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  • syllavus5 February 2004
    I've caught this movie a few times playing on Stars in the states, and there is something indescribably charming about it. Maybe I'm biased because I've always loved British movies and television shows, but I found this movie very cute. The story is nothing big and dramatic, just a boy liking a girl and learning a bit about himself and about love in general in the end. The lead character of Gregory is very convincing and very real, you like him but at the same time you can't help wincing a bit at his awkwardness, especially in the scene where he's helping Dorothy out in football by playing goalie. I find this movie very refreshing when compared to teen comedies that are being made nowadays. Gregory's Girl has a realness and innocence to it that is severely lacking in Hollywood now.

    And also thanks to whoever posted that the US version had the Scottish accents dubbed. I always noticed there was something "off" about the voices, especially the younger kids and now I see why. I hope someday I can see a copy with the original voices intact.
  • I love this movie.Its my fav movie of all time ,Everytime i watch it its like meeting an old friend again.It is so rich with subtle humour and possibly every scene makes me chuckle.the teenage anguish is never over played and ever actor in the film has never surpassed there performances in this movie

    growing up in Scotland myself i still don't feel that the movie is regional and anyone who is able to see it please do so .The clothes are dated but the humour is still spot on.

    This film is a Scottish gem and should be given more praise.I just cant fault it.If i had to cut my DVD collection down to two gregorys girl and this is spinal tap would be my only choices.
  • Back in the eighties when my family first purchased a (Betamax!) video recorder, I watched this all the time. There's just something about the combination of youngster actors who obviously hadn't come from the usual stage schools, the lines from minor characters that you almost miss the first few times (the school reporter - 'I want to interview you and that girl in 4A who had the triplets' - and so many more!) and just the general surrealism (the penguin wandering around the school must surely have influenced the writers of 'Teachers'?) There's a wealth of bizarre characters, both pupils and staff, and for someone who was 13 when it came out, it will never fail to take me back to those awkward teenage crushes and raise a smile. Well, several smiles actually.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    To celebrate my 400th review for IMDb, I turn to another of my favourite films. "Gregory's Girl" was one of the first masterpieces of the eighties revival of the British film industry which was to produce the Oscar-winners "Chariots of Fire" and "Gandhi", and films of the calibre of "Local Hero" "Educating Rita", "The Missionary", "A Private Function" and "Hope and Glory".

    Like many excellent British films, "Gregory's Girl" has a strong sense of place. Writer/director Forsyth set the film in his native Scotland, but not the tourist Scotland of glens, tartans and single malt whiskies. ("Local Hero", by contrast, is set in an idyllic Highland village). "Gregory's Girl" was the first-ever film to feature Cumbernauld New Town, a modern town between Glasgow and Edinburgh. Cumbernauld's town centre has been variously designated (chiefly by local residents) as the building in Britain most deserving of demolition or (by the international conservationist group DoCoMoMo) as one of the sixty key monuments of post-war architecture. This does not seem the most promising setting for a film, but Forsyth is able to invest the town's bleak modernist housing estates with a surprising amount of melancholy charm.

    Gregory is a teenage schoolboy who falls in love with Dorothy, the attractive girl who succeeds him as centre-forward of the school soccer team. Gregory loses his position and is demoted to goalkeeper after the team lose eight games in a row; of his potential replacements, only Dorothy shows any talent, much to the disgust of the sexist games master Phil, who feels that the sport should be for boys only. At first Dorothy responds to Gregory's ardour with polite indifference, but when he asks her for a date, she accepts. Things do not, however, turn out quite as he had planned. Dorothy and two of her friends, Carol and Margo, have conspired to set Gregory up with a fourth girl, Susan, who has always been keen on him.

    John Gordon Sinclair (Gregory) and Claire Grogan (Susan) have gone on to become well-known members of the British acting profession; Claire also had a pop career as the lead singer with Altered Images. None of the cast, however, were famous at the time, and few others went on to stardom. Dee Hepburn's beauty and enchanting performance as Dorothy made her seem a promising newcomer, but her acting career was to prove a brief one; her only subsequent role was in the much-derided soap opera "Crossroads". (According to one version, her lack of success was due to an inability to master any accent other than her native Scottish one).

