Review: ‘Holler,’ starring Jessica Barden

July 9, 2021

by Carla Hay

Jessica Barden in “Holler” (Photo courtesy of IFC Films)

“Holler”

Directed by Nicole Riegel

Culture Representation: Taking place in an unnamed city in southern Ohio, the dramatic film “Holler” has a predominantly white cast of characters (with a few African Americans) representing the working-class.

Culture Clash: A teenager from a dysfunctional family with financial problems must decide what she wants to do after she graduates from high school, and she gets involved in illegal scrap metal sales.

Culture Audience: “Holler” will appeal primarily to people who are interested in realistic and sometimes gritty stories about American working-class life.

Jessica Barden and Gus Halper in “Holler” (Photo courtesy of IFC Films)

“Holler” doesn’t break new ground for coming-of-age movies about a teenager who’s unsure of what to do after high school. However, the performances in the movie are well-acted and notable in their depiction of working-class life in southern Ohio. Jessica Barden carries “Holler” with the right mix of toughness and vulnerability. Written and directed by Nicole Riegel, and based on her short film of the same name, “Holler” was already an authentic-looking film, but Barden’s performance makes it a more compelling movie to watch.

Barden is such a talented actress that people who see “Holler” might be surprised to find out that she’s British in real life. She tends to portray Americans in her on-screen roles. (Barden also played a tough-but-tender working-class character in the 2020 dramatic film “Jungleland.”) In “Holler,” Barden’s character is Ruth Avery, a teenage loner, who’s in her last year of high school and facing major crossroads in her life.

Ruth and her older brother Blaze (played by Gus Halper), who is in his early 20s and is Ruth’s legal guardian, live in a house in an unnamed southern Ohio city with a depressed and shrinking manufacturing economy and where things have become quite unstable for Ruth and Blaze. They’re financially broke, and they have been served several eviction notices. Ruth is having problems keeping up with her school assignments, and she’s been punished for too missing too many classes.

Where are their parents? Ruth and Blaze’s mother Rhonda (played by Pamela Adlon) is an opioid addict who’s currently in jail and awaiting a court hearing on drug-related charges. Ruth and Blaze’s father is not seen or mentioned. It’s implied that he was not involved in raising Blaze and Ruth. Blaze, who dropped out of high school to take care of Ruth, works at the same factory where his mother worked before she was fired due to being under the influence of drugs while on the job.

To make extra money, Blaze and Ruth sell abandoned items at a local junkyard that is owned and operated by a scruffy and shady character namd Hark (played by Austin Amelio), who is in his 30s. In the movie’s opening scene, Blaze and Ruth are making a sale to Hark, but he drives a hard bargain and lowballs them on the purchase price. Because they need the money, they take Hark’s offer, although Ruth angrily tells Hark that she knows he’s ripping them off. Because of Ruth’s feisty spirit, it won’t be the last time that she and Hark will be at odds with each other.

Even though she’s having problems in school, Ruth is very intelligent, interested in learning, and a capable of getting good grades. In an early scene in the movie, she goes to the school library to steal a book because she’s been banned from borrowing books from the library due to her high absentee rate. Ruth immediately gets busted for the theft by a teacher named Mr. Porter (played by Joe Hemsley), who tells Ruth that if she doesn’t stop behaving badly, she could be expelled from school. Ruth acts like she doesn’t care, but viewers can see that deep down, she does care.

Meanwhile, Blaze frequently tells Ruth that she’s smart enough to go to college. He encourages her to pursue a college education because he thinks that Ruth is the person in their family who’s most likely to be able to accomplish things beyond their working-class upbringing. There are hints that Ruth thinks so too. In one scene, Ruth privately listens to a podcast where a celebrated female engineer (who’s unidentified in the movie) talks about how she got to where she is in her male-dominated field.

Although the movie never says what Ruth’s best academic subjects are and what she would want to study in college, she shows an aptitude for math and engineering when she and Blaze end up getting involved in Hark’s side business of illegally selling stolen scrap metal. Ruth and Blaze’s decision to get involved in this criminal activity comes after certain things happen that make Ruth and Blaze even more financially desperate than when the story began. Blaze and Ruth soon find out that the illegal scrap-metal hustle is a lot more dangerous than they thought it would be.

