Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging
(cert tbc) tbcmin
After successfully tackling teenage tomboys in Bend it Like Beckham, Gurinder Chadha takes a step into younger territory with this adaptation of two of Louise Rennison’s bestselling books for girls. Looking at life from the perspective of 14-year-old Georgia Nicolson, the film lacks the sharp wit of slick American comedies such as Clueless and Mean Girls, but earns points for featuring actresses who really are the age of the characters they’re playing onscreen. Chadha pitches the tone just right for a young female audience, addressing some of the hang-ups and dramas of early womanhood with a surreal and winningly silly tone, but scuppers a lot of this good work by opting for a conventional Hollywood-style story arc and a conclusion that’s positively dripping with cheese.
Still, the director is clearly comfortable working with youngsters, and here she elicits an excellent comic performance from lead actress Georgia Groome; as the central focus in a large cast of new faces, the London To Brighton star exudes real talent and promise. Ultimately, though, while it’s good to see a film for school-aged girls that doesn’t automatically assume intimate knowledge of all things adult, Angus, Thongs . . . is unlikely to win much love from anyone outside of its specific target audience.
General release from Fri 25 Jul. See profile, page 50.