    Part of the film's appeal, however, is precisely that it does feature a cast of unknowns, easy to envisage as genuine Scottish teenagers. It made a refreshing change from American high school movies which, then as now, generally used established actors in their late twenties or even thirties; the unkind joke about Stockard Channing's character in "Grease" was that she would leave school when she passed her exams or had her menopause, whichever happened first.

    Although the cast may be little-known, however, all play their parts superbly; there is not a single false note. Gregory's friends emerge as characters in their own right. Eric is a photography buff, Steve a talented cook. (There is an element of role reversal in that a girl is the star of the football team and a boy the star of domestic science classes). The slightly older Billy has left school and is working as a window cleaner's mate, giving him a certain status among his former classmates. Andy is the sort of know-all who is always trying to impress by coming out with nuggets of useless (and probably incorrect) information. According to him there are eight women to every man in Caracas, Venezuela; the dubious accuracy of this statistic does not prevent him and a friend from making a vain attempt to hitch-hike there, believing they will have more chance of picking up girls. Other notable contributions come from Jake D'Arcy as the manic Phil, who believes he is a football coach of genius despite the poor performances of his teams, and Allison Forster as Gregory's worldly-wise little sister Madeline.

    Madeline, who is only ten years old but who has a depth of insight into human relationships that would put most agony aunts to shame, is not really a realistic character. "Gregory's Girl", however, is not an altogether realistic film, despite its ordinary setting. Like Forsyth's other masterpiece, "Local Hero", it contains elements of magical realism, the juxtaposition of the everyday with the fantastic. The strangest element was the boy wandering round the school dressed as a penguin. No explanation was ever given for his bizarre costume or for his inability to find his way to the right lesson, and yet this detail seemed perfectly at one with the mood of the film. Much of the humorous dialogue also had something of the surreal about it; Phil, asked by the headmaster how Dorothy will cope with having to shower with the boys, replies "Oh, she'll bring her own soap".

    I was at university when I saw this film in the cinema in 1981, having left school two years earlier. I could therefore immediately sympathise with its teenage characters particularly the lanky, awkward Gregory, desperate to impress both his friends and the girls. It always struck me that he was less in love with Dorothy herself than he was with the idea of having a girlfriend to boast about; he is quite happy to end up with Susan and even more happy with the idea that having been seen with three girls in one evening has won him the reputation of being a ladies' man. I still think that the best-ever coming-of-age film is "Rebel without a Cause", but that is a tragic drama about situations outside most teenagers' experience. "Gregory's Girl" is the film which best captures what it is like to be an ordinary teenager. 10/10
  • A lot of so called comedies get one or two big laughs in the whole film, often by reaching down for a reference to one or another substance that comes from the human body. Gregory's Girl makes me laugh every few seconds, and the only mention of a bodily excretion I can remember is Andy's "chat up line" in the school cafeteria: "Did you know that when you sneeze, it comes out of your nose at a 100 miles an hour?" Even though I thought I knew all the funny bits after seeing it so many times, each viewing finds me laughing at things I hadn't noticed before, as well as at all the other bits that never seem to grow stale.

    There's the occasional Pythonesque line, as the football coach's description of the "two basic skills" of a goal scorer: "Ball control, shooting accuracy, and the ability to read the game." But Forsyth the writer creates a constant stream of little gems that are very much his own style of wry humour, taking real life and stretching it just that little bit further, but not so far that it's no longer recognisable. He's got teenage life down perfectly. Girls talk, plan, and seem to know what they want. Guys are clueless. Guys are obsessed by numbers. But girls know all the best ones.

    It's fun to see how comic setups and situations from Gregory's Girl come back in Forsyth's Local Hero ("everyone's second favourite film", as Mark Kermode put it), deeper and more fully developed.

