Kids is not for the faint of heart. It's a very dark film. I'd say it's one of the more uncomfortable watches I've had in a while. It showcases a day in the life of a group of teens, mainly the grossly unlikable Telly (Leo Fitzpatrick) who makes a hobby out of deflowering young virgins. When one of his past conquests learns that she's HIV-positive and he was her only partner, Telly's quest to bed his friend's virgin sister becomes a race against time that ends in tragedy, in more ways than one.
Kids shines a spotlight on the lives of sexually active young teens in New York City; lives that, to them at last, are consequence-free and never-ending. They're screwing, they're partying, they're taking drugs, and leaving a trail of unintended victims in their wake. The heart of the film is Jenny (Chloë Sevigny, in a truly raw performance), the one who discovers she's HIV-positive after sleeping with Telly. We follow her as she tries to track Telly down and confront him, but by the time she reaches him, she knows nothing she'll say will have any impact anyway, and the film ends with an aggressive, uncomfortable rape scene that will stay with me for quite some time, regrettably.
This film takes the viewer down a dark path, one that's not often traveled in cinema. It's rated a fair NC-17, as it deals with not just promiscuous people, but promiscuous children at the height of the AIDS crisis. There's virtually no likable characters and no plot, but the film isn't story-driven. It's character-driven, but by horrible people who use each other like they're disposable. Kids is not a film the casual moviegoer should undertake, but I think a lot of young people could learn something from it.