Horse Girl

Horse Girl ★★★★½

Goddamn me for letting the negative reactions scare me off from this when it first released! I had a hunch all along I might actually be into it and I'm just glad I randomly happened to select it tonight because that hunch was correct and Horse Girl ended up feeling almost like it was made especially for me!

I blessedly do not suffer mental ailments anywhere near as severe as poor Sarah here but I am juuuust weird and awkward enough that I found some of her experiences incredibly relatable. The difficulties having basic interactions with others, doing eccentric things and later not remembering or understanding why you did them, knowing everyone around you finds you odd and will always treat you as being different, obsessing over ideas your acquaintances find ridiculous etc etc. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry most of the time while watching and often found myself simultaneously doing a bit of both.

I cannot remember the last time I so badly wanted to hug the main character of a movie, not just out of sympathy but also out of that rare sense of having found a fellow traveler who would understand. On a lighter note I'm also pleased that I finally found a Netflix Original which I unreservedly love and could watch repeatedly because I was beginning to fear such a thing was not possible.

Some folks seem to take issue with the absurd tone this film has as it displays mental illness but I would say that just because the movie wanted to be fun and weird and entertaining doesn't mean it automatically became disrespectful or insensitive, I'd say the opposite was actually true in this case. I think it managed the miracle of tackling a dark and serious topic in a heartfelt way that was pleasant to watch and which avoided becoming so bleak or clinical that it depressed the viewer.

Horse Girl will leave me thinking about the suffering of its protagonist and of real people with similar struggles for a long time to come. I know this film will absolutely not work for a lot of folks for perfectly valid reasons but if you're only avoiding it because of its reception I'd encourage you to give it a chance because Alison Brie is incredible in it and I think it's really something special. You never know when you might happen to be just the right audience for an unpopular movie!

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