“Holler” has very few scenes of Ruth in high school, because her world ends up revolving around Hark’s junkyard and the illegal activities of stealing metal from abandoned buildings at night. There are a few tension-filled scenes of Ruth and Blaze visiting their mother Rhonda in jail. (Fun fact: Barden guest-starred on Adlon’s comedy series “Better Things” in 2020.) Ruth has a lot of resentment toward her mother, who tells Ruth, “We’re not college people,” when she finds out that Ruth has applied to go to college. Blaze usually tries to keep the peace when Ruth and Rhonda get into verbal arguments with each other, but he’s feeling the pressure of being the only parental figure in Ruth’s life.

The movie features a few supporting characters who are part of Ruth and Blaze’s lives. Linda (played by Becky Ann Baker) is a no-nonsense, respected senior employee at the factory. She also happens to be Rhonda’s best friend. When Ruth feels like she has no one else to turn to, Linda is sometimes a source of comfort.

By contrast, Ruth can barely tolerate Blaze’s girlfriend Tonya (played by Grace Kaiser), who also works at the factory. Ruth isn’t afraid to express that she thinks Tonya is too promiscuous and not good enough to be with Blaze. The relationship that Blaze and Tonya have isn’t really true love, but they have genuine affection for each other. In other words, Tonya isn’t Blaze’s Ms. Right. She’s Blaze’s Ms. Right Now.

One of the best things about “Holler” is how realistically it shows the complications of being a teenager who’s on the cusp of legal adulthood in contemporary America—being old enough to drive and work, but not old enough to drink alcohol. Being in your late teens is usually the age range when people feel the most pressure to figure out what they want to do with their lives. However, those choices can often restricted if they require a college degree that someone might not be old enough to have, might not be able to afford, or might have other responsibilities that prevent someone from getting a college education.

Ruth embodies this dichotomy of being an immature child and being a mature adult in her personality. She can be a tough-talking brat but also a good listener. She can sometimes act like a know-it-all, but she’s also a patient observer who’s willing to learn. She wants to grow up quickly and be independent, but she also likes the comfort of knowing that she can have someone to lean and and back her up when she needs it.

Ruth’s relationship with Blaze has a very genuine younger sister/older dynamic with real family love between them. The only thing that Ruth and Blaze argue about the most in the movie is whether or not she should go to college. Blaze is more enthusiastic about it than Ruth is. Look for big clues on how Ruth uses her red ski cap as a conscious or subconscious symbol of the life that Blaze thinks that Ruth should leave behind.

The interactions between Ruth and Hark are what really demonstrate Ruth’s feelings of confusion over wanting to be a child and wanting to be an adult. Ruth and Hark, despite their differences, end up being attracted to each other on an emotional level. He admires her assertiveness and quick thinking, while she admires his confidence and leadership abilities.

There’s a scene where Ruth, Hark, Blaze, Tonya and some of their co-workers are all hanging out at a roller skating rink, where Ruth shows some aloofness yet vulnerability. Hark asks Ruth to go on the skating rink with him, even though they both know they aren’t very good at roller skating. It’s the first sign that something more than a platonic relationship might happen between Ruth and Hark.

Later in the movie, Ruth gets an injury on her right leg, and Hark makes a move on her when he’s helping her with the bandages. As creepy as it might be for a man to make sexual advances on a teenager who’s half his age or young enough to be his daughter, it’s a reality that happens a lot. Ruth is an easy target of older sexual predators because she comes from a dysfunctional family with little or no parental supervision. And it would be easy to speculate that teenagers with “daddy issues” would be more vulnerable to seeking approval and attention from much-older men.

Blaze is very aware that Ruth being around Hark and Hark’s all-male crew of employees will have some risks, so Blaze warns them not to hurt or take advantage of his Ruth. Blaze is a protective brother who keeps a watchful eye on Ruth when they’re with each other. But will it be enough to keep her out of danger?

“Holler” has some twists and turns in the story that are not very predictable. The movie doesn’t make anyone an evil villain but instead presents a clear-sighted view of what happens when people make bad choices. Halper and Adlon give admirable performances, since they are entirely believable as Ruth’s family members who want the best for her but express it in different ways.

As good as the acting is by all of the cast members in “Holler,” this movie is really Ruth’s story, and Barden delivers a nuanced and meaningful performance. Riegel’s even-keeled direction is minimalist and observational, which fits the tone perfectly for a movie about people who don’t have a lot of material possessions, but their lives are complicated enough that they don’t have time for fussy judgment. “Holler” is an impressive feature-film debut for Riegel, who achieves the right balance of telling universal and relatable truths with a very specific story.

