Before you watch this exclusive clip from Crystal Moselle’s Skate Kitchen, I just want to say that the film is a wheels-on-pavement blast where the stakes are never much higher than gaining and retaining the friendship of a group of girls who truly get you. I include that preamble because by the time you reach this scene, where up-and-coming skater Camille (Rachelle Vinberg) does some dangerous rooftop stunts to impress aspiring photographer Devon (Jaden Smith), you’ll have watched Camille spend the last hour trying to work her way into the titular group of rad skater girls, a quest so fun that you may start bracing yourself for the inevitable indie-movie tragedy. And isn’t Camille jumping a little too close to the ledge of that building?
Well, reader, that tragedy doesn’t come. Skate Kitchen doesn’t punish these girls for having fun, or dreaming big. There are problems, sure, but they’re human-sized ones like taking friendships for granted or never quite thinking through your romantic entanglements. If you want 105 minutes of confident, contagious self-discovery without all the wipeouts, you could hardly do better than Moselle’s film, which comes out on August 10.