I loved this documentary it was like watching a mini soap opera with children. It was also sad though to see how the concept of a "happily ever after" fairytale ending was both a source of hope and a curse for Laura-Anne. Starting off with "Once upon a time in a faraway land/ lived a beautiful princess named Laura-Anne" immediately the viewer is saddened by the realization that this princess' world is actually a poverty-stricken area comprised of two streets in Siddick, a cold and harsh coal-mining town. What struck me most was how young these children were yet how old they felt they needed to act, and of course failed immensely and were extremely immature and hurtful. The children seemed to feel the need to grow up fast when obviously they, especially Laura-Anne, weren't ready. As she says, "Too old for the children’s party/ too young to be a teen/ Laura-Anne was feeling stranded/ stuck somewhere inbetween" after Jamie stands her up for the school dance. Ben he acts old enough to go out with multiple girls and give Laura-Anne pearl earrings, but still he is just a boy who find his greatest happiness in digging up worms. Jamie seems even older and is able to beat up Ben, as Laura-Anne says, Jamie was “a man of action, a man who could not be beaten” but later we realize that Jamie is so strong and grown up because his father beat him. Meanwhile Laura-Anne writes "I heart ___" in the sand for her boys and writes love notes like the one to Boston.
Of course as these children try to act as adults the perception of beauty as nearly a virtue comes into play. For example Laura-Anne talks about waking up early to make herself ‘look good’ and there is the interview with Boston as he looks into the mirror analyzing his hair, facial structure, eye color and says that he thinks girls like him for his cheeks.
My favorite lines were when Ben sent Laura-Anne a note saying he wanted to "take some space" (which is hysterical in itself for an 11-year-old) and Laura-Anne shows her dad. Laura-Anne then says, "There may be other fish in the sea/ that’s what her daddy taught/ which is all very well if she wanted/ to go out with a fish, she thought." She shows herself to be so wise and rational and yet is so willing to throw her heart after these three boys (Ben, Boston, Jamie). However of course reality confronts her in the end when she says, "I’ve no boyfriend, im so cold and glum, but ive heard things end happily in fairytales and I hope someday my prince will come" and there is a shot of her trailing behind Jamie and other peers. The fairy tale that gives her hope and the Disney - dream of unconditional easy love is the same fairytale that keeps her expectations so high at such a young age and sets her up for disappointment, as when she says, "All boys wanted, she realized/ wasn’t love, but to be fishermen".