Erin’s Guide to Kissing Girls is an adorable coming-of-age queer film about middle school crushes.
It’s Heartstopper meets Eight Grade. Writer and director Julianna Notten’s new film, Erin’s Guide to Kissing Girls, is the movie we all needed growing up.
According to the film’s synopsis, the story follows Erin (Elliot Stocking), the only out person in her grade, and Liz (Jesyca Gu), a fellow comic nerd and track star. With middle school ending, the girls’ friendship is tested when Liz is accepted to a private school, and Erin falls hard for new girl and ex-child-star, Sydni (Rosali Annikie). Erin believes the only way to save herself from certain doom is to ask Sydni to the big dance. But the plan goes awry when she starts to lose Liz along the way.
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A Love Letter to One’s Younger Self
Notten is a Toronto-based, award-winning, queer filmmaker and co-founder of Switch Hitter Films. She said she made the film as a love letter to their younger self.
“Growing up, I was exposed to the usual assortment of girl-meets-boy narratives. It was an all too familiar story, and began to feel like the only one. Moreover, coming-of-age films with queer characters were rooted in tragedy or centered around a stereotypical portrayal of coming out.”
Notten wanted to breathe new life into strong, queer female characters in media. “I wanted to create a character who was confident in her sexuality without sensationalizing it, whose problems reached beyond the fact that she was attracted to other girls. Many queer people around the world still face a wide range of difficulties, regardless of their age, and while Erin does face isolation and misunderstanding from her classmates for being the only out person in her class, I ultimately wanted Erin to be free to be herself and accepted by the people in her life she cares about most. When queer women tell their own stories on screen, everyone stands to benefit.”