "God's Promise", run by a man named Reverend Rick and his strict sister, Dr. Lydia Marsh. Rick himself is said to have previously struggled with "same sex attraction" (SSA), but to have been "cured". (I kind of expected there might eventually be some sign that he was still actually gay, but that never happens.) At this center, they don't actually believe homosexuality exists, but that SSA is an illness brought on by sins or other factors. Cameron has a roommate named Erin, who believes in the therapy program. And she makes friends named Jane and Adam, who are as skeptical of the therapy as Cameron is.

I don't want to reveal any more of the plot. I'll just say that while Rick and Dr. Marsh were obviously wrong and therefore emotionally abusive, they honestly believed they were doing what was in the best interests of the "disciples" of the program. They weren't as monstrous as I'd expect such people to be (especially not Rick). Of course that doesn't make it any better, and I don't know quite what I was expecting or hoping for out of the movie. It's not like I wanted to see gratuitous abuse, or anything. I just felt like the inherent evil of conversion therapy was underplayed. I also felt like most of the scenes were kind of random, and could have happened in any order, so I didn't really feel that the film had much of a narrative arc to it (which is not to say it had none at all). Also I wasn't quite satisfied with how the movie ended; it felt like there was more story left to tell. And I guess I don't know what else to say, but I am glad to have seen the movie.

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