    Despite the dated fashions and soundtrack, highly recommended.
  • Quite simply, one of the best British movies ever made, in fact one of the best movies, period. I watch it about three times a year and never tire of it. A film that is up there with the classic Ealing comedies and has every right to be classed alongside the best. John Gordon Sinclair exudes a gawky, gangling charm as the lovesick Gregory and the rest of the cast are perfect.Jake D'Arcy is wonderful as Phil Menzies, the ambitious sports master, the brilliant Chick Murray is the pompous headteacher, Dee Hepburn is Dorothy, the confident, dedicated new member of the soccer team, Gregory is besotted with her. Clare Grogan of Altered Images is Susan, who along with Carol and Margo conspires to make it an evening that Gregory will never forget. Who's going to be Gregory's Girl? Is it any of them, or is it his kid sister Madeline, 10-going-on-20 years old and his mentor. Special mention goes to Rob Buchanan and Graham Thompson as Gregory's mates Andy and Charlie, who feel that life is passing them by and resolve to get girlfriends. Charlie only has one line, right at the end of the film, but it remains my fave line. If you haven't seen Gregory's Girl, quite simply, you are inadequate!
  • There is only one thing negative I could say about Gregory's Girl...it makes you sad that the innocence of first love and first dates is gone forever, and also makes me wish my school had been as cool as Gregory's. Excellent performances by all and sundry, no attempts to sacrifice realism for laughs and Clare Grogan at her prettiest. Special mention must be given to the music, wonderfully twee and with a kind of nostalgic delight. Only Bill Forsyth seems able to avoid mawkishness yet still make utterly inoffensive and delectable movies. One of my top ten favourite films and one I never stop enjoying.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I adore this movie. Putting it into words as to why is probably far more difficult for this film than any of the others i have talked about on this website. Firstly i can totally empathise with the lead character.... even down to the the fantastic choice of bands displayed on his wall (the Jam and the Specials although i am not too sure about Patti Smith myself!) We've all probably been in the situations Gregory finds himself in during the movie and this just brings it all back... playing football in the school team (and chatting nonchalently to spectators when should have been keeping an eye on players bearing down on goal), getting into scrapes with teachers and of course that first date with the girl of your dreams. I always come away from watching this movie with a high feel good factor. Gregory ends up with Susan who is far more suited and better for him than Dorothy even if it takes the whole movie for him to discover this. You even feel it will work out for his mates Andy and Charlie as they trudge off at the end in the cheerful knowledge that they can start afresh chasing girls the next day (i love the way Charlie doesn't say a word thru the whole movie, goes along with Andy's silly schemes and eventually gets the last word). In addition to these characters there's a whole slew of fantastic characters such as Steve whos obsessed with his baking enterprise, the eccentric headmaster ("off you go, you small boys,") and of course Mr Menzies the bumbling PE teacher who isn't really taken seriously by the other male teachers in the school and is obsessed with putting together the perfect football team. Another thing i like is the way the younger kids seem more in control and knowledgeable than Gregory and his mates. Gregory's sister is the one with the fashion sense and is the guiding hand in trying to sort out his love life while its Gregory who is the petulant immature one when confronted by his sisters' young admirer at the front door. I think this movie has a refreshing view of the innocence of early school days as opposed to other films which may go down the darker Grange Hill route of drugs/bullying etc.
  • jimidom3 August 2000
    This is one of the funniest and most warm-hearted films ever! John Gordon Sinclair and Dee Hepburn were absolutely wonderful in this story of teenage love and the sudden twists & turns that occur when you think you've met THE ONE, but then someone else...
  • While I'm sure I was a teenager once (my parents will attest to that), I was never a teenager in Scotland. This film makes me wish I had been.

    This unpretentious tale of adolescent adoration (all right, puppy love), is one of the purest, most enjoyable, romance films I have ever seen.

    Unlike American cinema where the main characters would be satisfying raging hormonal urges in gratuitously graphic sexual detail, this film by Mr. Forsythe catches the true essence of "young love" by letting the cast be what they are. Simply young people with an awkward sense of decency and a genuine curiosity for the opposite sex.

    This is a must see, especially if you ever thought you might have been in love or think you are now.

