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Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging


Stars: Georgia Groome, Aaron Johnson, Eleanor Tomlinson, Georgia Henshaw, Manjeeven Grewal, Alan Davies, Karen Taylor, Sean Bourke, Tommy Bastow

Director: Gurinder Chadha

Angus is a cat. A sort of cross wildcat/Persian. And he's wonderful - submitting to being dressed up, snarling on cue and even haring after a poodle to order. Unfortunately, though, Angus is just about the only good thing in this English school/coming-of-age comedy set in some dated never-never land where schoolgirls still giggle, no one swears, there's not a drug or knife in sight, and the nearest thing to violence is a kick on the shin.

The central character is Georgia (Groome), an almost 15-year-old living with her perpetually snogging parents (Davies, Taylor) in Eastbourne - ' It's called God's waiting room,' she ruefully reflects, 'because it's where people come to die' - and worrying about her looks and the size of her nose.

At school, she makes cow eyes at the boy she fancies - currently dating the school's hot totty, in a direct copy of American high school movies - discusses the 'seven steps of snogging' with her three cronies, and takes lessons in same with a boy she describes as Mr Saliva.

And, as Georgia is scarcely conventionally pretty, she has to rely on her personality to catch a boy, while trying to deal at home with the fact that her family may be moving to New Zealand.

Venturing into the shop where her target fancy (Johnson) works, she's surprised by her mum, and says she's buying apples, 'Apples give you wind,' says Mum (as if she would say such a thing to a sensitive daughter in front of others). It's this non-ear for real-life dialogue that has you wincing on and off throughout, while stiffish performances are about the standard you'd get on teatime TV. Tall, slim Tomlinson is about the best bet for stardom among the girls. No, give Angus his own film - that's what I say.

David Quinlan

UK 2008. UK Distributor: Paramount. Colour.
100 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 21 Jul 2008