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Film / Picture Day

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Principal: You can't stay in high school forever, Claire.
Claire: You did...

A 2012 Canadian teen comedy film written, directed and co-produced by Kate Melville. Claire (Tatiana Maslany) is forced to repeat her senior year in high school, but is more interested in smoking pot, pulling pranks, and shacking up with Jim (Steven McCarthy), the leader of a local band. As her "grade 13" commences, Claire realizes that one of the incoming freshman — nerdy, introspective Henry (Spencer Van Wyck) — was a kid she used to babysit. She takes it upon herself to give Henry a popularity makeover, completely unaware of his true feelings towards her.

Invokes (but shouldn't be confused with) the actual Picture Day trope.

This film provides examples of:

  • The Atoner: At the end of the film, Claire begs the principal for one last chance at graduating high school, assuring her that she now has support and motivation thanks to Henry's friendship.
  • Black Gal on White Guy Drama: Averted. Claire hooks white 'n' nerdy Henry up with black schoolmate Alison; nobody, including Henry's parents, even bat an eyelash.
  • Cellphones Are Useless: Claire and her mother both have pay-as-you-go cell phones, and are constantly trying to hoard their remaining minutes to save money. Later, Claire compounds the problem by using her phone as an MP3 player - and runs down the battery while stranded in the middle of nowhere.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Claire's got a bit of a potty mouth.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Claire and Henry share in the snarkiness. The difference is that Henry's snark falls firmly into Self-Deprecation territory.
    • There's also Bingo Hall Guy
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Claire is known around the school as "Twist-Off," due to her penchant for giving guys hand jobs. Not surprisingly, it's also her Berserk Button.
  • Everybody Must Get Stoned: Claire and Henry reunite when she catches him behind the school, smoking a joint of home-grown weed.
  • Everyone Hates Math: Claire actually needs to make up several credits (including History and a gym credit) but Calculus is the bane of her existence.
  • The Eeyore: Claire's mom is so wrapped up in her own depression, she barely acknowledges her daughter. Leads to a One Scene, Two Monologues moment when Claire comes down to breakfast the morning after fighting with a classmate gets her suspended:
    Mom: What day is it?
    Claire: I got suspended.
    Mom: [Beat] There's muffins on top of the fridge...
  • Fake Band: Averted. The Elastocitizens were a genuine Toronto band, and Steven McCarthy (Jim) was their actual singer.
  • Groupie Brigade: Claire discovers - much too late - that she is one these with Jim.
  • Helium Speech: One night in bed, Claire and Jim suck helium and talk dirty to one another.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: After Claire gets stranded following her leaving the Elastocitizens tour, Henry arrives in a cab to take her home.
  • Letting the Air out of the Band: Five years earlier, the Elastocitizens were buzz-heavy up-and-comers, but have since settled for hometown gigs. They jump at an opportunity to tour (despite the strain it puts on the band members' real lives and jobs), but then see the road trip turn into a disaster of "This is Spın̈al Tap" proportions.
  • Loners Are Freaks: The other students' take on Henry. Claire's makeover of Henry tries to turn that to his advantage. Later, she tells Henry's potential love interest that he previosuly attempted to commit suicide and that he was kicked out of his last school because he was selling LSD.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Claire to Henry some what. Ultimately, he becomes a reason for her to want to try at school.
  • My Beloved Smother: Henry's mom.
  • Nerds Are Virgins: Yep, that'd be Henry.
  • Parent with New Paramour: Claire's mom has a couple of these. Claire is mortified to discover Jim may be one of them.
  • Picture Day: Henry has his - right after Claire dyes his hair blue.
  • The Prankster: Early in the film, the principal recites a list of Claire's bad behavior (pulling the fire alarm, stealing costumes from the drama club, etc.). Claire is more amused than ashamed.
  • Science Fair: Henry convinces his mother the chemistry setup in the laundry room is for just that. In fact, he's brewing LSD.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Henry keeps a shoe box full of mementos of Claire he's collected over the years, neatly bagged and categorized. Not surprisingly, Claire goes postal when she finds out.
  • Suburbia/Small Town Boredom: Claire, Henry, and company all lead lower-middleclass lives. The only after-school job available appears to be the local bingo hall, and nighttime recreation consists of hanging out and getting drunk/stoned.
  • Talking in Bed:
    • Claire and Jim, several times. See also Helium Speech.
    • Claire and Henry, after she has taken his virginity. He informs her matter-of-factly that she wasn't as good as he thought she'd be.