Seventeen-year-old Daniela is in a slightly delicate situation. On one hand, she’s a member of a fervent Evangelical family, the kinds of people who go to church several times a week and speak in tongues at home. On the other hand…
…well, Daniela runs a popular blog called “Young and Wild,” where she details how she attempts to satisfy her “pussy in flames.”
Oh, yes. Her parents would totes kill her.
She talks about the first time she was ever really able to masturbate. Then she talks about Jesus, and what Paul said to various churches. The blog is a mash-up of religion and sex, not unlike Donna, this Catholic-schooled girl I used to date.
In this way, it’s a lovely parallel to Daniela’s life. After being kicked out of her church’s school for being a “fornicator” (she led some poor boy to his doom, apparently), she is assigned to work at the church’s evangelical TV station. There, she meets Tomas. Tomas is a few years older, and he’s what we’d colloquially call a “nice young man.” He’s handsome, as Daniela notices, but he’s also devoutly religious, kind, polite–every mother’s dream.
And poor Daniela grows more frustrated, because Tomas isn’t putting out.
While working at the TV station, Daniela also meets the lovely Antonia. Antonia is not part of the religious happenings–her uncle owns the network, or something–and she develops a special interest in Daniela.
One night at a club, Daniela runs into one of her blog’s readers, a girl who has made it very clear in her postings she’d like to have sex with Daniela. Daniela takes the girl into the bathroom, locks the door, and…well, nothing much happens.
Oh, for cryin’ out loud, so now Daniela is also having sex with Antonia. Then Tomas gets in the game. Tomas. Antonia. Tomas. Antonia. She’s in love with both, and she loves neither. She wants things to be clearer, so she finally decides to get baptized.
And that’s when all hell breaks loose.
“Young and Wild” is a neat little film. It’s not great art, but it has an interesting style to it. The blog sets everything up as “Gospels,” and introduces us to each new chapter of the film.
At the bottom line, though, are the characters. Daniela is played by Alicia Rodriguez as almost dissociated from her own life. The blog motif works so well, because Daniela is often more of a character in the blog than a real person. I liked the way Daniela interacted with other characters, especially Antonia (Maria Gracia Omegna). The only character who didn’t fit was Daniela’s mother. I don’t say this because Daniela’s mother was verbally and physically abusive, but because she seemed to have wandered onto the set from another film.
As Kurosawa always said, “It’s possible to be completely psychotic, and still fit in with the rest of the cast.” (Okay. Maybe it wasn’t him.)
“Young and Wild” won’t inspire you to seek meditative training in India or to run up those steps in “Rocky.” It’s a fun little romp of a film, though, with engaging leads, an unusual premise, and a big dollop of panache. Go wild.
Young & Wild (Joven y Alocada); No MPAA Rating (Most definitely R for lots of boobs, a penis, strong sexual language, and sex involving both the aforementioned penis and various and sundry boobs) Nation of origin: Chile (In Spanish, with English subtitles)
Available on Netflix Streaming