The talk of a British coming of age drama makes my edgy arm hair's rise. Movies which are set panning across puddled streets within the lines of compact terraced houses gives off a sense of familiarity for English viewers. 'How to Build a Girl' is a new addition based on an 2014 novel, joyfully expressing the journey of a budding young journalist Johanna Morrigan in 1990's Wolverhampton. I've sat reclined in my cinema seat roaring at actress Beanie Feldstein in the past for her roles in Ladybird (2017) and Booksmart (2019) so had my massaged cheeks at the ready.
There is a sense that you're cheerfully skipping as the audience member throughout this film. Revolving around a teenage girl who stares at posters of idols on her wall and day dreams about crushes, it's a sweet comical tale. The script is highly engaging and holds some beautiful words between the characters that drive the story. The relationship between Joanna and her brother (Laurie Kynaston) is sweet, and the sense of poverty around Britain during this era is striking between the family dynamics. There is a strong theme of the 'Me Two' movement which ticks along in the background with scenes of sexual discrimination towards Joanna as a female. The scenes are insightful for female audiences to relate to during a period where women weren't taken seriously amongst men within journalism. The costumes chosen for all the characters were appealing and set the 90's multicultural world for the viewer.
Beanie Feldstein British accent creates an uncomfortable distraction for this one hour and forty minute watch. Even though using the American star attracted her popular audiences to delve in, using a British actress would have been more appealing and fitted better within the tale. There were moments within the movie when it felt her accent was straining or she was playing a role she herself wasn't quite sure how to portray. Even though the fantasy world of Joanna's brain made it a warm atmosphere, at times it felt you were following a children's pantomime that needed more drama and sarcastic english insight.
'How to Build a Girl' is the modern-day Billie Elliot feel-good film. This 20th century feel-good movie attracts the young to run along with it. It will remind you of your teenage years dreaming of your wondrous career, carving your huge stamp on the big wide world. Joanna's character aspirations is exactly the spirit and joy you need on a rainy day. It falls short in engagement in the middle, as you pull yourself back into the comedy, but it's one a timely movie in a sense of hope that most unemployed or tiresome brits need to remind themselves of our countries dedication of powering through.