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Review: American Girl Corinne Tan - The Movie

I've been up for twenty hours straight, I confess. I woke up at 2 am for the release of the Ladybug and Cat Noir movie, and now it's 11 pm as I write this blog post. But I couldn't go to bed when I wanted to. As I was getting ready to go to bed, I got confirmation that the Ladybug and Cat Noir movie wasn't the only movie tied to something I'm obsessed to release today.


Of course, I had to sacrifice sleep to watch it and figure out if this 60 minute movie was worth the extra 8 months of waiting and channel hop from HBO Max to Amazon Prime. And it was worth every extra day we waited.

My favorite thing about this movie had to be the acting, to be honest. I know from filmmaking experience that finding talented actors to carry out roles, especially younger roles, is a hard task, but Miya and Kai Cech were phenomenal as Corinne and Gwynn, and the entire supporting cast did great as well. I also really liked the story and writing. Usually, I prefer my American Girl adaptations to be more accurate to the books, but I liked the changes made to Corinne's story to provide more emphasis on a few emotional threads - Corinne's relationship with Gwynn, struggle to find purpose in life and dealing with her parent's divorce and moving in with Arne.

Since the movie was only 60 minutes long instead of 90 like a normal American Girl movie, some things had to be cut, but writer May Chan, who also wrote the Ivy and Julie movie, did a really good job streamlining the story.

As I write this review, I also have to praise the movie for how it depicted a tough subject such as divorce without making it too traumatic for young viewers. I was a year older than Gwynn was in the movie when my parents divorced, and it can be really tough to even deal with, so making a movie dealing with it for such a young age group can be challenging. But like I said before, it was all in the acting, and I could pick up on the nuances of the subject without it overwhelming the whole story. Finally, I enjoyed that just like the Corinne book, there were some authentic references to Chinese-American culture, such as some Mandarin words and Corinne's mom's Chinese cooking.

I have to admit I didn't particularly like the cinematography at the beginning of the movie - it felt a little flat. However, as the movie progressed, the camera angles chosen and the lighting got better, so I can forgive what was initially bumpy. A bit of the dialogue dealing with slang terms, like "stan" (as in Kpop stan) and "sus", was a little weird and probably won't age well in a few years, but those are the only criticisms I can really come up with. You know the movie was good when you don't have much bad to say about it!

This has to be one of my favorite American Girl movies of all time, and alongside Grace Stirs Up Success, my favorite Girl of the Year movie. I'm so glad this movie saw the light of day, and I hope American Girl fans spread the word that it's finally out and enjoy it like I did!

SCORE: 8/10

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