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Chemical Hearts

Teen angst permeates this somber drama charting the troubled romance between a high school senior (Austin Abrams) and a new classmate (Lili Reinhart) who has transferred in the wake of a car accident that cost the life of her boyfriend and left her both physically and emotionally scarred. While writer-director Richard Tanne's adaptation of Krystal Sutherland's 2016 novel "Our Chemical Hearts" can be credited with tackling significant topics, including grief, the varied travails of adolescence and, implicitly, the temptation to suicide, it's partially undermined artistically by rhetoric that falls flat and sabotaged morally by the inclusion of material totally unsuitable for any but grown-ups, thus nullifying its potential value to what is presumably its target audience.

Watch out for: Brief semi-graphic underage sexual activity, contraception, a benign view of drug use and of an incidental lesbian relationship, same sex kissing, mature references, including to pornography, a couple of profanities, considerable rough and crude language.

Rated: A-III, adults; MPAA: R

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2020