Sylvia Plath, Girl Detective Offers a Hilariously Cheery Take on the Poet’s College Years

Con­ven­tion­al wis­dom has it that one’s col­lege years are the best of one’s life, a max­im Sylvia Plath: Girl Detec­tive, above, seems to embrace.

The real Plath expe­ri­enced deep depres­sion and attempt­ed sui­cide while a stu­dent at Smith Col­lege. Her fic­tion­al counterpart—-played by writer-direc­tor Mike Sim­ses’ sis­ter and co-pro­duc­er, Kate—exudes a pert Nan­cy Drew spir­it.

She jug­gles mul­ti­ple admir­ers, glows with self-sat­is­fac­tion when her poem, “I Thought That I Could Not Be Hurt,” receives an A+, and cooly holds her ground against stat­uesque and seem­ing­ly bet­ter-heeled class­mate, Jane.

It does­n’t mat­ter that it’s nev­er par­tic­u­lar­ly clear what mys­tery this girl detec­tive is solv­ing… the Case of the Miss­ing Tuition Check per­haps.

(Eager to stay on the good side of her bene­fac­tress, Now, Voy­ager author Olive Hig­gins Prouty, she bright­ly acqui­esces to a shot of insulin from a giant met­al syringe.)

I love how she quotes from her own poet­ry with an inten­si­ty that should feel famil­iar to any­one who’s ever been called upon to read aloud from “Dad­dy” or “Lady Lazarus” in an under­grad­u­ate Women’s Stud­ies class.

(Speak­ing of Dad­dy, Plath’s gets a notable cameo. Shades of Hamlet’s father, but fun­ny!)

This Writ­ers Guild Asso­ci­a­tion New Media award win­ner is sup­port­ed by high pro­duc­tion val­ues that range from tony loca­tions and antique cars to Sim­ses’ shei­t­el.

Find Sylvia Plath, Girl Detec­tive added to our col­lec­tion, 4,000+ Free Movies Online: Great Clas­sics, Indies, Noir, West­erns, Doc­u­men­taries & More.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Hear Sylvia Plath Read Fif­teen Poems From Her Final Col­lec­tion, Ariel, in 1962 Record­ing

Sylvia Plath’s 10 Back to School Com­mand­ments (1953)

Lady Lazarus: Watch an Exper­i­men­tal Film Spo­ken by Sylvia Plath

The Mir­rors of Ing­mar Bergman, Nar­rat­ed with the Poet­ry of Sylvia Plath

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, illus­tra­tor, and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine. Her play, Fawn­book, opens in New York City lat­er this fall. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday

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