Shacked up with her snooping parents, Georgia Nicolson (Groome) is a typically insecure14 year-old who wants to grow up, and fast. When new boy Robbie (Johnson) moves to her south coast school, she falls in love - but its path never did run smooth...
Based on The Teen Book by Louise Rennison, this awkwardly titled tale of awkward adolescence starts off with a girl dressed as an olive flouncing through Eastbourne’s streets in a flurry of tears. As anyone who ever had a histrionic younger sister will know, that combination of OTT silliness and high emotion sums up the experience of being a 14 year-old girl rather well, but your opinion of the rest of the film depends on how you feel about that species.
Happily, the film’s tone calms down - it remains broad, certainly, but the characters do resemble real teenagers, putting this on a level above the High School Bratz to emerge from the American tweenie scene.
Our heroine, Georgia (Georgia Groome, the astonishingly talented star of London To Brighton) is returning to a new year at school, and determined to be cool, popular and her own person, unaware that these aims are mutually exclusive. She and her friends are focused on getting their first boyfriends and can generally be found shouting at each other or swearing undying love. They’re an infuriating bunch, but somehow utterly winning, too.
The trouble starts with the appearance of men on the scene. Brothers Robbie (Aaron Johnson) and Tom (Sean Bourke) are dishy and, since they hail from London, carry an air of glamour. They’re the least likely twins since Arnie and DeVito, but that doesn’t stop Georgia and Jas (Eleanor Tomlinson) cooking up elaborate schemes to win them over.
With complications on the home front from Georgia’s nosy parents and romantic pitfalls at every turn, there’s plenty of drama - but it’s in the quiet moments that the film convinces. While the low-key cast give this a British telly feel at times, this is still a tween movie that’s miles more engaging than its airbrushed American competitors.
Youll be horrified by the very loud 14 year-olds, but stick with it and they do win you over. Honest.