What we can all learn from Juli Baker

Anyone who knows anything about my taste in film knows that Rob Reiner’s Flipped (2010) is one of my favourite films of all time. The following is an extract from a piece I knocked together one afternoon about why I love Flipped so much. Feedback welcome.

One of the reasons I love Flipped is that Juli Baker (Madeline Carroll), despite being a fictional character, is something of an idol. One of the highpoints of the film is a scene in which Juli, upset at Bryce’s failure to stand up for her, realises that “Bryce had never been a friend to [her],” refuses to accept his heartfelt apology and tells him that he’s a coward.

Bryce continually fails Juli over the course of the film, often in the most heartbreaking of ways and when she genuinely need his friendship the most. It’s for this reason, rather than his initial disinterest in her, that it’s so gratifying and empowering to watch her reject him – entirely in spite of her strong feelings for him.

Juli is such a remarkable character because she deals with Bryce’s callous disinterest in the most incredibly mature, optimistic, empowering way possible. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, she develops a stronger sense of her own individuality and identity: taking a stand to save ‘her’ sycamore tree, raising her hens and sharing the eggs around town, working on her family’s front yard, and growing closer to her father. It’s this strong sense of self that makes Juli so extraordinary and so appealing as a character.

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