I think the principal's graduation day speech says it all. I've just watched a documentary about another generation of poor southern white trash doomed to spend their days scraping by working for WalMart and blaming others for their failures while watching Fox News. Terribly sad and more than a bit frightening.
Its hard to believe that Kati would be any kind of interesting lead without the rare flashback to her younger self reading poetry. Maybe the joy found as a viewer is trying to find the beautiful spirit shown to us in her childhood somewhere in Kati's 18 year old self. But its hard not to feel only sorrow as we watch that spirit shift to celebrating the mundane and stereotyped expectations. Muddled tone and execution.