Just Another Girl on the I.R.T.
|Just Another Girl on the I.R.T|
|Directed by||Leslie Harris|
|Written by||Leslie Harris|
|Starring||Ariyan A. Johnson
|Distributed by||Miramax Films|
Just Another Girl on the I.R.T. is a 1992 American drama film written, produced, and directed by Leslie Harris. The film is about a teenager coping with life in the ghetto, sustained by her fierce desire to become successful and not a product of her environment. This film remains Harris' only film to date.
Chantel Mitchell (Ariyan A. Johnson) is an African-American, 17-year-old high school junior who lives in Brooklyn, New York. Chantel is very smart, although her sharp tongue, abundant ego, and occasional naivete undermine her efforts. Her ultimate dream is to leave her poor neighborhood, go to college, and eventually become a doctor. Throughout the movie, Chantel breaks the fourth wall and states that she wants to be seen as more than just another teenage black girl on the subway. The "I.R.T." in the film's title refers to the IRT Lexington Avenue Line of the New York City Subway system (I.R.T. stands for "Interborough Rapid Transit Company").
She lives with her struggling working class parents and her two younger brothers. With her mother working during the day and her father working the night shift and hence sleeping all day, Chantel is given the responsibility of taking care of her brothers in addition to going to school full-time and working a part-time job at a local grocery store. However, she earns mostly As and Bs in school, and is fully determined to receive an education beyond her primary one. Much to the chagrin of her teachers, she wants to graduate early in order to get into college as soon as possible. Her dream is tested with her constant clashes with her school's administration, and her recent romantic involvement with her seemingly rich boyfriend Tyrone (Kevin Thigpen). She becomes pregnant and undermines herself with false confidence and lack of real worldly knowledge.
- 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
- Karen Robinson as Debra Mitchell
- Johnny Roses as Mr. Weinberg
- Kisha Richardson as Lavonica
- Monet Dunham as Denisha
- Wendell Moore as Mr. Moore
- William Badgett as Cedric
The film received decidedly mixed reviews upon its release. As of September 2015, the film has a "fresh" rating of 62% at Rotten Tomatoes based on 21 reviews. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone magazine was among the critics to rave about the film, stating that it was "A cause for celebration! Explosively funny, deeply moving . . . 'Just Another Girl' is not just another movie".
Home entertainment release
It was released on VHS in October 1993, and on DVD in May 2002. The DVD contains no special features, including subtitles, and is still in print and available to own as of 2010. It is also available on Netflix as of 2015.