Staring Sidney Flanigan, Talia Ryder
Written and Directed by Eliza Hittman Run Time 1h 41m
There are a lot of things I will never experience in life and while I am disappointed for some of those things, there are others I would never be able to experience because of who I am. I wish that wasn’t the case because I think we all get a better understanding once we’ve had to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. Do you think things would be different if we all got to be like Sam Beckett and “Quantum Leap” into other people to see what their life is like? We will never know this for sure, but the one thing we can do is show empathy to everyone and try to understand where they are coming from.
All of these thoughts were what came to mind after watching Never Rarely Sometimes Always, a film that really had me looking at the man in the mirror afterwards. It follows Autumn (Sidney Flanigan), a seventeen year old girl who is navigating the life of a teenage girl. Things seem pretty normal from the outside, but her home life is not exactly ideal, especially her relationship with her father that is strained. She starts to feel a change in her body and decides to stop at a clinic where she learns she is pregnant, which is not something is she quite ready for. After a return visit, she is given options on what to do, including adoption, her choice is that she is not ready to be a mother and starts to look at having an abortion. Living in rural Pennsylvania both of those options are not there as she is under eighteen and she sees her only course of action is to travel to New York City to have the procedure done. A friend from work named Skylar (Talia Ryder) comes along to help in what is an eye opening experience that not many people would get to see.
Going into this I knew very little what it was about and actually was wondering why they would come up with such a title. What I learned is not to judge a book by its cover, because as soon as you realize where the title comes from all you can do is agree it fits perfectly. It is not often that I look at myself and my actions after a movie, but in this case I couldn’t help it, as I wonder how much of me I see in the people that both Skylar and Autumn come into contact with. The story, written by Eliza Hittman hits you so hard that when it is done you will just stare at the screen and try and process what you just saw. The difficulty for some might be the subject matter, but for others it might hit too close to home, but it should be required viewing for so many, for many different reasons. What amazed me the most though is that Hittman was able to tell her story and still get a PG-13 rating. This really is a moving story and can be help to a lot of people in a more than one way and maybe even help you take that walk in someone else’s shoes.