In teen rom-coms, the “ugly duckling” is never, ever ugly. The “unpopular” kid is never repellent. And Mr. Right is always right under your nose. All you have to do is wax off the mustache to see him.
“Confessions of an Invisible Girl” is a tepidly sweet teen comedy, an “Around the World With Netflix” tale from Brazil. Even that “Confessions” title thing is a cliche. It’s got a bubbly star, good looking co-stars, a party and beaches. And tepid or not, I’ll say this for the script. They certainly give our heroine some unusual “problems” to overcome.
Friendless Tete (Klara Castanho) is smart but shy, 15 and never-been-kissed. But when her dad loses his job, the family moves to Copacabana and she starts going to a private school there. Maybe things’ll be different this time.
I mean, nobody here knows her nickname was “Death Pits Tete” at her last school. She sweats. A lot. It only happens when she’s stressed. Which is almost always.
She hasn’t figured out the “bring a second shirt to school” thing. And wears lots of perfume to hide the stink that her hyperhidrosis brings on.
Being a bit of a klutz doesn’t help. She meets nerdy Davi (Gabriel Lima) and gay Zeca (Marcus Bessa), and they introduce her to surfer-hunk Erik (Lucca Picon). But she barely has a chance to fantasize herself with him when she runs into the mean girls.
Valentina (Júlia Gomes) is Erik’s just-as-blonde girlfriend. And wherever Valentina goes, Lais (Fernanda Concon) follows.
To survive this school year, Tete will need a little makeover from grandma, a bigger one — including brow and mustache waxing, from new gay BFF Zeca. She’ll have to navigate mean girls jealousy, and the cruel judgement of her peers. But again she’s got Davi to lean on. And Zeca.
“‘Ashamed’ is just a cute word people like to use for ‘fear.'”
All of which sounds like a hundred other teen comedies, including a bit of business with a neighbor girl (Kiria Malheiros) with “issues” hired to be Tete’s “friend” at her new schoo.
I think I laughed once at this comedy (in Portuguese with subtitles, or dubbed into English). The line that the pretty surfer himbo mutters in his defense for taking (kissing) liberties is a classic “not my fault” plea, with a twist. It’s SOCIETY and the way it objectifies!
“Imagine being called ‘handsome’ every day of your life!”
The poor dear.
Some of the cracks about Tete’s alleged appearance issues could have been funny, her “Chewbacca” armpits and the like, could have been funny.
The “big party” is a must in such movies, and a bust here. Even the beach scenes, cute actors in swimwear, never come to life.
Director and co-writer Bruno Garotti is eating up a lot of Netflix’s Brazilian content cash, with this and “Rich in Love” and “DJ Cinderella.” Is Netflix actually vetting what he turns in? The unoriginal, unromantic and unfunny movies, perky and cute actresses and actors aside, pretty much all suck.
Cast: Klara Castanho, Gabriel Lima, Marcus Bessa, Júlia Gomes, Fernanda Concon, Caio Cabral, Lucca Picon
Credits: Directed by Bruno Garotti, script by Thalita Rebouças, Flavia Lins and Bruno Garotti. A Netflix release.
Running time: 1:32