• Gareth Crook

How To Talk To Girls At Parties (2017)

I recall seeing a trailer for this and thinking it was worth a look, but then I forgot about it. I think karma was trying to look after me. I’d made a list though, so here I am. It starts well enough. The Damned cranking out as a young punk ‘Enn’ (Alex Sharp) jumps around late 70s London, slapping his fanzine stickers on every surface, whilst rounding up his mates and pissing off teddy boys. I fear this intro is gonna be the high point. The young punks are dressed, well as you’d expect, leather studs, badges and pins, but not much attitude. If any of this lot are convincing punks, I’m a Jedward fan. On the way home from a gig, they stumble on a house party filled with people dressed in coloured PVC, moving to New Age music. They’re aliens, a colony on a field trip to Croydon. Enn meets Zan (Elle Fanning), she’s bored of the strict itinerary of her visit and is interested in this ‘Punk thing’. Before that happens though, Enn’s mates Vic and John get themselves probed. We’re on that level of sophistication, pretty low. Zan gets herself a pass to go explore with Enn. She’s a superior race but wildly naive. He’s full of political metaphors and thinks Zan is from California. It’s pretty painful. Matt Lucas shows up with a funny American accent, he doesn’t approve of Zan’s extra curricular activity and votes to shun her. Oh and there’s Boadicea (Nicole Kidman) a cyberpunk Vivian Westwood who’s about as good as, well as the rest of them... which is quite bad. It tries desperately to prove its authenticity, whilst trying to be funny, without ever achieving either. Enn gets pissed of. Zan gets pregnant. People get swallowed whole. Quite a lot of shouting and some intergalactic soul searching. Oh and bloke who looks like the Queen dressed in floor length PVC. Could it claim to be a veiled comment on alienation and the vacuousness of much of the wannabe punk scene. Two star crossed lovers, raging against the system. No. No not really, it’s just a bit shit. Some money has been spent on it though, which makes it all the more annoying. It’s the sort of film I can imagine being a cult favourite in 20 years, it’s bonkers enough. It’s not good though, but I have seen worse. I think it’s based on a short story and in this case it might’ve been better if it had stayed on the page.

4/10


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