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Finn's Girl (DVD Review)

3 Aug, 2008 By: Anne Sherber

Finn's Girl

Street 8/5
$24.95 DVD
Not rated.
Stars Brooke Johnson, Yanna McIntosh, Maya Ritter.

When her lover dies, Dr. Finn Jeffries assumes responsibility for much of the dead woman's life. She becomes the attending physician at a birth control clinic that the dead woman began. And she becomes a single mother to Zelly, the child the two women were raising together.

As pressure at work builds, anti-abortion protesters invade every aspect of her life and her stepdaughter becomes an angry and rebellious adolescent, Finn is barely holding it together. And then someone takes a shot at her.

A police detail is assigned to watch the small family, but the harassment continues. Meanwhile, Zelly and her best friends are busy testing boundaries, smoking, shoplifting and flirting with sexuality, and the man who believes he is Zelly's biological father is threatening to take the girl away.

One of the most appealing things about Finn's Girl is the way in which it thumbs its nose at most Hollywood conventions. Although the kids behave badly, they don't end up dead or destined for a life of crime. Although Finn and a policewoman on her protection detail kiss and have an obvious attraction for one another, neither is tragically killed and at the end of the film. A happy ending seems possible.

The performances are uniformly good. Johnson projects strength and vulnerability as her character mourns the loss of her partner and tries to move forward in her life. And Ritter is brash and precocious and even a little annoying, as adolescents often are, as the child trying to figure out her place in a confusing world.

Finn's Girl has a couple of flaws, but it succeeds as an intimate character study of a non-traditional family coping with loss and trying to heal itself.

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