Having purchased it over the weekend, I sat down on Tuesday night to watch Thirteen on DVD. I’d been longing to see the film for some time and, as I’m frighteningly close to picking up my novel again, a novel built on the interpersonal relationships of teens, I wanted to watch something that dealt with teenagers, with teenage girls in particular, so that I might be inspired and find myself swimming in a sea of new ideas. I’m happy to say that it worked.
It’s not an amazing film, but its portrayal of the two girls feels honest to me. I was not a teenage girl myself, so I’m not entirely sure its accurate, but I’ll take the writers’ word for it. One of the writers, after all, was a teenage girl who had just gone through this herself.
So, I was inspired. But I was also frightened, suddenly thinking about all of the situations my own children might get themselves into when they reach that age. For the first time since I discovered I would be a father, I felt a little bit uneasy at the thought of raising a girl. I had never felt that way before. In fact, I had always thought that I would prefer to raise a girl, not being a particularly masculine man myself, and feeling unsure of my ability to raise a boy.
It was an interesting film, and it provoked me. You can’t really ask for more on a Tuesday night spent alone inside a house that suddenly feels enormous and empty.