    Try to see the uncut version, as the British film industry has a different sense of 'Family Values' (whatever that is).

    I love the secondary sub-plots. So, pay close attention.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    One of my favorite things about this movie is that it captures a sort of 'parentless' world that further enhances its subtle and sweet adolescent tone. While there are adult characters in the film (most notably the coach, who is himself awkward and hardly authoritative), and while we meet Gregory's dad briefly, they come off as backdrop, and the overall impression is that this is like a live-action, Scottish, adolescent version of Charles Schulz's 'Peanuts' movies, where kids run about on their own seemingly at whim after school, but aren't necessarily concerned with being full of destructive mischief given that freedom. Indeed, the most mature character in the entire film may be the 10-year-old sister of the main character, and this flip-flop of roles is further illustrated by his sister's little suitor friend, Richard, acting ever the gentleman even through Gregory's very funny verbal onslaught.

    The contrast between teenage lust/horniness against the innocent and awkward nature of teenage infatuation and the eventual sweetness of the first kiss are spread decidedly toward the latter here. This is not Porky's or American Pie, despite an opening scene that maybe belongs in that territory. This is a very sensitive movie that treats kids as if they're real people, and allows for that kernel of dirty-minded lust to exist side-by-side with the fresh and innocent electrical sweetness of young love, and nevertheless avoids seriousness through that sensitivity, and serves each comedic moment up in the most understated and warm way it can. It's very natural, and it captures best the way adolescence really is: A no-man's land between being an utter child and becoming an adult.

    The director also achieved a great contrast in moods and environments, with the 1970s prog-jazz score and understated sterility of a boxy 1960-70s planned community with its plain institutional nature shown by the modern school and town planning. Somehow, it manages to bring everything about the characters and dialog into relief.

    Great acting from a cast of mostly unknowns, a more-or-less aimless story that you don't want to end, and a lovely look back to a time period that I actually miss make this movie a favorite.
  • This is it, it's Gregory's Girl. Don't look up reviews just buy it watch it and enjoy it. It's Napolean Dynamite 25 years before Napolean Dynamite. It's charming, naive, funny with a capital F and is a slice of early 1980's life worth revisiting again and again. If you've never seen it then stop everything and go to ebay or amazon and get buying. You may get hit with a bus and never get to see this film if you leave it any longer, so go now, stop everything and enjoy Gregory's Girl. Notable performances from all but watch out for John Gordon Sinclair who plays the Gregory, David Anderson playing his dad and Rab Buchanan as his friend. Scattered gems of performances from many many others such as Alex Norton and Chic Murray. It's in my "top 5 movies ever made" category for sure.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I first learned of this film back in the early 1980's, while watching an episode of the "Siskel and Ebert" movie review show on PBS. One of them (I can't remember which)favorably reviewed it as one their undiscovered gems. Miraculously, it appeared on HBO a few weeks later. My wife and I both thought, "What a charming movie!" I didn't realize until much later that it had been re-dubbed with "softer" Scots accents for American audiences. I just thought the dialog was a bit stilted due to colloquial speech. For me, this just added to the charm.

    Gordon John Sinclair performance as Gregory is a classic. The anguish displayed on his face when he finally garners enough courage to ask Dorothy (Dee Hepburn) for a date, just as she enters the shower room is pure, teen-age angst! Any man or boy, who has experienced the same dilemma, anywhere in the world, can empathize superbly with Gregory. Even better is his feigned indifference when he realizes Dorothy stands him up, while waiting beneath the huge clock at the union.

    Dee Hepburn's performance as Dorothy displays the same infuriating ambivalence any boy has experienced when asking out a girl, he truly knows is indifferent to him.

    Perhaps the best performance is that of the script, with the subtle clues, thrown in by director Bill Forsyth, as to who really is "Gregory's Girl".

    The viewer is not even sure at first, who Madeline (Gregory's sister)is. The knowing glances stolen by Susan (Clair Grogan) and her furtive and clandestine conversations with Dorothy begin to tell the tale.

