I MIGHT'VE FORGOTTEN TO REVIEW AN AMERICAN GIRL MOVIE ALL YEAR.
The last review of an American Girl movie I did was Lea to the Rescue in... DECEMBER 2020???
Okay, I'll admit it. 2021 was a rollercoaster of depression for me, so I was not in the mood to watch any movies (unless I was dragged to the movie theater on my dad's weekend). But I'm finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel (and enjoying movies again), so I am using the last day before Corinne essentially takes over AGDN for the rest of 2021 and the first day or so of 2022 to watch and review an American Girl movie! And oh boy... I chose my second least favorite to give myself confidence and too-much-sugary-sweet-cheesiness as I finish drafting Rebelle live action. (I'm about to reach the dark trenches of the work camp scene so this is exactly what I need right now.) Yes, I'm reviewing Saige Paints the Sky.
WARNING: THIS CONTAINS A LOT OF FILMMAKER RANTING!
What they got RIGHT:
-The editing wasn't bad, and the acting was okay. Sidney Fullmer, who played Saige, showed potential at times, and I'm surprised she hasn't been in a thing since 2014.
What they got WRONG:
-The plot. Why. Just WHY? It worked in the book because the school got the money somewhere to start a program and got volunteer teachers from the press conference. In the movie, however, the school needs tons of money for a part-time after-school art teacher: literally $5,000. This kills me inside because the show they put on at the end probably cost more than $5,000 to do. Everyone in this movie lives in luxury houses and can order custom hot air balloons. The custom balloon costs more than $5,000- $40,000 according to Google. Heck, Mimi could've funded it herself if she's a world-famous artist. So there's no need to do all of that when they can just be like "yo parents can you bankroll after-school art" and they get it done in two seconds. Ta-da. Problem solved.
-ALSO, how can these kids put on a show of that scale with no known adult help? I'm questioning life right now. I know it's a kid's movie, but still, I've seen better kid's movies that don't have to resort to stuff like that to advance the plot.
-Characterization was okay, but what I hated was the dialogue that had to remind you of the plot every two seconds. We get it Saige, you want your art program and you want to do well in the parade. But can you not say those exact words?
-Acting was okay as well, but sometimes I felt like it went over the top. If they could do it with more subtlety, I would have been happier.
-Too many cringeworthy songs. Usually, the songs in American Girl movies are bops, but these ones, I felt, were too cheesy and not iconic.
-The ending looked like the writers forgot to involve Saige with saving the art program and they just said "screw it. Speech time." *sighs*
Alright, I know you all are staring at me right now and about to yell "hypocrite". But in my defense, we knew by minute *checks YouTube* seven of Rebelle that Erika would most likely pull the ending of Rebelle off. What the writers did with Saige, on the other hand, that just seemed like a last-minute "throw it in" author's saving throw. Film writing 101, children- establish these things EARLY ON- at least show the potential. And yeah, it was probably a callback to Day of Beige, but at least try not to make it feel forced. Also, refer back to my first point. They had the money the whole time. I wouldn't be as mean to this movie as I was usually if they didn't have the money the whole time.
Conclusion: "The real Saige Paints the Sky was the friends we made along the way"
Old Rating (circa 2016): 1
New Rating: Still 1