InBetween Girl – Reel Asian 2021

A still from InBetween Girl. A mixed Asian American teen girl sits next to a Caucasian American teen boy on a bed in the teen girl’s bedroom. He’s looking at her. She’s looking down. Both are smiling.

InBetween Girl – Reel Asian 2021

Teen artist Angie Chen turns to secret hook-ups with the heartthrob of her private school after her parents’ sudden divorce.

A mixed-race teenager begins a secret relationship with the popular boy at her school, following her parents' divorce in . Angie Chen () is a teenage girl in Galveston, Texas, born to Chinese father Fai () and white American mother Veronica (). In the aftermath of her parents' sudden divorce, Angie ends up hooking up with her high school crush Liam (), despite the fact that he already has an incredibly popular social media influencer girlfriend in Sheryl White (). Angie continues her secret fling with Liam until she gets to know Sheryl and becomes plagued with guilt.

InBetween Girl is the debut feature film by writer/director Mei Makino. The film is a coming-of-age story surrounding Chinese-American teenager Angie Chen, who finds herself at a crossroads in her life, frequently recording video diaries to her future self. Angie is immensely bothered at not only her parents' divorce but also the fact that her father quickly finds a “new family” more ingrained in Chinese culture. Angie's fling with Liam ends up being her only release from this angst, though she soon has regrets again being the other woman when Angie gets to know Liam's girlfriend Sheryl.

InBetween Girl is a young adult tale that sees protagonist Angie Chen learn some important life lessons, while also coming to terms somewhat with her status as an American-born Chinese woman, who never really learned to speak Mandarin, unlike her father's new partner and daughter. Overall, InBetween Girl ends up being a solid debut for Mei Makino, which avoids falling into the usual teen movie cliches.

InBetween Girl is streaming as part of the virtual 2021 Reel Asian Film Festival

Trailer for InBetween Girl – Reel Asian 2021

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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.