    The supporting performance by Robert Buchanan as Gregory's best friend Andy, almost steal the show. I always remembered his classic line: "Nine losses in a row and what do they do? Sack the goalie and put girl on the forward line!" In his Scottish brogue "girl" comes out as a rolling "gare-ell." Great stuff!

    Perhaps the best scene in the entire movie is Gregory's and Susan's "gravity defying" dance in the park near the end. What imagination and how utterly, typically, and wonderfully adolescent! I almost wish I was a teen-ager again.
  • angelofvic24 July 2010
    TCM aired Gregory's Girl this week and I taped and just watched it. I recalled that the Brits on IMDb had recommended it, and that it's in the top 30 of BFI's 100 Best British Films. But I didn't know it would be this great or that I would love it this much! It's so charming, refreshing, original and unpredictable and non-formulaic. And so non-commercial and non-cheesy and non-pandering (unlike some elements of John Hughes). Plus it's a coming-of-age rom-com for ADULTS rather than for teens.

    Such a wonderful script and characters, and an excellent cast starting with the likes of John Gordon Sinclair (Gregory), Allison Forster (Madeline), and Clare Grogan (Susan). Magic can happen when an extremely low-budget film in good hands combines local non-actors or novices with a superb script, brilliant directing, and a lot of passion. This seems to happen with several British films: Kes, The Full Monty, Billy Eliot, etc. In these sorts of films we also get authentic and undiluted local flavor -- flavor which is homogenized out of most Hollywood fare.

    Do check it out, especially if you are an American!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Made at the time when video shops were appearing by the dozen in high streets all over the UK "Gregory's Girl" was a definite "must hire" for any schoolboy who had ever gazed longingly and hopelessly at some unattainable figure in the playground whilst she totally blanks him and chats unconcernedly to her mates,not knowing she carries his heart in her hands.It is at the same time an evocation of the sweet pain and joy of adolescent love and a grand comedy of young manners. I can see no fault in it despite repeated viewings over a quarter of a century.It is a perfect movie. John Gordon Sinclair,like Henry Thomas in the near - contemporary "E.T." created a nonpareil character,and like Master Thomas,will never be able to escape from it. That great droll Mr Chic Murray gives one of then great British movie performances as the Headmaster whose school,like some huge new - fangled machine,seems to have mastered perpetual motion. "Gregory's Girl" is awash with fine performances,full of the optimism and enthusiasm and joie de vivre of youth and,merely by watching it you can recapture that heady brew for 90 minutes or so.Any movie that can do that for a 66year old is a considerable work indeed.Please watch it.
  • corfe6120 May 2006
    I remember going to the cinema to watch 'Grease',while 'Gregorys Girl 'was the support. What an anti climax when 'grease' came on while my mind kept flashing back to the wonderful ,previous film i had watched before.

    Must of watched the film a million and nine times since and never tire from watching what was the sweetest ,funniest and atmospheric film with the greatest soundtrack ever. I loved the end to the film and whenever i had a date with a girl in the eighties and nineties my mind would flashback to a certain clock tower, a white jacket (without the stain),a beret,whistling, horizontal dancing and kissing with numbers.Unfortunately my dates would never hit the heights of Gregorys date but if i was fortunate to get the girl home then without fail the Gregorys video would be shown to what would normally work in my favour. Bella Bella !
  • OK. I've seen this film about 20 times, and I think I may watch it at least 20 more. Why? You may ask. Well, how about the best movie ever?. Yes, it is a comedy, and yes it is very innocent, but if you have ever been in love or at least you think you have, I'm sure you will enjoy it.

    I saw this movie on one of those late night showings and having nothing better to do I kept watching. From the beginning I was hooked, I just couldn't stop watching. Somehow It reminded me of my teenage years and how deeply you could fall in love.

    This film show us that, for a movie to be really good, a large budget is not necessary, not even a bunch of stars (at the time they were pretty unknown, I think), just a great filmmaker and something important to tell, 'That's that. No eggs, no strudel. Nothing'.
  • Excellent stuff from Bill Forsyth. Admittedly, the plot is strangely lop-sided, with the last 15 minutes proving quite detatched from the rest of it, and a perhaps quite unpredictable ending.

