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Just Another Girl on the I.R.T.

Just Another Girl on the I.R.T.

Directed by Leslie Harris
Released in 1992
Starring Ariyan A. Johnson as Chantel Mitchell, Kevin Thigpen as Tyrone, Ebony Jerido as Natete, Chequita Jackson as Paula, Jerard Washington as Gerard, Tony Wilkes as Owen Mitchell and Karen Robinson as Debra Mitchell

Now what in the world have I watched here, you must be wondering. Trust me -- I had never heard of it before, either, until today. I was looking for something to watch on In Demand cable. I saw this and the movie description read: Arrogant and ignorant, a know-it-all Brooklyn teenager (Ariyan Johnson) becomes pregnant and tries to hide it.

*throws hands in the air*

I watched the trailer to see if it was really something I should check out. It looked like it would be something I'd probably turn off after 15 minutes, but for some reason, I started it up anyway. This movie feels like it goes on FOREVER, and the song "Daddy's Little Girl" by Nikki D plays CONTINUOUSLY on the soundtrack, over and over again, as if it's the only song they could afford to use.

And even though I paused the movie several times during its run.... I ultimately couldn't turn it off and I finished it. And I'm glad I did.

This is the story of a high school student named Chantel. Chantel is basically a teenage version of Shenaynay from the 1990's TV show, Martin. In fact, this whole movie is basically Martin on steroids. So obviously, the film was a dream come true find for me.

If you ever need a sassy black woman movie to get your day going, look no further than Just Another Girl on the I.R.T. It's practically the mother of sassy black woman movies -- even though Chantel is just a young woman.

The plot is simple: Chantel lives in the Brooklyn projects. She gets A's and B's in school and she dreams of getting out of the poor neighborhood and going to college and becoming a doctor. She has a sassy, loud, dirty mouth. She thinks she's the sh*t. She thinks she's going somewhere. Where she does go is to a party where she meets Tyrone, who takes her home in his jeep and impregnates her when he won't wear a condom. Next thing you know, she's in the welfare line and she's not telling her family and friends that she's pregnant. Her boyfriend gets $500 from his uncle to pay for her abortion, but she won't go -- is she possibly going to keep the baby? She ends up spending the $500 on a shopping spree with her best friend, Natete.

It's your typical story of a stupid little girl in the projects who thinks she already knows everything about the world and she's gonna take it by storm and everything's gonna work out okay. She's gonna get what she wants, she thinks.

As terrible as this all may sound to you.... this wasn't a bad movie at all. I've gotta say -- it was better than any Tyler Perry movie I have ever seen. As silly and stereotypical as it may seem, there was a decent sense of realism to the film. I won't reveal what happens at the end of this film, but I was shocked, disturbingly so, to the core. This is a sad, gritty, yet whimsy little picture that seems like a little known Criterion Collection film or something. The movie is filmed in a way that doesn't really look bad for its low budget. It was even a Sundance winner. The main character, Chantel, breaks the fourth wall a lot, letting us know her opinion on things. It's like Ferris Bueller's Day Off if Ferris was a pregnant black girl named Ferrisha.

I'm not sure what else to say because I've only watched it once. I would probably be willing to watch it again or even own it. Just checking in to let you know that I discovered I haven't yet run out of interesting indie films from the 1990's with sassy black girls who scream loudly when their daddies slap them on the face or they hear about girlfriends catching HIV with the first guy they slept with.

Give the girl on the I.R.T. a try sometime -- but whatever you do, don't get her pregnant.