I do not make it a method of mine to frequent young teen movies unless they have in some form or manner received critical acclaim. Usually such films are entrenched in humor for their adult audiences as well, most teen films fail to do this and this failure makes them unbearable to watch. I was somewhat concerned when approaching Gurinder Chada's Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging, given that I was somewhat certain that it would fall into this dreaded category. However, the films heartfelt simplicity paired with teenage visions of their lives little occurrences being grandiose in importance results in an enjoyable film that is both hilarious and poignant in a study of both first love and lasting love of older generations. To say that this film is not concerned with its adult viewers is both a true and false statement. The references and cultural setting are certainly intended for a young audience and in no way cater to adult sentiment, however, the thematic overtones concerning love; lust and romantic honesty are surprisingly adult in their demeanor. It is what a well-budgeted film for teenagers should be, yet it to my knowledge stands apart from many of its contemporaries and predecessors for that manner.
This coming of the age tale centers on Georgia (Georgia Groome) a teenage schoolgirl facing the woes of puberty in a seemingly perfect English school. Along with her group of politically correct diverse friends, she undertakes the goal of finding a boyfriend who will provide her with a perfect snogging, which in this film refers to making out. Georgia finds her love interest in new boy from London named Robbie (Aaron Johnson) who, along with his brother, has moved to her town to help run their mother's organic grocery store. Georgia begins to undertake a plan to win over Robbie, which involves everything from playing up on their shared affection for cats to separating Robbie from her snooty girlfriend Lindsay (Kimberly Nixon). Along with the help of her friends, which inevitably results in jealousy and betrayal that almost divides her friendships. It seems for a good portion of this film that Georgia is so blindly preoccupied with Robbie that she cannot concern herself with maintaining normalcy with any other thing in her life. This lack of concern is most problematic in facing the problems of her parent's seemingly crumbling love life, which is a combination of her father's sudden moving to New Zealand and her mothers obvious infatuation with a recently hired interior designer. All seems tragically lost for Georgia until she wakes up from her delusion and realizes it is of far greater importance to rekindle her familial relations than to win over Robbie. Fortunately for Georgia, in what are perhaps the most formulaic moments in the film, she succeeds in reconnecting her parents and also wins over Robbie, not to mention that she regains her friendships. All of this is done prior to her birthday party, which proves to be a huge success and an assurance that her future teen years will be fun and minimal in stress.
The excellence of this film is its rather adult study of relationships for being what is consistently a teenage movie. To put it bluntly, Twilight wishes it could be this astute. Georgia, and her friends for that matter, all appear to exist in a rather middle class world, yet they face relatively unconventional issues, whether it be the case of some characters dealing with issues of minority or others apparently lacking a parental guide whatsoever. Georgia even faces the very real possibility that her parents might end up divorced, which helps her to realize her distress over Robbie to be a thing that lacks relative importance. The film, however, never really bangs the viewer over the head with the issue, sure Georgia makes note of the ridiculous nature of having to up and move to New Zealand or that her mother appears to be throwing herself at another man. Yet, it is not the major portion of the dialogue that is occupied by her lust for Robbie. However, the scenes involving reflection on her current status with Robbie almost always occur following a new realization about her parents love. During the opening scenes, she is disgusted by her parent's intimacy, which parallels with her own ignorance about relationships and love. This changes as her parents relationship becomes tumultuous, when her parents are fighting, her own relationships crumble. Fortunately, it becomes apparent that Georgia's parents very much love each other and it is during this realization that her own love life blossoms, because she is capable of understanding how to love not just psychically, but emotionally as well. Again, it is an incredibly profound bit of filmmaking for being a traditional teenage romantic comedy.
Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging is a great little film. I do not know that it is necessary to own, but it is a must watch. I also encourage you to compare Angus the cat to any felines you own, it is almost impossible not to, also the soundtrack is pretty awesome.