    But what is great about this film is its depiction of adolescent gangly awkwardness, mostly in the form of John Gordon Sinclair. He and the other characters come across very strongly, partly I am sure due to the almost jaw-droppingly plain and dull backdrop, in the form of Cumbernauld, filmed with great care. This, coupled with the rather odd electric jazz soundtrack, result in a strange sterility of surroundings otherwise only found in the likes of 2001 etc. The beauty of the hills and the sunsets are left to towards the end, which acts as a great contrast.

    Certain comparisons might even be drawn with later films like The Rachel Papers and Ferris Bueller's Day Off (ie the role of Cameron), although don't expect either of those to prepare you for the dazzling Gregory!

    Good to see Clare Grogan pre- pop stardom with Altered Images too...
  • What John Hughes did for eighties America, Forsyth has done for Eighties Britain with this little gem. It captures the boredom of a new town, then rips one character's life, such that it was, to pieces by having a girl replace him on the football team. Of course he can't help himself but to fall in love.

    I adore this film - well, love it anyway. It quite simply makes me want to be a teenager again. But not in anywhere,USA like so many of Hughes' films, but at home in Scotland. It's just a shame that the three main players - John Gordan Sinclair, Claire Grogan, and to a lessor degree, Dee Hepburn - were never able to build on this.

    A one off that has to be seen ....
  • Every now and again a cinema house comes out with a film so good it makes you want to weep and this is one of those films. Set in 1980's Glasgow and featuring a typically acerbic and avant garde Glaswegian screenplay, the film concerns the adventures of Gregory (failed soccer striker cum goalie) and his pursuit of Dorothy, the dashingly glamorous new addition to the school team. The course of false love refuses to run smooth of course and Gregory reels from being stood up and jilted by Dorothy, only to be gently coerced into the waiting arms of his secret admirer, Susan. There's some superb performances in this film from the wonderfully frustrated John Gordon Sinclair as Gregory, plus Dee Hepburn as Dorothy the stunning love interest. 'Gregory's Girl' was clearly filmed between Spring and early Autumn and there's one enduringly beautiful scene where Dorothy plays keep-up with a soccer ball, shot against the maternally basking backdrop of urban Glasgow, whilst a haunting saxophone laments and chases the fading daylight, bemoaning the inevitable and eventual closure of our younger years, brief and fleeting as the scene itself. Plenty of valiant support too from Robert Buchanan as Charlie who finds himself fresh out of luck with the ladies and is therefore reduced to irritation tactics in a vain attempt to court their favours, all of which goes wrong and he attempts to hitchhike from StrathClyde to 'Caracus', where he's heard that the women out number the men by 8 to 1. Clare Grogan is slow-burningly sexy as Susan and a special mention too for Allison Forster for her brilliant betrayal of Gregory's dour and deadpan sister Madeline. Watch out for a wandering and periodic cameo penguin, some 'Olympic-challenged' track and field events and the late Chic Murray as the Headmaster .."off you go you small boys". The film also shows all the hilarious vice rackets that existed around 80's schools during lunch breaks, plus the pompous 'cock of the walk' bravado that naturally seems to accompany young men around the fairer sex. I was saddened to note that 'Gregory's Girl' was the one and only on-screen appearance that some of the cast have made and I believe that to be a crying shame as the cast was talented beyond belief. That said however, this is a magnificent statement of young love from start to finish and everyone of any age currently in love (or theoretically), ought to see it, sooner rather than later.
  • Oh my, this has to be one of my most favourite films of all, all time. Gordon Sinclair was made for this role, with his gangly, clumsy physique. Who really hasn't a chance in hell with Dorothy, the one with the hair and the teeth and the smell!

    I also love it that the teachers are shown as overgrown twats, just like the kids. Although I do find the comments made by the adults about the young girls very near the knuckle. Which I'm sure does go on in the staff room.