IFC Films released “Holler” in select U.S. cinemas, on digital and VOD on June 11, 2021.

Review: ‘The Half of It,’ starring Leah Lewis, Daniel Diemer and Alexxis Lemire

May 1, 2020

by Carla Hay

Leah Lewis and Daniel Diemer in “The Half of It” (Photo by KC Bailey/Netflix)

“The Half of It”

Directed by Alice Wu

Culture Representation: Taking place in the fictional small town of Squahamish, Washington, the romantic comedy “The Half of It” tells the “Cyrano de Bergerac”-inspired story of a love triangle between three middle-class teenagers—one Asian female, one white male and one Latina female—who are in their last year of high school.

Culture Clash: The Asian girl and the white guy are both romantically interested in the Latina girl, but because they all live in a religious and conservative community, the Asian girl is a closeted lesbian.

Culture Audience: “The Half of It” will appeal mostly to people who like well-written romantic comedies that follow familiar tropes, but have characters and dialogue that usually aren’t seen very often in movies of this genre.

Leah Lewis and Alexxis Lemire in “The Half of It” (Photo by KC Bailey/Netflix)

On the surface, the romantic comedy “The Half of It” might seem to be a lesbian twist on “Cyrano de Bergerac,” the 1897 play about a man (the title character) who helps another man write love letters to a woman while secretly pining for the woman himself. However, “The Half of It” (which has a girl in the Cyrano de Bergerac role) is less about who gets the girl in the end and more about what the main characters find out about themselves when it comes to pursuing love.

“The Half of It,” written and directed by Alice Wu, is her first film since her 2004 debut feature film “Saving Face.” Loosely based on Wu’s own experiences, “The Half of It” was worth the long wait for Wu to make her second feature film. The 2020 Tribeca Film Festival jury must have also felt the same way, since “The Half of It” won the top prize (Best U.S. Narrative Feature) at the festival.

Most romantic comedies about teenagers are either one of two extremes: overly sweet or very raunchy. “The Half of It” is neither, although there are some melodramatic moments in the film that veer into some well-worn territory that every romantic comedy seems to have when secret feelings are revealed. Even with these borderline cliché scenes, the rest of the movie is so charming that even the grouchiest cynics might find something to like about the film.

The movie’s central character, Ellie Chu (played by Leah Lewis), would count herself as one of those grouchy cynics in the beginning of the story. The opening scene has Ellie in voiceover mentioning the Greek mythology of soul mates being conjoined in twos and then being split apart, and there is a constant search for people to find their “other half.”

Ellie—who’s a Chinese American student in her last year at high school—makes this wry comment about this “other half” mythology: “Of course, the ancient Greeks never went to high school, or they’d realize that we don’t need the gods to mess things up for us.”

She adds, “If you ask me, people spend far too much time looking for someone to complete them. How many people find perfect love—or if they do, make it last? More evidence of Camus’ theory that life is irrational and meaningless.”

It’s clear at this point that Ellie has above-average intelligence, compared to other people in her age group. She’s smart and funny—but a misfit at her school and in her community. She lives in the small, conservative fictional town of Squahamish, Washington, where the population is predominantly white and Christian—and Ellie is Asian and an atheist.

She doesn’t really have any close friends, and she sometimes gets racist taunts from other students who mock Ellie for her last name. Some of her fellow students also use her, by paying her to do their homework for them. Although she’s an academic whiz, Ellie also has as very artistic side to her: She sings, plays guitar and piano, and writes her own songs, but she’s too shy to sing her songs in public. Ellie plays keyboards in the school’s music group, which requires that all of the group’s class seniors participate in a talent show to spotlight their individual talent. It’s a spotlight that Ellie is dreading.

Ellie has a part-time job working at a booth at a train station. She spends most of her free time alone or with her widower father, Edwin Chu (played by Collin Chou), a Chinese immigrant who has a Ph. D. in engineering, but he has trouble finding work in the United States because he doesn’t speak English very well. It’s also clear during the course of the movie that Edwin is depressed over the death of his wife. The movie doesn’t mention how she died, but her passing has also deeply affected Ellie, who hides her pain with a mask of sarcastic wit.

