Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging

angusBased on Louise Rennison’s popular series of teen novels, Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging is a Bridget Jones-style coming-of-age comedy which follows a group of 14-year-olds as they attempt to escape the shackles of their snooping parents and move into the more exciting world of boys, bras and parties. Viewers who’ve endured teen gross-out comedies such as American Pie will find this Brit-flick from Gurinder Chadha (Bend it Like Beckham) refreshingly gentle. There’s no swearing and no mention of drugs, no-one has sex and there are no unwanted pregnancies.

Set in the seaside town of Eastbourne, the story centres around Georgia Nicholson (Georgia Groome) and her circle of giggly, gawkish friends. Her chief aims in life are to secure a fit boyfriend and persuade her parents to throw her the best 15th birthday bash EVER at the local nightclub. Her biggest gripes are her embarrassing, old fashioned parents (Alan Davies and Karen Taylor) and her freakish little sister Libby (Eva Drew), who thinks she’s a cat. When two “sex-gods” called Robbie (Aaron Johnson) and Tom (Sean Bourke) join their school, Georgia and her best friend Jas (Eleanor Tomlinson) are determined to bag them for themselves. Trouble is, the slutty and popular Lindsay (Kimberley Nixon), who wears a padded bra and unbuttons her shirt as low as school uniform rules will allow, has got there first.

Determined to win Robbie over, Georgia sets out to become “more grown up”, taking snogging lessons from creepy classmate Peter (“You’re my best student!”), played by Liam Hess, and mistakenly dying her legs orange.

Life is never simple though, and when her dad decides to accept a job in New Zealand, and her mum starts spending her evenings with the handsome builder Jem (Steve Jones), Georgia realises that more is at stake than her birthday party.

The colourful clothes, sunny weather and Barbie-pink bedrooms bestrewn with fairly lights occasionally give Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging the air of a CBBC production. However, the film is tightly constructed and well cast, with engaging, if sometimes overwrought performances from Georgia Groome and Eleanor Tomlinson as her best friend Jas.

Alan Davies and Karen Taylor play Georgia’s “ancient” but loving parents with warm assurance, delivering timely witticisms that will tickle adults and teens alike.

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