(Release Info London schedule; November 2nd, 2020, Curzon Home Cinema)
"How To Build A Girl"
This irreverent comedy is about Johanna Morrigan (Beanie Feldstein), a girl on the cusp of womanhood desperate to reinvent herself as a rock music critic. Johanna is a bright, quirky, 16-year-old who uses her colorful imagination to regularly escape her humdrum life in Wolverhampton and live out her creative fantasies. She's extrovert from the outskirts of Wolverhampton with raging hormones, an unstoppable imagination and gigantic dreams. Her bedroom is adorned with posters of her heroes such as 'Jo March', 'Cleopatra' and Sylvia Plath (Sharon Horgan), who come to life and provide the closest thing to friendship that she has. Desperate to break free from the overcrowded flat she shares with her four brothers Krissie (Larrie Kynaston), Lupin (Stellan Powell), Charlie (Evan Kenneth Jones), Andy (Scott Mason-Cherry) and her eccentric parents Pat (Paddy Considine) and Angie (Sarah Solamani), she submits an earnestly penned and off-beat music review to a group of self-important indie rock critics at a weekly magazine. Yearning to make a name for herself, she answers an ad seeking hip young gunslinger journalists for a cool London music magazine, she's accepted, reinvents herself as 'Queen Of Mean' rock critic 'Dolly Wilde', a venerable, impossible-to-please music critic with an insatiable lust for fame, fortune, and men. Despite being brushed off initially, Johanna clamors to the top of the 90s rock music scene. It isn’t long before the rapid pace at which Johana’s life is changing becomes overwhelming and she runs face-first into a devastatingly real, existential crisis. Is this the type of girl she wants to become? Or does she need to start over and build again from the ground up? As her critical savagery brings her greater and greater success, the lines between Johanna Morrigan and 'Dolly Wilde' begin to haze. She has certainly figured out how to build a girl but is this the girl that she wanted to be?
How unlikely is it that we get funding a film about a weird, sexual teenaged girl set in Wolverhampton in the '90s'? A 16 year old girl who goes on this huge emotional journey from an innocent sweet girl liking '19th Century' literature to this rock and roll type 'Rik Mayall' character? Johanna Morrigan is extrovert with raging hormones and gigantic dreams. She looks like some kind of 'Disney' princess via a Wolverhampton council estate. Even though she loves her big, boisterous family, Johanna yearns to get out and make a name for herself, which she does, reinventing herself as revered and feared music journalist, 'Dolly Wilde'. But as her critical savagery brings her greater and greater success, the lines between Johanna Morrigan and 'Dolly Wilde' begin to haze. She has finally figured out how to build a girl; but is this the girl that she wanted to be? As Johanna charges toward her future in journalism with wit, determination and courage she quickly realizes that to guarantee success she must shed her original skin and invent new, better pieces of herself. Yet only in the course of tearing herself down entirely can she recognize that the woman who she needs to become, lives in the foundation of the girl she has always been. Inspiring and redemptive, Johanna is the heroine who speaks to all generations reminding us that growing-up is a lifelong task and that however far we may go down one path it's never too late to stop, reset and start again. She begins and ends in two completely different places in her life. More challenges come with the ‘hero wall’ that Johanna has in her bedroom, featuring famous faces from history. Mel and Sue as 'The Bronte Sisters'. Lily Allen plays Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Sheen as Freud. Amanda (Emma Thompson), who turns up on set with a box of chocolates from an incredibly fancy chocolatier and went around like a very glamorous version of Mrs. Overall on 'Acorn Antiques', offering them around to everybody. That’s the kind of person she's. That’s as near as you get to a heavenly entity.
Based on Caitlin Moran’s semi-autobiographical novel, "How To Build A Girl" is a sassy, sexy, and a profoundly touching coming-of-age comedy that traces the rocky road to womanhood through the lens of a unique and wildly hilarious protagonist. It's a hilarious, inspirational coming-of-age comedy that's set to be the homegrown crowd-pleaser of the year. For anyone who’s read the book, they’ll see that the script has taken a departure from the 'A-B Story' in the novel. But it’s the same girl and all of the substance and Caitlin Moran messaging is there. It’s an emotional journey. The music is a huge part of the film. All the bands you see playing are playing live. What you hear on screen, if it sounds like it's in the scene, it's in the scene. There's been a big swing towards the '90s' sound and you see them in the film playing their own songs, written now, mixed with a known soundtrack..
We realise why so many 'British' women are not really represented on film because it’s such a hoo-ha and fuss. And as a 'British' woman you just feel like going around apologising to everybody saying, ‘I’m so sorry you had to put 30 Winnebago’s on the street'. "How To Build A Girl" resonates with young women today. It seems that from the screenings we’ve had, that it appeals to fifteen year old girls and their mothers. Because although, weirdly, a lot of women in-between have been really interested and excited. They’re the ones that love '90s' music. But fifteen year olds and their mothers; the mothers went through it at the time and the girls are going through it now. With a spectacular imagination and an irreverent spirit, "How To Build A Girl" has shades of "Lady Bird" and 'Juno' with a sprinkling of 'Bridget Jones’s Diary' whilst finding it's own unique blend of comedy and heart to excite the coming of age canon.