Movie News & Reviews

These girls rock, but in snippets

Talk about irresistible subject matter: Adolescent and pre-adolescent girls go to camp to be in a rock band.

There they meet, form bands, and rehearse and compose for a week, culminating in a raucous, riotous, all-girl rock-out of a concert. In the meantime, topics of self-esteem, self-image and the rules of sisterly engagement enter the discussion — camp as fun and enlightenment, guitars and drums replacing outdoor sports.

That's the crux of the documentary Girls Rock!, which follows the experiences of dozens of campers.

The movie's message is a wise one, attesting to the healing, transformational power of art of every stripe, as well as aiming some well-deserved slams at gender prejudice and misconception. The band sessions prove apt vehicles for discussing ­various issues faced by young women.

It's fun, mourning at one point for the great female rockers of the 1990s and such earlier giants as Janis Joplin, Grace Slick and Patti Smith. But the documentary falls short on its content. There's too little clarity or thoroughness in the ­biographies, too few prolonged scenes of the girls creating their songs. The quick-take editing results more in snippets than in full scenes.