For this month’s first review for Genre Grandeur – Scottish Films, here’s a review of Gregory’s Girl (1981) by SG of Rhyme and Reason
Thanks again to Gill of WeegieMidget Reviews for choosing this month’s genre.
Next month’s Genre has been chosen by Becky of Film Music Central. We will be reviewing our favorite Cyberpunk Movies.
According Wikipedia –
Cyberpunk is a subgenre of science fiction in a future setting that tends to focus on society as “high tech low life” featuring advanced technological and scientific achievements, such as information technology and cybernetics, juxtaposed with a degree of breakdown or radical change in the social order.
Please get me your submissions by the 25th of Dec by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org Try to think out of the box! Great choice Becky!
Let’s see what SG thought of this movie:
Gregory’s Girl (1981)
Our first love is something unique.
It thrills us and makes our knees weak.
We hope that our crush
Will and won’t see us blush,
As we try not to act like a geek.
But crushes are often one-sided,
And once the regrets have subsided,
In place of our druthers,
We open to others
Who might feel the same, like this guy did.
MPAA rating: PG
In trying to find an underrated Scottish film for this month’s Genre Grandeur, I came across Gregory’s Girl, a lighthearted coming-of-age romance that is perhaps best described as Scotland’s Say Anything. Like John Cusack in that classic, high schooler Gregory (John Gordon Sinclair) is smitten by a lovely and talented classmate (Dee Hepburn) and aims to win Dorothy’s heart, even if it means learning Italian. However, when your crush best describes you as “slow and awkward,” the road to true love may not be what you expect.
Gregory’s Girl skims along its loose love story with a casual charm that’s inconsistent but largely agreeable. There’s nothing outstanding about it, and I only recall actually laughing once, but there is a naturalness to the characters that can be endearing, as long as you understand their Scottish accents. The film floats among the high school interactions, sibling talks between Gregory and his mature little sister (Allison Forster), and the various mop-headed Scottish boys, all with a pace that could be seen as easygoing or aimless depending on the viewer, and it certainly feels like a product of its time, backed by a musical score that sounds like the transition music from some ‘70s sitcom, like The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
Gregory’s Girl does pull off one somewhat surprising variation toward the end, turning an uncertain digression into an opportunity for love. It’s not till close to the end that I realized that, despite his prominence in the film, the romantic strategy wasn’t Gregory’s, but that of a secondary character I hadn’t even noticed much. It speaks to how unrequited love can take us in unexpected directions, which can turn out better than we might have imagined.
While Gregory’s Girl isn’t what I would consider a classic, it’s a mostly pleasant visit to Scottish high school life in the ‘80s and, except for some brief nudity in the very first scene, a mostly clean one at that. Several side stories and characters go nowhere, such as the football coach who grudgingly accepts Dorothy onto the team, and not everyone gets the closure I would have liked, but the main focus of Gregory and his girl makes it worthwhile.
Best line: (Carol) “Can you drive?” (Gregory) “No, but it runs in the family.”
Rank: Honorable Mention
© 2016 S.G. Liput
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