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Just Another Girl On The I.R.T

About the Film
Year Released: 
Running Time: 

Chantel is a seventeen-year-old Brooklynite who is beautiful, smart, popular and absolutely full of attitude. Like most girls her age, she wants it all and is determined to get it. Endearing - not. She is as insulting to the uptight Manhattanites who frequent the grocery store where she is employed, as she is to the Jewish high-school professor determined to teach an African American student body about the Holocaust, as she is to her boyfriend, who just doesn't have the right car Midway through the film, her joy ride takes a turn for what appears to be the worse, but she reacts to a life-changing event not with introspection and remorse, but with denial, narcissism, and renewed, well, attitude.

Bound to be compared with Spike Lee's She's Gotta Have It. Leslie Harris's portrait of a contemporary young African American woman rings perhaps truer in that she is an unidealized character created by a female filmmaker. Harris has the courage in this film to invent a character whom certain audiences may find unlikable. but that dislike may spring from envy. Chantel is a girl who may or may not act appropriately at all times. She is also a woman with incredible drive, generosity, insecurity, and the know-how ultimately to get everything she wants. "It's time for African American women to tell their stories in cinema." claims Harris. Perhaps this film will signal to audiences that it is time to listen.

-Andrea Alsberg

Source: Written by Andrea Alsberg, 

Poster Image: 
Film Director: 
Production Info
Reported or Estimated Budget: 
New York City, New York
Categories About the Film
coming of age
coming of age
urban life
Racial/Ethnic Affiliation: 
African American
North American
Filmmaking Team
Writer's Name: 
Leslie Harris
Leslie Harris, Erwin Wilson
Richard Conners
Primary Cast: 
Ariyan A. Johnson, Kevin Thigpen, Ebony Jerido, Chequita Jackson, Jerard Washington, Tony Wilkes, Karen Robinson, and Johnny Roses
Exhibition/Distribution Info
Miramax Films, Artisan Home Entertainment, Cipa, Live Home Video
Box Office Earnings: 
Where to find it/How to get it: 
Streaming (Netflix or other online sites)

Special Jury Recognition In Sundance Collection at UCLA

Personal Film Review and Cultural Context: 

Chantel Mitchell , brought to life by actress Ariyan Johnson Mcdaniel, has her head in the books but her mind on the boys in this 1992 film. Aware of her own erotic power from the sway in her walk to the pout of her lips, this seventeen year old girl is sure that she can have any man she wants. When she goes too far she puts her dreams of leaving her Brooklyn housing project and making a better life for herself at stake. Book smart and street savvy, for Chantel, what many young women need to be taught about self respect comes as common sense, for she is fallible but never weak.  She fulfills Director Leslie Harris’s storyline, emphasizing that not every Black teenager is the same and pregnancy doesn't have to be the end of a life. With an early 1990’s Hip-Hop and R&B soundtrack and the audience as her diary, Chantel along with her boisterous and fun friends give us insight into the way Black teenagers talk about and understand sex. Through this film Leslie Harris brings viewers back to an age when we all thought we knew all there was to know about living. Just Another Girl On The IRT will have you laughing and eager to give Chantel all the right answers.

Written by Quela Jules