Picks and Pans Review: Our Song

UPDATED 06/04/2001 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 06/04/2001 at 01:00 AM EDT

Kerry Washington, Anna Simpson, Melissa Martinez

Lanisha, Joycelyn and Maria, three 15-year-olds living in a gritty section of Brooklyn, are spending their free time during a recent August hanging out in the park by the projects, talking about clothes, boys and their futures. All three have jobs: Lanisha (Washington) and Maria (Martinez) at a bakery, Joycelyn (Simpson) at a makeup store. And as members of the Jackie Robinson Steppers Marching Band, a real-life 60-piece group in the neighborhood, they are practicing for an appearance at a Labor Day parade.

Our Song is a small, richly compelling drama in which nothing much--and yet everything--happens. By summer's end the contours of this trio's friendship will have shifted dramatically as one learns she's pregnant (when she tells the father, the boy doesn't even remove his headphones), another switches schools and a third drifts off to other friends. Director-writer Jim McKay (Girls Town) captures exactly how teenage girls talk and behave and what it's like to be almost grown up but still need a grown-up's counseling. (R)

Bottom Line: A Song worth hearing

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