Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging is a British teen rom-com directed by Gurinder Chadha, based on the novel series by Louise Rennison. The plot follows the life of Georgia Nicolson (Georgia Groome), as she tries to get a boyfriend and plan her 15th birthday party, plenty of hijinks and misunderstandings happen along the way.
This is by no means a terrible film, it is watchable enough, though I did have a large amount of problems with the film and some of its themes and messages. Firstly 14 seems a bit young for a lot of the things these kids seem to be into, to illustrate my point, there is similar subject matter in seminal British comedy series The Inbetweeners and the characters in that are much older. I suppose the counter argument to my point would be that it isn’t as sexual as The Inbetweeners and that is true they mention intimate aspects, but not sex itself, though it is still slightly uncomfortable seeing them come out of the mouth of a 14-year-old.
Moreover, the film makes getting a partner seem like a life or death issue which I understand for some teens at that age it is, but these teens seem focused on it to an unhealthy degree. Also the way they go about getting boyfriends and the whole world these young kids seem to be in revolves around very questionable morality, like it goes beyond selfish at times to boys and girls manipulating each other to further their own aims, which is realistic in some senses I suppose, but it feels jarring when you consider what kind of film this is.
To that end, the film’s ending is as picturesque as you would expect, Georgia gets the guy, the mean girl who was cheated on and dumped at a moment’s notice is defeated and Georgia’s parents are staying together; it is all tied up in a neat little bow. To me, this happy ending doesn’t mesh with the rest of the film, towards the end of the film, Georgia is called out on a lot of the nastier things she has done and then is forced to live with the consequences of it, this is I think is good, this works. As such I think a sombre and more meditative ending would have been a better fit, conveying the films message that she has matured and risen above her childish behaviour rather than rewarding it, as it does.
Overall, this tries to be a YA film with a message, but it ends up being crushed under the weight of it’s flawed morals and feels almost a bit creepy at times.
Some of the more grown up approaches to love.
The stuff with her parents.
If they had been aged up by a year or two it would be less icky.
It is cliched.
The film seems to be two very different tones/messages that fundamentally don’t work together and clash badly.
Reviewed by Luke