    I love Andy going on about 'the big trucks' and the one that just stuffs his face throughout the whole film. Only to open his gob at the end to suggest that Karacus was mispelt after four hours of attempting to hitch hike!

    Anyone that doesn't appreciate the beauty of this innocent, vulnerable film about your first love is a bloody pratt!!!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Only see this sporadically over the years, it pops up on TV every so often.

    Another reviewer, Colin Liddel, said this: "growing up in Scotland myself i still don't feel that the movie is regional and anyone who is able to see it please do so." I can only agree, I grew up 300 miles south of Colin in southern England, yet this film evokes a certain time, the late '70s/early '80s for me, I feel at home watching it. The school in it could have been my school, it even looks the same. The children look like we did.

    One thing I've always wondered about...

    Gregory (John Gordon Sinclair) is attracted to Dee Hepburn, fine, nothing wrong with that. He in turn has Clare Grogan fancying him, and doesn't realise. Again nothing odd about that, its happened a million times before. Thats all right there in the plot, on the screen.

    But to most blokes of my generation (esp. the John Peel listening types interested in Clare & her band Altered Images) the idea that Gregory would even NOTICE Dee Hepburn with the delectable Clare Grogan around seems bizarre.

    Was this deliberate casting? That Gregory somehow fixated on Dee and didn't notice the elfin princess Clare? Or was Dee genuinely seen as fantasy material and Clare as the homely girl next door character?
  • Watching 'Gregory's Girl' for the first time in over two decades, one is immediately struck by reminders of when it was made: the grainy film, the dreadful soundtrack, the big hair of both its male and female characters. But one is soon also reminded of why it proved such a massive hit, in spite of it's low budget, unpretentious nature. For at its heart, Bill Forsyth's film captures two eternal realities, the (potentially charming) essential uselessness of a certain sort of teenage male, and the particular uselessness of just about all males when confronted by a sufficiently pretty girl (Dee Hepburn, although Clare Grogan, later a pop star, appears in a secondary role). But the gentle narrative eschews the obvious cliché, and it's also nice to see a story set in a Scottish housing scheme that isn't just a tale of drugs and A.I.D.S. It still feels funny and true after almost thirty years.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I really love this simple, unforced comedy about a boy named Gregory (John Gordon Sinclair) who falls for a straight talking female footballer named Dorothy (Dee Hepburn). That's it. That's the set-up. Director Bill Forsyth, who also wrote the script, populates this, his second feature, with characters we can relate to so easily that watching them trip over their hormones makes us care and feel embarrassed for them.

    Forsyth's first outing, "That Sinking Feeling", also gave us very real characters and placed them in situations not far removed from the everyday. The director's third feature, "Local Hero", added a dash of surrealism to the naturalism.

    For me, though, "Gregory's Girl" strikes the most perfect balance and is never less than highly engaging. The director's use of small children is wonderfully surreal, as are his characterizations of various school teachers, a soccer coach and Gregory's almost invisible dad. Robert Buchanan, who plays the lovable Andy, also appeared in "That Sinking Feeling", and here turns in an unaffected, terrific performance as a horny youth who longs to travel to Caracas, Venezuela, where -- it's a "well known fact!" -- the women seriously outnumber the men.

    The film's resolution is appropriately low key and Sinclair's comic timing is textbook stuff.
  • mj_taylor1081 April 2003
    10/10
    A joy.
    Few films i would describe as being a joy from start to finish. Maybe this is the only one. When things go bad they're never that bad for Gregory, okay he loses his place in the football team, but he's in love - who cares? And when he finally gets his dream date with Dorothy and is lead from pillar to post, by first one girl then another he takes it all in his stride. And why not...he's young, it's a lovely Summer's day in Cumbernauld...it's all there for the taking.

    If this film doesn't make you smile, you either have no heart or the Scottish accents are put you off. Give them a chance, us Scot's folks flock, like the rest of the world to see films from the US - it's not that difficult. So go on, search this movie out...the esteemed critic Barry Norman has this great movie in his top 100 films of the century, furthermore it's the only post 70's UK film...so check it out.
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