Because of Edwin’s inability to find steady work, Ellie and her father are struggling financially. It’s one of the reasons why she plans to attend college close to home, instead of Grinnell College, a private liberal-arts school in Grinnell, Iowa, that Ellie’s English teacher Mrs. Geselschap (played by Becky Ann Baker) has been encouraging Ellie to attend. Mrs. Geselschap is a Grinnell alum, and she wants to write a recommendation letter for Ellie to attend Grinell, but Ellie declines the offer because Ellie has no plans to apply to that college.

One day, while Ellie is riding her bike, one of the school’s football players named Paul Munsky (played by Daniel Diemer) accidentally knocks her down. After a profuse apology, Paul introduces himself and asks Ellie to write a love note to Aster Flores (played by Alexxis Lemire), a pretty, popular and smart classmate whom Paul wants to be his girlfriend. Paul, who is a nice person but definitely not articulate, offers to pay $50 to Ellie for the task.

Unbeknownst to Paul, Ellie has a secret crush on Aster too. Ellie immediately refuses to write the note for Paul because—unlike doing homework for other students—Ellie thinks that writing a love note for someone else is too personal. Ellie quips to Paul when she turns down his request: “Get a thesaurus. Use spell check. Good luck, Romeo.”

But when Ellie and her father’s financial problems reach a point where their house’s electrical power is going to be shut off—and wouldn’t you know, the power company needs a minimum of $50 to not shut off the power—Ellie reluctantly agrees to write one letter for Paul. He’s shy about approaching Aster because she’s already dating Trig Carson (played by Wolfgang Novogratz), a handsome but very conceited classmate who’s also very popular at school. Trig is the kind of guy that many people (including Trig) expect Aster to marry someday.

Paul is also intimidated by the fact that Aster is the daughter of Deacon Flores (played by Enrique Murciano), who’s a well-respected and powerful leader in the community. Paul comes from a large, working-class family (that often bickers with each other), so he feels insecure that Aster and her family might think that Paul isn’t good enough for her. He’s also an aspiring chef, which isn’t the image that most people have of a football player. And so, some of the movie is about Paul trying to figure out how much he wants pursue that culinary dream and what becoming a chef will mean for his identity and other people’s expectations.

Aster is the type of person who’s nice to everyone, but her people-pleasing ways have come with a cost, since she’s often afraid of expressing what she really wants. Aster works as a waitress at a local diner, but she dreams of being a professional artist who paints, when her family’s expectation is that she should get married young and start a family. Aster and her family moved to Squahamish from Sacramento, California, so she’s still adjusting to living in a small town.

Meanwhile, Ellie has her own issues with trying to fit in with the community. She was born in China and immigrated with her parents to the United States when she was 5 years old, but she often lies about her background, by telling people that she was born and raised in Squahamish. And although she’s an atheist, she plays organ at the church where Aster’s father is the deacon. It’s implied in the movie that Ellie only spends time at the church to try to get close to Aster.

One of the reasons why Ellie is so attracted to Aster is they both share a love for the same type of literature. The two girls have a “meet cute” moment, when Aster accidentally bumps into Ellie at school and notices that Ellie is reading Kazuo Ishiguro’s “Remains of the Day,” which is also one of Aster’s favorite novels. It sparks the idea for Ellie to have Paul pretend that he also has a similar taste in books, even though in reality Paul has very little interest in reading.

What started out as one love note turns into a series of letters and text messages that Ellie concocts for Paul to woo Aster. There’s also a sequence where Ellie (pretending to be Paul) and Aster exchange messages by writing on a neighborhood wall—and somehow, they don’t catch each other in the act. Even when their graffiti is painted over, that doesn’t deter them from continuing to write messages on the wall.  (It also gives Aster a chance to show some of her artistic painting skills.) Their graffiti messaging ends when an adult at a nearby business catches one of the girls in the act and scares her away.

Ellie recommends that Paul take things slow and approach Aster as an admiring friend. Aster starts to be won over by the charismatic correspondence that she thinks Paul is writing to her.  But then, the moment comes when Paul wants to ask Aster out on a date, and the reality sinks in to Ellie that Paul and Aster could actually become romantically involved in real life.

