Ever since I first discovered the world of Youtubers and vlogging, I have been obsessed with Grace Helbig, Mamrie Hart and Hannah Hart. If you haven’t picked up on this yet, are you sure you’ve been paying attention? I am absolutely in love with these three amazing, warm and insanely creative women that I must watch and take in literally everything they make.
So, when they made their first movie, Camp Takota, I was so, so excited. At first, it took me a minute to get my head around them in character rather than themselves on Youtube. It was also such a unique experience watching this movie because, not only is it a high-quality independent film, but we also got to see behind the scenes before the movie came out, with Grace’s vlogging everyday. Nonetheless, I absolutely loved Camp Takota, for many, many reasons other than it featuring my all-time favorite Internet ladies.
Therefore, when I heard these three were making another movie, I was (again) beyond excited. Dirty 30 is the story of Kate (Mamrie) who will soon be turning 30 and realizes she has not accomplished all she thought she would be this time. Seeing Kate’s devastation over turning 30, her friends Evie (Grace) and Charlie (Hannah) decide to throw her an insane house-party birthday celebration, “that goes terribly right,” as they say.
Again, this movie took me a couple views to really get lost in the story because I kept seeing the three as their Youtube personalities, and I kept comparing it to Camp Takota. But after I was able to get out of this mindset, I found that Dirty 30 was wonderfully told story reminiscent of several favorite house-party movies. It was filled with lots of different story lines, hilariously colorful characters and important underlying lessons.
Let’s start with the plot: I absolutely loved the way the film progressed and how we really got a sense of Kate’s life as it stands (especially her dating life.) We are constantly learning more and more about each of the three girls’ lives that come together to create a comprehensive picture of them separately and together. We see Evie’s relationship with her husband and his family that is obviously rocky. We see Charlie who is constantly looking for new ways to expand her business while also quietly celebrating her engagement to her girlfriend. Smaller, separate plot lines are gradually introduced and I think they were masterfully incorporated. I was never overwhelmed or confused by the amount of stories.
The overall inspiration for the film was Mamrie’s own 30th birthday, for which she threw a “weapons party” for a bunch of friends where they all simply reveled in silliness. Mamrie has said in multiple interviews that the film is designed to remind viewers that the traditional view of turning 30 does not have to be filled with doom and gloom, and that those turning 30 should celebrate with silliness and fun to remind themselves that life is still full of fun and potential. And I definitely think the film reached it’s intended message. In the end, the party has not only shown Kate that her life as it is is fine and there is no need to worry, but it has also given Evie the strength and drive to finally leave her husband. And through it all, Charlie has offered love and support and garnered more momentum for both her business and relationship. (Side note: I watched an interview of the three on the film in which Hannah states that she loves that the film features a healthy and totally normalized lesbian relationship. And I totally agree, we seriously need more of this in major entertainment.) Throughout the film, the three are the pinnacle of female friendship (as they are in real life) and I think this is another important message: friendships with substance become even more important as you grow up because you will definitely need them. And I absolutely loved the ending.
While it was apparent that the three were attempting to squeeze in as many of their fellow Youtubers as possible, I’m okay with it. Not only are they all great in the film, but it proves the openness and supportive creative energy that pervades the Youtube community. I love it. I mean, seriously, Adam Lustick was fucking amazing. He was probably one of my most favorite characters in the entire movie — so awkward, so hilariously serious and so goth. He was absolutely perfect. And Anna Akana was scarily perfect as the bitchy former-high-school-bully. However, I think some of the cameos could have been done better or developed more. Flula’s cameo as the DJ fell a little flat for me and as much as I LOVE Rhett and Link, I think much more could have been done with their parts, and with a bit more finesse.
But this is possibly the only negative I have to say about Dirty 30. The film addressed serious topics without losing its overall fun and funny tone. It’s a quirky, female-power, romantic-comedy that’s perfect for a girl’s night (or just for a night when you need some cheering up.) I love it. And I love them. I can’t wait to see what they do next!
What did you think of Dirty 30? What do you think about Youtubers crossing over into other mediums such as literature and film? How will you celebrate your 30th birthday? Let’s talk.