Angus, Thongs & Perfect Snogging


Directed by: Gurinder Chadha
Written by:Gurinder Chadha
Starring: Georgia Groome, Eleanor Tomlinson, Aaron Johnson, Alan Davies, Karen Taylor, Tommy Bastow
Released: September 18, 2008
Grade: B+

I heard someone describe this film as “Bridget Jones for teenagers” and I think it’s an apt description.  Young girls will soak this up.  They’ll enjoy watching the film’s hapless heroine try to win the heart of the hottest guy at school.  It’s nothing new but there are a few fun elements to the story.  They help elevate it above what we’d normally expect from a teen-orientated romantic comedy.

The tale is based on the novels written by Louise Rennison.  The film’s catchy title is adapted from one of her book titles – “Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging”.  The producers decided to change the title for the movie as they were worried that the term “full-frontal” might be a little too explicit.  I’m not sure I agree but there you have it.

The central character is Georgia Nicolson (Groome).  She’s a 14-year-old living in Eastbourne, a large coastal town in England.  She’s going through all the trials and tribulations that you’d expect at that age.  She’s starting to rebel against her parents, she’s starting to worry about her appearance and she’s starting to feel the effects of peer-pressure.  Oh, and yes, she’s started to become interested in boys.

The guy she’s after is a newcomer to the school.  His name is Robbie (Johnson).  Georgia will face stiff competition however.  It’s not just her that has their eyes on him.  Her best friend Jas (Tomlinson) has set her own sights on Robbie’s brother.  Nothing goes as planned of course.  Georgia’s mother tries to help by giving her a copy of “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus” but it only further adds to her problems.

Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging (I still like saying that title) left be both giggling and cringing.  Georgia’s immaturity keeps landing her into some ridiculous situations.  The dialogue is very stiff but Georgia is a cool, likeable character.  Some of the trendy phrases she uses with her friends are still stuck in my head.  She learns some valuable lessons that many younger audience members will be able to relate to.

I don’t think this film will be for everyone but it should win over its target audience.  It’s another feather in the cap of director Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham).  She has a knack for creating feel-good cinema.