If you’re looking for a movie that is equal parts sweet and total gut punch, look no further than the new movie Babyteeth. Starring Eliza Scanlen (Little Women) and Toby Wallace (The Society), the film follows a young girl with cancer who’s falling in love for the first time while trying to live the last few months of her life to the fullest extent that she can. It will wreck you, and you’ll love it for doing so.
If you haven’t heard much about Babyteeth, here’s the basic gist. Milla, an Australian teenager, meets Moses, a young drug dealer, and against seemingly every societal rule, she falls in love with him. Her parents are not thrilled about it. Knowing their daughter only has a few months to live, they don’t want her spending time with someone like Moses and potentially getting hurt in the process. But eventually, they see how happy he makes her, and they decide to let Moses move in with them. Chaos ensues.
Babyteeth works because it’s a potent reminder of what it’s like to be in love for the very first time. Milla and Moses’ relationship defies pretty much all logic. The list of things they have in common ends after being Australian and under 25 years old. But that’s what makes young love so fun to watch, right? They couldn’t be more different, but they find each other and fall for each other nonetheless.
There’s one scene where Milla sneaks out of the house to spend the night out with Moses, and the quiet act of rebellion is so familiar that it seems like you might have lived it yourself. Remember taking a very calculated risk when you were 16 because you just couldn’t *not* follow the potential love of your life around your town for one night? Don’t tell my parents this, but I certainly do!
What makes Babyteeth different than its peers, though, is that the stakes are so much higher. Sure, when you’re a teenager, you think the stakes on everything are high, which is what all the movies in this genre are predicated on. But Milla is sick enough that literally anything she does could be her last [fill in the blank] thing. It’s not just about her trying to find herself but also making sure she’s on good terms with her parents and deciding what Moses means to her in whatever time she has left. Her parents feel like she’s slipping away, but really, she’s trying to become an adult in the little time she has left. It’s like whatever other coming-of-age stories you’ve seen but with the drama turned up 10 notches.
Babyteeth is a movie that, especially in its final moments, will blow you away. If you’re looking for something that’ll have you reaching for the tissues, you’ve definitely found it.
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