Based on the best-selling novel about a 14-year-old girl who keeps a diary about the ups and downs of being a teenager.
Appreciating that the title does the film few favours, Angus, Thongs & Perfect Snogging
nonetheless emerges as a really quite pleasant surprise.
Based on the book by Louise Rennison, and directed by Bend It Like Beckham helmer Gurinder Chadha, Angus, Thongs & Perfect Snogging centres around the character of Georgia Nicolson, played by Georgia Groome, and her trials and tribulations as a 14-year old. There are boys, to start with, namely two brothers who have just started at her school, that should help in her quest for a boyfriend. There’s her rival, Lindsay, along with her friends in the ‘Ace Gang’. And let’s not forget too Angus the cat. It’s a mixture that naturally sends Georgia’s head spinning, and it’s the basis of a strong film.
Far more than the teen Bridget Jones it threatened to be, Angus, Thongs & Perfect Snogging is actually a neatly layered, well-played film, that slots easily into the teen market that generally American cinema targets the best. Mixing some very funny moments in with the more dramatic (and it’s the quieter moments that ultimately impress the most), its young cast do themselves proud, helped immensely by the guiding hand of the ever-improving Chadha behind the camera.
What’s more, it’s rare to see a film that talks to a teenage target market as well as Angus, Thongs & Perfect Snogging, without the need for liberal dollops of gloss. It’s entertaining without being patronising, and shows that British cinema has more breadth to it than many may give it credit for. Warmly recommended. --Jon Foster