We all remember what it was like to be 14, to feel like the world was alien to us and our parents even more so. From the makers of 'Bend It Like Beckham', this movie offers us a peek into the world of a paranoid teenager's diary, with priceless lessons that we'd all do well to pick up on.
Meet Georgia Nicolson (Groome). She's a quirky, sweet 14-year-old, who has a habit of saying and doing the wrong thing. She means well, almost always, but situations just have a way of spiralling out control in her presence. Lucky then that she has three hilarious best friends to keep her in line. Jas (Tomlinson), Rosie (Henshaw) and Ellen (Grewal) are the perfect partners-in-crime for Georgia's fashion disasters, beauty firsts and, of course, spying on boys.
Georgia's family life is just as mad. Her father Bob (Davies) has been forced to travel to New Zealand for a work opportunity. Meanwhile, her mother Connie (Taylor) has hired a hot interior decorator (Jones), started wearing low-cut tops and is taking Salsa lessons. On top of all that her little sister Libby (Drew) insists upon cross-dressing their cat Angus and generally causing as much trouble as possible.
Back at school, there are two new boys in town. Tom (Bourke) and Robbie (Johnson) have moved to the area with their separated mother, who has just opened an organic foods shop. Georgia and her mates must now pretend to care about organic food. They must also address a small problem called Lindsay (Nixon), the most popular girl at school, who has her sights set on new boy Robbie and, wait for it, wears thongs. The girls decide to up their game, cue snogging lessons, battles to have the best 15th birthday party ever and a lot of lying.
'Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging' is great fun. Perhaps it's aimed at a teenage market predominantly but anyone who has ever been 14 will really appreciate the sentiment behind it. In fact, most of the themes are equally applicable to an older audience. Who hasn't felt invisible at some stage in their lives and tried to outshine the popular people (and yeah, usually it ends in disaster in real-life too)?
There is some great acting on display here also from a superb ensemble cast. The first 10 minutes of the movie will probably have you scratching your head wondering "Is this going to be the most annoying movie ever?" but once you get into it this is a treat. It's light-hearted, sweet and a little bit mischievous. It has some serious eye-candy in the form of T4's Steve Jones and a cracking soundtrack, bursting with all your favourite Indie and pop tunes.
Director and co-writer of the screenplay Gurinder Chadha (whose previous credits include 'Bride and Prejudice' and 'Bend It Like Beckham') obviously has a talent for spotting great comic potential in her original subject material, in this case a series of books by Louise Rennison, and transforming it into something special on the big screen.
In short, 'Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging' just screams summer fun. Embrace it. You'll be glad of the childish giggles it inspires.