#Selfie: The last carefree adventure before adulthood
by Martin Kudláč
- The Romanian box-office hit screened in the TIFF Romanian Days sidebar
The Transilvania International Film Festival traditionally dedicates a whole section, Romanian Days, to presenting the latest crop of domestic offerings, and the 13th edition offered a variety of films ranging from arthouse to mainstream fare. #Selfie, by Cristina Iacob, belongs to the latter category, as the rapidly rising number of admissions proves. Love Building [+see also:
interview: Iulia Rugina
film profile] pulled off a similar stunt last year, the difference being that that title was a low-budget, indie production. The idea of the younger generation living among a chaotic tangle of social networks serves not only as inspiration for the title of this movie, but also as a hint about who the target audience might be. In fact, the film falls within the niche market of teen comedies infused with a hint of the coming-of-age genre and a smidgen of inter-generational clashes.
Three high-school friends decide to let off a little steam 48 hours before their final exams, fleeing from their prom night. The nightclubs of Mamaia, crowded with ravers, are just the beginning of their hectic road trip. When the gang – consisting of cheeky and flirty Yasmine (Crina Semciuc), diet-obsessed Roxana (Olimpia Melinte), and delicate, guitar-playing singer Ana (Flavia Hojda) – runs into a pack of petty criminals, #Selfie starts heading down a romantic path, using the notorious will-they-wont-they and who-with-whom formulas. The high jinks keep on piling up while the unavoidable final exams get ever closer.
#Selfie has turned out to be the perfect summer comedy, at least according to the general public, set against the backdrop of beach parties, accidental romances and graduation exams. The teenage escapade clocks in at 123 minutes, mostly due to the fact that many different characters are interweaved into the carefree teenagers’ final big adventure. The long running time could also be due to the involvement of another two screenwriters in addition to Iacob: Maria Spirache and Alexandru Molico. Besides the group consisting of the six main characters, a secondary plotline follows Roxana’s hippie mother (Alina Chivulescu) and the strict single father of Ana (Razvan Vasilescu) as he chases the girls in a vintage bus, a goofy running gag. The characters are fleshed out through focusing on several issues that feature in their particular story arc development – for instance, Yasmine’s interest in older men due to a lack of interest from her parents. The protagonists are portrayed as being caught between two different worlds: on one hand experiencing the urge to enjoy their teenage light-heartedness while at the same time facing their fears of the unknown before they go their separate ways on the journey towards adulthood.
The glossy, lascivious shots emulating the MTV look will naturally appeal more to younger audiences, as will the tendency to ridicule the behaviour of their parents’ generation and the authorities. Iacob is already developing her next project, A Gift for You, a love story that she will again be tackling as director and screenwriter.