Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging

angus-thongs-and-perfect-snogging-dvd-cover-27“Libby! Stop putting Angus in the fridge!”

The Scoop: 2008 PG-13, directed by Gurinder Chadha and starring Georgia Groome, Alan Davies and Eleanor Tomlinson.

Tagline: Georgia Nicholson’s not going mental… but her life is.

Summary Capsule: 14 year old Brit uses slang and a half-wild cat to get her boy and show her parents she has “maturosity.”

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Courtney’s Rating: Double cool with knobs!

Courtney’s Review: The other day I was looking for a movie to watch. I’d already seen just about every big movie I’ve wanted to from the past summer, so I checked out some lesser-known flicks to see what else was available. Unfortunately, the list didn’t offer a lot of promising options. I found myself torn between films with such winning titles as Witchcraft 13: Blood Of The Chosen and 3 Pigs And A Baby (they’d at least make for good MRFH reviews, if nothing else) when I spotted it: Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging. The choice was obvious.

Back in middle school, my friend introduced me to Louise Rennison’s Confessions of Georgia Nicolson, a series about the life of a British teenager with eccentric classmates, embarrassing parents, a mad cat, and an off-kilter sense of humor (back in my day the first book was titled Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging; I guess “perfect” sounds a little less graphic than “full-frontal.”). It’s basically a 14-year-old’s version of Bridget Jones’s Diary, with the added bonus of including a British slang dictionary in the back of each book for us yanks who don’t know what a “whelp” is. At the time, this was my favorite non-fantasy series, and I always thought that it’d translate to film very nicely. So I was pretty elated to see that they’d finally made a movie adaptation.

Guided by nostalgia (it’s a powerful force,) I prepped myself for 90 minutes of fun, though I started to worry about how much time may have changed me and how that would influence my enjoyment. I read AT&FFS around seven years ago, before my heart turned black and withered into nothingness. Would the silly jargon and wacky characters still be as amusing as they were way-back-when?

I’m pretty pleased to say that they were. Perhaps I’m still 12 years old at heart, but I can’t help but smile when somebody starts talking about “nunga nungas.” In fact, I think my age might have made this film even funnier. Georgia discusses boys with her Ace Gang in a way that to them seems so risqué but is in fact very tame. It brings me back to when I used to think the books were racy – I mean, some of the characters did more than kiss! And wore thongs! And called people “Sex Gods!” Gasp! But now all that seems almost…well, adorable. It’s all age-appropriate stuff, but you get the sense that these girls think they’re the Sex & The City women or something. I was bemused.

Most of the plot was consistent with the first two books of the series (AT&FFS and On the Bright Side, I’m Now the Girlfriend of a Sex God) as far as I remember – though I did miss the ABBA karaoke – and the humor and mood were just right. But I was really shocked at how spot-on the casting was. Georgia Groome was exactly what Georgia should have been – charismatic and perky, but also just insecure enough to make her relatable. The supporting cast did their jobs well, with special props to Alan Davies and Karen Taylor as Georgia’s parents and Eleanor Tomlinson as best friend Jas. And the cat that played Angus was a perfect combination of lovable furball and ferocious wildcat.

Overall, this film is an endearingly honest depiction of adolescence. It’s comfortably familiar, but still very unique. The main plotline of the girl trying to get a boyfriend is typical, but the subplots dealing with Georgia’s feeling abandoned by Jas for her new beau and worrying about her parents’ marriage were down-to-earth and handled really well by the cast and crew. I’m a little miffed by the ending they went with, but I suppose if they’re not planning on making the full 9-book series into a film franchise, it works.

Remember, girls, don't commit to your costume so much that you stop being sexy!

Remember, girls, don’t commit to your costume so much that you stop being sexy!

Intermission!

    • The movie is inspired by the John Hughes movies of the 80’s, most notably Sixteen Candles, as well as the personal experience of both author Louise Rennison and screenwriter/director Gurinder Chadha.
    • Don’t you just hate it when you accidentally shave your eyebrow off?
    • So that’s what getting felt up feels like!
    • Peter Dyer – Mayor of Saliva City.
    • Air guitar is an excellent method of bonding.
    • Angus is one vicious feline!
    • Thongs or granny-knickers?
    • New Zealand – nothing but sheep and hobbits.
    • Why Dave the Laugh calls them “nunga nungas?”
    • The soundtrack is a fun mix of alterative and pop music. Robbie’s fictional band the Stiff Dylans are fun and danceable. Some of my favorite songs from the past year pop up, like “Young Folks” by Peter Bjorn & John and “Great DJ” by the Ting Tings, but the best track is probably “She’s So Lovely” by Scouting for Girls. I wouldn’t rush out to stores to buy it, but if this soundtrack showed up on iTunes, I’d download it for sure.
    • One really big party can solve all of your problems in just five minutes!

Groovy Dialogue

Georgia: If you haven’t noticed I am a woman now. I wear a bra!

Jas: You’re so lucky you’re voluptuous!
Georgia: Are you saying I’m fat?

Georgia: Libby! Stop putting Angus in the fridge.

Connie Nicolson: Whatevs! Your mum’s way wicked, man!

Georgia: Honestly, Dad, this isn’t the Middle Ages, or the “seventies,” as you call them.

Rosie: Phwoar, they are sex gods!

Georgia: Look, I can’t go out with you, because… because… because I’m a lesbian.

Georgia: Libby! Stop licking Robbie!

Georgia: Dave, what’s the first thing you notice in a girl?
Dave the Laugh: Well, most lads would say eyes, but they’re lying. It’s the nunga nungas.
Georgia: What? Why do you call them nunga nungas?
Dave the Laugh: Well, when you grab a hold of one and then let it go, it goes “nunga nunga nunga!”

Robbie: I think you’re mad, but you’re perfect for me.

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