Parents' Guide to

The Girl Allergic to WiFi

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Cursing, mature themes, drinking in so-so Filipino romance.

Movie NR 2018 110 minutes
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While certainly timely, this film gets too sucked into all the melodramatic cliches of romantic movies to really take full advantage of the premise. In other words, Norma (the titular "Girl Allergic to WiFi ") having to choose between the jock brother or the nerd brother takes on increasingly more significance than her getting a bloody nose any time she has WiFi service on her smartphone. Indeed, despite scenes of 21st century teens "roughing it" by resorting to now-Luddite forms of communication such as tape recorders, typewriters, and landline phones, it feels like an opportunity to really address the over-reliance on smartphones and social media gets overshadowed by a cliched storyline and stock teen romcom characters.

The story itself is generic and straight out of the '80s. There are scenes where Aries, the aforementioned "nerd teen," might as well cut to the chase and channel his inner Andrew McCarthy and emotively wail, "I love her, maaaan!" to Leo, his aforementioned "jock teen" brother. And Aries' tomboy best friend might as well go by "Ducky." Furthermore, the movie's final leg of the journey to reach the theme of "eternal love" comes off as hamfisted and manipulative. The result is a movie that could have and should have been so much more than it actually turns out to be.

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