If you know the story of “Cyrano de Bergerac,” then you can probably predict how “The Half of It” is going to end, but there are a few refreshing twists to the movie that aren’t very predictable. Lewis carries the film with an authenticity that makes her the clear standout in the cast. The other actors in the movie do a very good job too, but the Ellie character is the voice (and many people would also say the heart and soul) of the story.

What makes the “The Half of It” better than the average teen movie is that even though it’s a movie about teenagers, the movie isn’t just for teenagers, because it expresses many of the ageless emotions that people have about relationships. There’s plenty of cross-generational appeal in the movie’s soundtrack too, which ranges from Sharon Van Etten’s 2019 song “Seventeen” to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ 1986 tune “The Carny” to ’70s nostalgia hits, such as Chicago’s “If You Leave Me Now,” John Denver’s “Annie’s Song” and Gordon Lightfoot’s “If You Can Read My Mind.”

Simply put: “The Half of It” is a much-needed, witty boost to the genre of romantic comedies, which have been struggling for years with mediocre and uninspired stories. And hopefully, it won’t take another 16 years for Wu’s next movie to be made.

Netflix premiered “The Half of It” on May 1, 2020.

2019 Tribeca Film Festival movie review: ‘Safe Spaces’ (now titled ‘After Class’)

May 4, 2019

by Carla Hay

Justin Long, Emily Schechter and Kate Berlant in “Safe Spaces” (Photo by Gregory Wilson)

“Safe Spaces”

Directed by Daniel Schechter

World premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City on April 29, 2019.

UPDATE: “Safe Spaces” was retitled “After Class” after the movie was screened at multiple film festivals.

The dramedy “Safe Spaces” almost feels like it could have been two movies because so much is going on with the lead character, Josh Cohn, a 38-year-old adjunct professor in New York City who’s going through turmoil in his professional and personal lives. Justin Long is Josh in the movie, one of several films in which Long plays a single guy who’s unlucky in love. On the professional front, Josh’s job might be in jeopardy because of inappropriate sexual comments that he made in one of his classes. On the personal front, Josh’s beloved maternal grandmother (played by Lynn Cohen) is dying in a hospital, and he has to take shifts with bickering family members who are keeping vigil over her in her final days.

“Safe Spaces” (written and directed by Daniel Schechter) starts out showing the professional problem first. Josh teaches a creative writing class, and during a session with his students, he encourages a female student to share a personal story that might help her become a better writer. “Embarrass yourselves,” he tells the class. “Write what hurts.”  When she confesses that an embarrassing sexual situation recently happened to her, Josh eggs her on to tell him and the class in detail what happened. She is very reluctant, but Josh insists that she tell, so she eventually reveals that when she was recently on a date with a guy, he asked if he could ejaculate on her rear end. (It’s described in much cruder terms in the movie.)

Instead of being mortified that he pressured someone to share this very explicit sexual information in a public setting, Josh is elated that she opened up in a candid way. That’s a red flag right there that Josh, especially in this #MeToo era, is socially clueless and has some serious issues with professional boundaries. Not surprisingly, a complaint is filed against him by one of the female students in his class—not the student who told the story, but another student who felt that Josh was being sexually intimidating and that he created a hostile environment in the class.

It turns out the student with the complaint was sexually assaulted in her past. She felt triggered by Josh’s behavior, and she no longer feels safe in his class because she thinks that he might pressure her and other female students to reveal sexual secrets too. Meanwhile, Josh is indignant because he feels that he didn’t do anything wrong. He thinks that because everyone in the class is an adult, they should have been able to handle that raw talk. His bosses recommend that he make an apology anyway, but he refuses. Several of his students then boycott his class to show solidarity to the student who complained. Josh’s job as an adjunct professor barely pays enough to cover his bills, so he’s feeling the financial pressure of possibly losing his job.

Meanwhile, Josh’s dysfunctional family is also giving him a lot of stress. His younger sister Jackie (played by Kate Berlant) is a flaky, pill-popping podcaster who unexpectedly shows up and crashes at his place because she needs a place to live. His married older brother David (played by Michael Godere) is still angry with Josh because Josh had a fling with the nanny (played by Megan Pickarski) hired to take care of David’s daughters (played by Kaitlyn and Emily Schechter), and the nanny left the job because the fling ended. David is the only person in the family to call out Josh for his pattern of irresponsible and selfish behavior. Meanwhile, Josh has begun dating a much-younger Eastern-European woman named Caterina (played by Sylvia Morigi), who likes to use dominatrix-type sexual techniques and who’s reluctant to fully commit to Josh.

