Friday, June 17, 2011
Everyone has AIDS (Especially pretty Lifetime blonds)
I hate a Lifetime Movie that makes me want to take an STD test on a daily basis. After watching She's Too Young I was pretty sure my cervix was a tumor. HIV is a whole other matter. It's not funny, and RENT has gone off Broadway. Regardless, this was one of the best Lifetime Originals I've viewed in a long while. This is stuff that really happens. Seeing the way it's portrayed can be over the top or exaggerated, but this is one of the times where a point needs to be made. I know so many people in their 20's who think that they could never catch an STD, let alone HIV & teenagers are even worse when it comes to thinking about consequences.
Girl, Positive stars little Julie from Desperate Housewives (Andrea Bowen) as Rachel, a 17 year old high school. Rachel is an upper middle class senior with a fairly attractive & cocky boyfriend named Greg, a starring place on the soccer team & a single mom who dresses like a ho because she's trying to hit the dating scene again at the fresh faced age of five-two. When the movie opens the school is grieving the lost of their old football hero, Jason. After graduating Jason dies in a tragic car accident. You can see banners of the kid hanging all over the school & a lot of students are quite torn up.
Enter Jenny Garth, as adorable substitute teacher Sarah. She bikes to school with ear buds in! Aweee. Anyway, the assistant principle is real into her but Sarah is super dismissive of male attention, one of those attractive size 2 beauties that looks shocked when a dude wants to ride the pony. Maybe Substitute Teacher Sarah has a deep dark secret or maybe she knows that this dude will go on to play Scott Peterson in his next flick. I mean, how can you trust someone that plays Scott Peterson? Totally not taking a ride out on your boat, buddy.
Sarah is a good sub. She makes ya think. She talks about medical breakthroughs. And when AIDs is brought up she is pretty surprised to hear how the kids in Biology class think they could not get HIV. She does one of those "When you sleep with someone you are sleeping with everyone they've ever slept with" things. Bobby in the corner says kids around here don't use needles; Tracy in the front row says all her partners have been clean. Sarah looks ready to flip her shit & makes the class stand up to explain how easily HIV can be spread. The viewer at this point knows that shit is going no place good. When you have the whole senior class standing up in a scenario where they've all spread around this nasty virus, stuff is going to get real.
After soccer practice, Greg lures Rachel into some sports closet. She takes her top off, standing all hot and sweaty in her sports bra & he tries to put it in without a condom. "Don't worry," he tells Rachel, "I'll pull out." It as this moment that Rachel surprises me by refusing the Pull-out Prince. She tells him she doesn't want to get knocked up and blissfully prances out of the sports equipment closet they were ready to smush in. Looks like he will not be getting his tip wet on this occasion.
Then one day after school, Rachel is filling out college applications for her boyfriend Greg (Rachel, I feel you, being 17 totally sucks, that is the kind of stuff I would have done in high school, but luckily my boyfriends didn't need to apply to the local Junior College) While writing his purpose in life and favorite animal essay she is simultaneously vid chatting with her BFF and perusing a site similar to Facebook with a hint of MySpace, I believe they call it "FacePage". FacePage, hell yeah. Anyway, someone posts a link on Rachel's page and you're not going to believe what it is. A police report from Jason's car accident! Apparently dude was high on heroin (busting a myth from biology class that none of the students use needles). How do we know that he wasn't just smoking the stuff? Or more ideally for the body, snorting it? Because Rachel then receives an instant message from "Concerned Citizen" with a link.
In the link is our hometown high school football hero shooting up.
Concerned Citizen: Jason had HIV, Rachel. Do you?
Butterfly7492: Is this a joke?
Concerned Citizen: Remember the "Best Friends Forever Party"?
Buh buh bum! And here we have the flashback. Young virgin Rachel effing HS Football hero. She is totally into it, so props for that Lifetime, I was expecting one of your "she's real drunk & this is rape" scenes. But no, instead it's some straight up boning complete with moans and smiles. Unfortunately, Rachel of yesteryear is not as smart as homegirl now a days, so when she asks Jason if he has 'protection' and he replies 'No, but I'll be really careful.' She allows him to blissfully hit that.
This is the brilliance of the whole thing though. Because that's how it really goes down, ladies. And all it takes is that one minute with some dude where you are-- to quote J.Lewis "a little bit drunk & lookin' for company"-- and you decide that hey, I know this guy & I want some, so go for it man. It seems these are the situations where you get yourself a baby or an STD. And watching Rachel sob over the computer monitor, you have to feel for her. You also have to wrap it before you tap it.
Sarah volunteers at the "Downtown AIDS Clinic" which looks like a cross between Planned Parenthood & the local methadone clinic. Rachel goes into take a rapid test, but freaks out and leaves the results on the counter. Sub. teacher Sarah finds the test. Enter title "Girl, Positive," and you've guessed it-- two little lines (which I guess is just not the thumbs up for pregnancy). The next day after class, she tells Rachel. So uncool, man. But we'll let it slide. Jenny Garth knows whats up. We see her at home with tons of bottles of meds, puking and throwing a fit. AZT cocktail spilled all over the floor. Looks like the two prettiest white women in the film are both HIV positive.
Mentally cue some RENT to the montage of Sarah & Rachel sobbing in their independent households:
"Will I lose my dignity? Will someone care-are? Will I wake tomorrow from this night-mare-are?
To find out how the rest of the school reacts you're going to have to watch this yourself. I suggest that you do. I also suggest that you consider donating some $ to one of these organizations:
And remember readers, always be safe, always use protection & get tested regularly. Most people with STDs don't say that they have them because they do not know that they have them. So it is up to you to take care of yourself & your body. Whether it's at the Best Friends Forever Party, Prom, and especially in the Smush Room @ The Jersey Shore House.
Until next time....