Most movies nowadays seem to be focused on these grand adventures out of reality that portray superhuman heroes achieving feats unthinkable for real people. The superhero genre is dominating the big screen and even the small screen with short movies based on original or established comic book universes. When authors decide to take a stab at a story grounded in reality they also depict incredible odysseys and legendary tales of bravery. While this is great and shows that cinema is finally up to date with human imagination, it is sometimes important to share stories about the common everyday heroes who may not be out there saving the universe from destruction but still find the strength to wake up every day and face their own problems and keep the world running, which can often be a harder more important endeavor.
Today´s script is one of those stories, one that focuses on a relatable and human protagonist who has to face an existential crisis and make decision in situation that will resonate with a lot of people.
Ginny has a Grunge Band tells the story of a young woman fresh out of college who must now face the reality that she´s been preparing to enter a world that doesn´t actually exist anymore. Ginny holds a degree in a field that is no longer so sought after, she has a crippling debt on her back, no good job prospects and soon finds out her mother has spent the money saved to pay for her college loan. Not only that but her new stepfather, with whom she is forced to live, is a violent drunkard who physically abuses Ginny´s mother and even once tries to rape Ginny herself.
As the story progresses things slowly start to look better, Ginny gets a job at an old chicken restaurant where she used to work and is actually on the fast track to becoming a manager; while this is still a horrible job, it at least puts some money on the table.
Thanks to her new job Ginny meets new friends who share a common interest with her, Grunge Music. They start getting together to jam and soon enough they find themselves forming a band.
Ginny tries to confront her mother with the reality of her horrible husband but the mother seems to be oblivious, preferring to live a life in fear and pain instead of stepping out of her comfort zone, pushing her daughter away in favor of the abusive new man in her life.
Ginny has to abandon her mother´s house in a rush, feeling depressed and defeated, but just like her new job (horrible) paved the way for her meeting new friends, this new debacle allows her to meet Selah, a kind young soul who sees the value behind Ginny´s pain and soon the two become a couple.
Close to the ending, Ginny´s step father beats her mother so hard that he actually can´t hide the abuse anymore and is forced to run away from the authorities; with the spell broken and the toxic influence out of their lives, Ginny and her mother reconcile, Ginny finds time to put up a show with her new band where she dares to sing one of her original songs, catching the attention of a local manager.
The story has a satisfying ending where the immediate problems have been solved and the future looks promising for all the people involved.
The plot of Ginny has a Grunge Band is quite straightforward without any turns or flashbacks or too many surprises, but in a market saturated with movies containing dozens of twists and plot devices used as a way to shock and intrigue the audience, it is refreshing to read a script where the story manages to build rapport without resorting to cheap tricks. The story has a troubled beginning, a knot where all hell breaks loose and an ending where all problems are resolved in a believable way. The manner Ginny acquires her independence is believable because she doesn´t suddenly become a super strong character who kicks her stepfather out and wins the lottery, and stumbles upon her dream job (well a little), but because she works hard and has the emotional intelligence to step away from harm’s way and make good decisions.
The solutions in the end may not be ideal; e.g., it would be ideal for Ginny´s mother to end her new relationship when she finds the man tried to abuse her own daughter. Instead it takes a horrible beating and the man running away for that tale to reach a good conclusion, but this is just a way of showing how flawed the world and the people in it can be, and also teaches people how to face these imperfect situations, thus making the plot much more realistic and acceptable than if a MacGuffin or deus ex machina was used to solve everything in a perfect way.
The story teaches that from a horrible predicament can eventually sprout something good, as long as people remain constant and dedicated to the good they can do, focusing on building good relationships and discarding toxic ones.
The main character is masterfully depicted to appeal to a audience. Ginny is a young millennial, facing an economic crisis, stuck in a job she hates, facing physical and psychological abuse at home and finding solace in her art. Youngsters and grownups alike can relate to such a character, either because they are or have been in such situations or just because of how empathetic the character is. She may seem powerless at first and for a while it seems like she´s going down her mother´s path of letting people trample her, but when the decisive time comes she stands her ground and shows that she can be strong, independent and smart. Her decision to leave the house and her mother behind can be perceived as selfish but it is actually quite smart: her mother is a grown woman who is too afraid to be alone, so instead of choosing family and remaining in the toxic environment Ginny realizes she cannot cure cancer from the inside, that she has her own problems and her mother is her own person and takes the right decision. It is also quite refreshing to see a character take the right choice in pivotal moments instead of acting stupidly just to add more drama to plot.
One gripe with the character development though, and it is something deeply inherent in the musical genre, is how easily Ginny forms new relationships. It is understandable that she is in a vulnerable place at first and may be looking for new people to share her life, but upon further analysis it is unrealistic for the abused and initially shy Ginny to make new friends so easily and trust them so completely in such a short time as she does in the script. Her romantic relationship is even more unrealistic, in that where after only two meetings she´s already at a place where she can proclaim eternal love to her girlfriend. Perhaps the story would benefit from giving relationships more time to develop and fully grow. Particularly for Ginny, who comes from an abusive home and has lost so much and should have every reason to want to take things slow and be careful, this is the only out-of-character trait she displays in the script. Other characters aren´t as well developed, but this story is about Ginny and all others are useful to help her realize her sexual orientation, her ambition and independence, and they do accomplish their goal.
In short, this is a great script that could still be enhanced even further with some easily introduced changes. It focuses on a great character with a story that resonates with a lot of souls and reminds them that while they may not be out there joining the Avengers or spending 12 years a slave, their hardships are still relevant and remaining truthful to their essence, constant in their work and taking some risks already makes them heroes in their own way.