Even the best-laid plans need an insurance policy. In this urban indie, we meet Chantel Mitchell (Ariyan A. Johnson), a 17-year-old with lots of bravado and every smarts but street smarts, despite growing up in the hood. Chantel’s mother works days and her father works nights, while she works part-time at a local grocery store in between school, studying, and taking care of her two little brothers. As busy as she is, Chantel finds time for her boyfriend, Tyrone (Kevin Thigpen), a boy whom the audience can clearly see is an aimless pretty-boy poser, but with whom she’s infatuated.
Chantel constantly breaks the fourth wall (read: speaks directly to the viewing audience), staying boldly that her life will one day be more than what it is. Despite issues with her school’s administration, Chantel is an honour roll student, and plans to graduate early and become a doctor. She assures us that she will absolutely not get pregnant and become just another girl on the I.R.T. (interborough rapid transit). She will get out of the hood, get out of Brooklyn, and be the Black American dream come true.
Chantel, and the audience, soon learns that dreams are just wishes, and only results matter. Despite her intelligence and all her potential, Chantel is really just a teenage girl, and no amount of schooling cat cover the spread to lack of wisdom and maturity. Chantel is tried, tested, and found lacking. In Just Another Girl on the I.R.T., The goal of writer and director Leslie Harris is to teach the audience what all of those other girls stuck in the ghetto failed to teach Chantel, and the lesson is humbling.
I give this one 4.25 stars.