Strange to think that 20 or so years ago Bill Forsyth was one of the rising star directors of British cinema. His breakthrough film, the 1981 film Gregory's Girl
, was a beguiling view of a teenage love, bolstered by a memorable debut by John Gordon-Sinclair as the eponymous Greg, a gawky, awkward pupil at a big Scottish high school. Forsyth's fallen of the map of late--his big-budget foray, Being Human
bombed massively--all of which makes this sequel to Gregory's Girl
all the more understandable. Thankfully, what might seem like a rather cynical exercise in milking a sure-fire hit formula has produced a gently comic film. Turning out to be one of Forsyth's most ambitious and satisfying movies, Gregory's Two Girls
catches up with Greg after all these years. Still as awkward as ever, he's teaching English in the school he attended as a teenager, where he's given to fantasising about one of his pupils, the self-assured Francis, while turning down the ardent advances of fellow teacher Bel. Caught between these two women, Greg is embroiled in a spot of industrial espionage, exposing a racket in torture equipment which his old school friend, local businessman Rowan is involved in.
Like the best of Forsyth's work, an air of sweet melancholy hangs over the film. For all its inspired comic moments, Forsyth's film is a poignant exploration of the sense of failure Greg feels for standing still while those around him are moving on. By the end, as Greg's comes out of his shell and engages fully with the world around him, the film becomes a study in renewal and second chances. --Edward Lawrenson
Twenty years after the original 'Gregory's Girl', John Gordon Sinclair reprises his role as the hapless Scot. Now employed as an English teacher in his old school, Gregory is approached by Frances (Carly McKinnon), a young student who is suspicious about the illicit actions of a local businessman. Spurred into action, he becomes more and more obsessed with his young charge, oblivious to the advances of fellow teacher Bel (Maria Doyle Kennedy).