“I’m not normal. You’re not normal.”

That line is the battle cry of liberation in Fitting In. Written and directed by Molly McGlynn, this tale of teenaged awakening focuses on the upheaval that detonates when Lindy (Maddie Ziegler) realizes she’s not what society calls “normal.”

Played with saucy realness by Ziegler, tentative bravado by Djouliet Amara, and gentle fortitude by Ki Griffin, Fitting In rejoices in dismantling the ideas of normalcy that the government or the guardians or the school board tells us is who we’re supposed to be. The creators behind the film are shouting: Society’s prescription for faux normalcy is the bad medicine taking us furthest away from ourselves.

In the inciting incident, Lindy learns she has Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser Syndrome (MRKH), a reproductive disorder that causes her to question who she is and what she wants, but ultimately to find joy in the irregularity. Fitting In is about figuring it out (or at least understanding that we are constantly in a state of figuring). That state of flux allows Lindy and the other “misfits” (of which we are many) to become more and more enchanted with ourselves.

The question becomes: Who is Lindy when she’s not acting against the backdrop of her mother’s regrets, her best friend’s hopes, or her boyfriend’s expectations? Here the coming-of-age is a ‘realization-of-self,’ the understanding no one defines you for you. This lesson is especially poignant but revelatory in the relationship between the mother (Emily Hampshire) and daughter.

McGlynn calls her film “my emotional horror story, without the blood,” and during the opening sequence she features a Diablo Cody line, “hell is teenage girls.” Those quotes make it easy to see why Fitting In was originally titled Bloody Hell. But being a woman on earth is more like purgatory—existing somewhere between good and what the hell. Redemption happens when we trade what everybody else says and accept defining ourselves for ourselves. I may be rambling, but this stream of consciousness is the ride Fitting In took me on. And since Janelle Monae, the monarch of Make Me Feel, produced the film, this analogy feels right.

I won’t say any more about the lessons in “figuring it out” that come out of Fitting In. You’ll have to explore the femme and queer upheaval within it for yourself. Afterward, maybe you’ll understand why it made me philosophical, or maybe you’ll find something poetic to scribble in your notebook the way, I’m sure, McGlynn and Monae intended.

Full review here