Josh’s mother Diane (played by Fran Drescher) is still bitter over her divorce from Josh’s father Jeff (played by Richard Schiff), who left her for a younger woman named Sherry, who is now his current wife. Jeff has started a new life with Sherry (played by Dana Eskelson) and their bratty underage son Ben (played by Tyler Wladis), both of whom can’t stand Josh and his siblings. When Jeff was married to Diane, he was close to his mother-in-law, but since his current wife despises his first family, he’s torn about whether or not to visit his former mother-in-law before she dies. Josh and Jeff already have a lot of tension in their relationship, so the financially strapped Josh feels embarrassed when he has to ask Jeff for money to help pay his rent.

The “family problems” part of the movie is supposed to make Josh look more sympathetic, but it’s hard to feel much sympathy for a 38-year-old professor (in other words, he should know better) who uses his position of power to browbeat a student into revealing a sexual secret to the entire class. It’s inappropriate and aggressive, regardless of the gender of the student. What makes it worse is that Josh thinks the person who complained doesn’t deserve an apology. Even if he doesn’t think what he did was wrong, someone was seriously offended by his behavior, so it’s very problematic that he refuses to acknowledge that his actions hurt someone emotionally. It’s also a symptom of an arrogant sense of entitlement that comes from people who abuse their privileges.

The #MeToo movement has created a lot of resentment from people (mostly men) who used to get away with a lot of this type of behavior, and they’re quick to call people “uptight” or “too politically correct” if anyone objects to inappropriate sexual comments. This resentment is exemplified by two young male students who offer to mount a campaign on campus to defend Josh, who declines their help because he thinks it will make the situation worse.

In another conversation between Josh and another young male student, there’s an underlying “we hate politically correct culture” tone when the student complains that a story he wrote about a Jewish summer camp probably has to be changed because all of the people are white in his current draft of the story. Josh agrees, and then half-heartedly gives suggestions on who in the story could be of a different race. The dialogue in this part of the movie is written in such a cynical manner, they just might as well have come right out said, “This is what we have to go through now as white males. We have to force diversity in our work, or else we might be accused of being racist or sexist.”

What’s kind of dumb about this scene is that Josh doesn’t actually read the student’s story to see if the writing is any good. He just instantly reacts to the student’s paranoia that so-called politically correct vultures are out to get him. It’s obviously a reflection of how Josh feels about the complaint made against him in his job.

As if to further drive the point home that Josh is a symbol for “white men under siege in the #MeToo era,” the two supervisors overseeing Josh’s misconduct case are a white woman (played by Becky Ann Baker) and a man of Indian heritage (played by Samrat Chakrabarti). The white supervisor is more sympathetic to Josh than the non-white supervisor. These are not-so-subtle buttons that writer/director Schechter is pushing about how white men often see themselves when they’re accused of misconduct and how they’re judged if they offend women or people or color.

There’s an uncomfortable scene when Josh and his sister Jackie are out at a diner with their nieces, and they see the student who made the complaint, sitting at a nearby table. Jackie forces a confrontation, which makes things worse for Josh. The student naturally makes another complaint to the school, and Josh comes even closer to losing his job. He has another chance to make things right with the student. Will he do it?

Tensions in the family also come to a head when they are told that Josh’s grandmother has only a few days to live. Josh and his siblings put their squabbles aside to band together, go to their father Jeff’s home, and try to convince him to go with them to the hospital to say goodbye to their grandmother. Jeff’s wife Sherry, who’s portrayed as cold-hearted and jealous, gives Jeff an extreme ultimatum: If you go to the hospital with your children, our marriage is over. Will he do it?

“Safe Spaces” isn’t a bad movie (the best scenes are the ones with Josh’s grandmother), and the lead character Josh isn’t a bad person. He just isn’t interesting enough to care about for most of this film. If you like the type of Woody Allen-inspired movies that are filled with neurotic, privileged New Yorkers who create their own problems and seem to be addicted to personal chaos, then “Safe Spaces” is the movie for you.

UPDATE: Gravitas Ventures, which changed the name of this movie from “Safe Spaces” to “After Class,” will release the movie in select U.S. theaters and on home video on December 6, 2019.