||It was entirely possible to be a teenage girl in 1975 and have no idea who the Runaways were. But even if you'd never heard them, you wouldn't have had any trouble understanding what the Runaways were about: This was a bunch of tough-looking Los Angeles girls who may have been brought together by a sleazy, exploitative impresario named Kim Fowley. Nonetheless, their raggedly sensuous sound was a "no" rather than an acquiescent "yes," the sound of not waiting around for life to happen. They were neither the first nor the last all-girl outfit to refuse to wait around -- the Shangri-Las had gotten there before, and Sleater-Kinney would come later, to name just two. But the Runaways' brash charisma was specific to its era: With their jagged feathered hair and satin jumpsuits, they were girls you wanted to be, less sugar and spice than glamour and sweat...My hunch is that a lot of viewers who have watched Fanning grow up in the movies -- many, but probably not all, of them men -- are going to feel uncomfortable seeing her in a role that eroticizes her so frankly. But I think that discomfort speaks to the noisy shout of freedom that the Runaways sounded themselves: At what point is a little girl allowed to be not just a young woman, but her own person? Someday she's going to demand the keys to the car, and not just literally...That unspoken restlessness is everywhere in The Runaways, in the way Stewart captures Jett's slightly hunched, long-legged stride, and in the way Fanning's Cherie takes the stage during a show in Japan, wearing a creamy satin bustier and stockings, to sing the band's jailbait-heartbreaker anthem "Cherry Bomb." As the real Cherie Currie did, Fanning (who does her own singing in the film) wraps the microphone cord around her leg, only to unwrap it and whip it around again, a snake-charmer routine that's also an obvious challenge: You think you want this, but can you handle it? That challenge isn't just a sexual come-on: It's a basic question about how to move forward the business of living. Teenagers aren't ready for life, which is exactly why they want to jump in and get on with things. The Runaways is all about taking that leap -- and being OK with the bruises after the inevitable fall.