Follow TV Tropes


Film / Skate Kitchen

Go To

Skate Kitchen is a 2018 Coming of Age drama film directed and written by Crystal Moselle. It is her first feature film and second major release, following the documentary The Wolfpack.

The film had its premiere on January at the 2018 Sundance Festival, and it was picked for a theatrical release in August.

It tells the story of Camille, a teenage girl from Long Island who enjoys skateboarding (and is pretty good at it), but has no friends of her own to share her passion. She then goes to New York City to meet the all-female crew Skate Kitchen during one of their sessions, and is warmly welcomed into their group. In New York, she not only lives her desire to do what she loves, but also goes through exciting experiences of young life alongside her new friends.

In a case of Based on a True Story, the Skate Kitchen is an actual skateboarding crew in which Crystal Moselle found inspiration for the movie. The main cast is almost entirely formed by its members, although they play fictional versions of themselves.


Check out the official website for the film.

A TV series based on the film, Betty, by HBO began airing in 2020, with most cast members reprising the roles they had. Its second season aired in 2021.

Skate Kitchen contains examples of:

  • Adult Fear: Camille’s mom was rightly afraid and upset when her daughter ran away to New York City by herself, staying in the house of people she only recently met.
  • Aerith and Bob: Janay, Indigo, Ruby and Kurt (for a woman) alongside the more common Camille, Devon, Eliza and Quinn.
  • Agony of the Feet: Janay hurts her ankle while trying a trick at a place they don’t usually skate, and has to spend the summer at home while it heals.
  • Better as Friends: What Devon thinks about his relationship with Janay. And later, with Camille.
  • Befriending the Enemy: Camille starts hanging out with Devon when they meet as colleagues at work, much to the chagrin of the Skate Kitchen girls — especially Janay, who had a bad break up with him after a long on-off relationship.
  • Advertisement:
  • Big Applesauce: Even though it isn’t the only city depicted, New York City is the most important setting for the film. Understandably so, since the actual Skate Kitchen is based there.
  • Coming-of-Age Story: A lonely and timid teenager from Long Island finds friendship in a group of girl skaters from New York City and comes out of her shell.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: Camille is caught between acting on her crush for Devon and being loyal to Janay, who didn’t get over him.
  • Did Not Get The Guy: Camille didn’t end up with Devon.
  • Dramatization: The film is heavily based on the real Skate Kitchen and their actual personalities, but some elements were thrown in for the drama (there wasn’t a Devon in real life, for example).
  • Dueling Movies: With mid90s. Being two Coming of Age skate films released in 2018, the comparisons were inevitable.
  • Eek, a Mouse!!: How Janay reacts to the pet rat Kurt brought to her house to make her feel better.
  • Everybody Smokes: Even Camille, eventually.
  • Friendship Moment: Loads of them, most notably when Camille confides to the girls she doesn’t feel lonely anymore now that she’s part of the Skate Kitchen.
  • Groin Attack: In a rare female example, Camille is hit in the groin by her own board while skating (or “credit carded”, in skating lingo). It doesn’t go well.
  • I Don't Want to Ruin Our Friendship: Devon’s reason to not pursue anything more than a friendship with Camille.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Camille’s motivation for attending the Skate Kitchen meeting at LES.
  • Informed Attribute: Devon is constantly called a jerkass by the girls in Skate Kitchen, but he’s never shown being anything but a decent person on screen.
  • In-Universe Soundtrack: The girls listen to "Move Your Feet" by Junior Senior in a boombox while they skate through NYC streets.
  • Kissing Under the Influence: When a drunk Devon arrives at his room late at night, Camille takes advantage of his state to kiss him.
  • Like Brother and Sister: This is how Devon sees Camille, despite her wanting something more.
  • Love Triangle: Camille likes Devon, who was in a relationship with Janay, who still has feelings for him. Devon’s feelings for Camille are left ambiguous for the most part of the film.
  • My Beloved Smother: Camille didn’t even want to spend the weekends with her mom when she was a kid and lived with her dad. As she grew up, their conflicts became even more evident, especially after she forbids Camille to skate after her accident. They seem to be finally on good terms by the end of the movie.
  • No Antagonist: Although Devon is a source of conflict between Camille and the rest of Skate Kitchen, he never actively antagonizes any of them.
  • Only One Name: Everyone is called by their first name only.
  • Regretful Traitor: After Devon didn’t return her feelings, Camille realizes betraying the girls’ trust wasn’t worth it and sends an apologetic message to their crew’s Instagram.
  • Shout-Out: The banana in the poster is a reference to the Skate Kitchen logo. There’s also a reference in the film itself, when the girls eat bananas in their first skate session with Camille (and if you pay attention, they have the banana logo in their boards too).
  • Shrinking Violet: Camille starts out as a shy, stuttering and soft spoken teenager who looks constantly lost. Plus, her sense of style makes her look younger than she actually is.
  • True Companions: The Skate Kitchen. Even after they fight with Camille, the girls gladly accept her back into the crew when she apologizes.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Janay and the girls deliver one of these to Camille, when they find out she’s been hanging with Devon and his crew behind their backs despite him hurting Janay before.
  • Your Mom: Kurt is very fond of this kind of insult.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: