Film Review by Francesca Di Fonte
ITET Tomasi di Lampedusa, Sant’Agata Militello (ME)
This film Wonder When You’ll Miss Me (Mi chiedo quando ti mancherò, Francesco Fei, 2019) based on Amanda Davis’ book by the same name, tells the story of a young girl, Amanda, who creates a sort of imaginary, protective friend in order to survive a tough adolescence, a friend who will help her to make the ‘right’ decisions.
But very soon, this friend takes over her life marginalizing her and making her feel quite insecure. However, thanks to what she experiences, Amanda manages to overcome barriers and her insecurity, and face life with determination and courage, managing to make decisions of her own and not merely following those of her imaginary friend.
I like this film a lot because it mirrors the reality of today’s society. I interpreted the figure of the imaginary friend as a paranoid figure, full of complexes; she represents our toxic self, I would suggest. I think that during adolescence or when we’re growing up, all of us have had this voice in our head. This voice tried, or still tries, to make us feel as if we’re never good enough and to take away our self-esteem, making us panic over futile thoughts, like ‘If you go to the seaside everyone will criticize how you look’ or ‘Why bother trying? They are better than you’. Thoughts that make us feel like extras in our own lives and not what we really are, protagonists, because we see the lives of others as perfect. But they are not; dream lives do not exist. Every one of us suffers and is insecure about something.
A line in the film that really struck me was ‘a thoroughbred never competes with a pony’. I don’t know whether the director wanted us to notice it or not, but it made me think. I think he wanted to compare the thoroughbreds to the popular girls and the ponies to the more insecure and introspective girls; so I think he wanted to underline the fact that pretty girls start off with an advantage and there’s not even any point the so-called ponies trying to beat them because the thoroughbreds will always win, in every contest that life throws at us.
I would have preferred it if Amanda had accepted herself as she was and hadn’t changed to please a handsome man, but I appreciated how she became aware of herself, of being an enterprising woman, and above all an independent one. I didn’t expect the ending – I was really struck by it. If I had to review the film on a scale of 1-5, I would give it 4.5 because I would have promoted body positivity but given the ending, I understood why this decision was made. Even if our body changes, our mind stays the same!
It is difficult to change the way we think. Indeed, clearly, by the end of the film we realize that while people might largely care about our external appearance, it doesn’t mean we won’t find that person who appreciates us for our whole self.