Martha Coolidge’s The City Girl reps a hardnosed, if frequently funny, look at a young woman’s attempt to forge a career and self-esteem. It’s a predecessor to same director’s 1983 indie hit, Valley Girl.
Lead character of Anne is a young lady who, in an awfully serious way, is trying to get a foot up as a professional photographer. Joey, her sympathetic but very straight boyfriend, indulges her to a point but would rather have her fill the conventional woman’s role, something it’s obvious she won’t do.
Most bracing aspect of Coolidge’s treatment of the relatively plain material is her rigorously objective, unindulgent perspective.
In line with the director’s approach, Laura Harrington, who plays Anne, does not sentimentalize her character.