The two words most often screamed through a shut door at a sibling or parent are oft repeated in this remarkable coming of age story from writer and director Lindsay MacKay. “I’m Changing” could have easily been an alternate, (although by no means as good) title for this film.
I couldn’t help but think of the way Joss Whedon would use monsters to illustrate the daily horrors of high school life when ever Sam (Julia Sarah Stone) headed towards the pool change room. I can barely stomach the idea of going in one now myself – the wet floors, the ever so faint smell of mold, the hard benches that are a bit to short to sit on comfortably, the slimy tiles and hint of chlorine over everything so you never quite know if you are clean. Also, the lighting is terribly unflattering. That space is horrific enough without adding other teenage girls to the mix. Once you add the ever present dread caused by wondering what these other girls would say to Sam every time she was alone in the room with them you got to a point where you could feel people in the audience shifting uncomfortably every time our lead climbs out of the pool and heads to the change room.
Sam’s home life is plagued by an older brother who is trying to be helpful by warning her about an inappropriate relationship, but ultimately just ends up annoying her, and a mother who is confounded by her mercurial moods.
Her simplest relationships are formed with the residents of the retirement complex where she is volun-told to work with her mother cleaning rooms. Like Sam the residents are frustrated, at times emotional and also have no control over who enters their private spaces.
Wet Bum is a lovely, subtle portrayal of one of the most awkward periods for a young person.