June 24, 2013

Steve Salles, Standard-Examiner movie critic - June 21st, 2013
3 stars

Fans of “Juno” might see some similarities in “As Cool as I Am,” a story of an intelligent teenage girl who is beginning to discover her own sexuality in the most awkward way possible.

Lucy Diamond (Sarah Bolger) has been a tomboy most of her early life, but suddenly realizes boys are starting to pay attention to her — including her lifelong friend Kenny (Thomas Mann), who suddenly wants to kiss her and never stop.

Lucy’s family dynamic is a bit odd. Her fun-loving father (James Marsden) works in the distant timber industry for months at a time, and her bored-silly mother (Claire Danes) is starting to notice other men. 

Lucy is easily the grown-up in this family. She does most of the cooking (thanks to Mario Batali’s recorded recipe shows). She also keeps house while mom works as a telemarketer in their small New Mexico town. She and Kenny will soon move beyond the friendship zone, which is making Kenny’s mom quite nervous. 

So what’s so unique about this story? It’s the words (it usually is) and the situations. I love something different — a new perspective on how to get the best and most out of life. Lucy is determined and learning. That’s why “As Cool As I Am” works so nicely.