Review by Sean Boelman
The overturning of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court in 2022 was one of the most devastating developments of the past year. The anthology film Give Me an A is a rallying cry designed to challenge audiences to think of the effects of this decision through horror, sci-fi, and dark comedy — and it is extremely effective.
Give Me an A was created as a response to the overturning of Roe v. Wade. It is made up of sixteen shorts, each by a female director, voicing their unique concerns with the future given the new restrictions on women’s rights. It’s passionate, authentic, and important in a way that few anthologies are.
The movie gets off to a running start with what might be its strongest segment: “The Voiceless.” This horror short may be simple and overt, but it’s exactly the type of body horror that one would expect from an anthology film with this theme. “The Last Store” and “The Walk” are also extremely unnerving as psychological horror.
Other segments aren’t scary at all, opting for more of a sketch comedy approach. The segment “DTF” is undeniably a highlight, featuring a couple wanting to hook up who must have a prenuptial-esque sex contact before intercourse. More purely comedic highlights are “God’s Plan” and “Vasectopia.”
Surprisingly, there are far more segments in Give Me an A that work than ones that don’t. Even the weaker links in the anthology are at least intriguing — the reason they fall flat often being that they swing too big, attempting to do more than their time and budget allow. One example is the short “Medi-Evil,” which contains some of the movie’s most intriguing imagery, but is a bit too ambiguous for its own good. Other segments are simply too short to make much of an impression.
Out of the fifteen shorts (and wraparound segment), there is an impressive variety in the directorial voices being showcased. The structure allows each of the filmmakers to have their moment to shine, and many of them show great potential. It’s especially impressive considering how quickly the movie was made after the repeal of Roe v. Wade.
The wraparound segment is rather weak compared to many other anthology films, but it culminates in an entertaining and well-choreographed musical number finale. This is where the movie’s quick production schedule shows the most, as it feels like it was created solely as transitional material rather than full-on connective tissue.
Like any anthology film, there are some segments that don’t work in Give Me an A, but as a whole, it’s certainly above average. It helps that the passion and urgency oozes out of every single short, resulting in a provocative movie that absolutely demands to be seen.
Give Me an A screened at the 2023 Overlook Film Festival, which ran March 30-April 2 in New Orleans, LA.