disFIGURED Film Review
by Kam Williams
Obese and Anorexic Women Bond in Body Image Dramedy
Lydia (Deidra Edwards) is a queen-sized sales clerk who lives and works in Venice Beach, a trendy section of L.A. where it's fashionable for women to be thin. Unable to measure up to that unreasonable, hourglass ideal despite dieting, she joins a fat acceptance support group dedicated to fighting prejudice against the obese. In meetings, the members share their fears and frustrations about everything from dating to being teased to weight-loss surgery, while encouraging each other to love themselves just the way they are.
Darcy (Staci Lawrence), on the other hand, is an emaciated anorexic with a body dysmorphic disorder who thinks of herself as too fat. So, when she shows up saying she wants to join the group, people don't know what to make of her. After they take a vote and decide to reject her application, only Lydia offers a shoulder to cry on.
Although physically polar opposites, chubby and skinny still manage to bond because they are both lonely and have many issues in common revolving around hunger, fear, fashion and femininity. And their unlikely friendship is the focus of disFIGURED, a female empowerment flick filled with painfully-dramatic moments offset by occasional comic asides.
This slice of life adventure paints a picture so realistic you often wince while wondering whether the talented cast was acting or just encouraged to be themselves in a series of improvised scenarios. Regardless, director Glenn Gers deserves raves for his refreshingly-honest exploration of such a sensitive subject.
A novel buddy vehicle contrasting the unique perspectives of a two segments of society ordinarily either marginalized in movies or treated almost as if they didn't exist at all.
Excellent (4 stars)
Running time: 96 minutes
Studio: Cinema Libre Studio
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