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How to Talk to Girls at Parties

How to Talk to Girls at Parties (2017) Movie Poster
  •  UK / USA  •    •  102m  •    •  Directed by: John Cameron Mitchell.  •  Starring: Nicole Kidman, Ruth Wilson, Elle Fanning, Matt Lucas, Stephen Campbell Moore, Tom Brooke, Elarica Johnson, Alex Sharp, Joanna Scanlan, Eloise Smyth, Ethan Lawrence, Nansi Nsue, Joey Ansah.  •  Music by: Nico Muhly, Jamie Stewart.
        John Cameron Mitchell, director of the acclaimed films Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Shortbus takes us to an exotic and unusual world: suburban London in the late 70s. Under the spell of the Sex Pistols, every teenager in the country wants to be a punk, including our hopeless hero Enn. Hearing the local punk Queen Boadicea is throwing a party, Enn crashes the fun and discovers every horny boy's dream; gorgeous foreign exchange students. When he meets the enigmatic Zan, it's lust at first sight. But these girls have come a lot further than America. They are, in fact, aliens from another galaxy, sent to Earth to prepare for a mysterious rite of passage. When the dark secret behind the rite is revealed, our galaxy-crossed lover Enn must turn to Boadicea and her punk followers for help in order to save the alien he loves from certain death. The punks take on the aliens on the streets of London, and neither Enn nor Zan's universe will ever be the same again.


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Image from: How to Talk to Girls at Parties (2017)
Image from: How to Talk to Girls at Parties (2017)
Image from: How to Talk to Girls at Parties (2017)
Image from: How to Talk to Girls at Parties (2017)
Image from: How to Talk to Girls at Parties (2017)
Image from: How to Talk to Girls at Parties (2017)
Image from: How to Talk to Girls at Parties (2017)
This's a really unique movie. It's kind've hard to explain the insanity this film has in store which both work for and against it as a whole. The story's about a young punk artist named Enn (Alex Sharpe) who goes bar hopping with his friends Vic (AJ Lewis) and John (Ethan Lawrence). One night however they crash a house where the residents are taking part in a bizarre ritual. This leads to them realizing they're aliens. As they leave Enn meets a rebellious alien girl named Zan (Elle Fanning) whom he takes along with her to experience the Punk Lifestyle. As they spend time with each other their relationship becomes closer (though pretty strange). They both fascinate each other with their background and lifestyle much to the confusion and shock from their friends. Needless to say that they're going to turn each other's worlds upside down.

What I like about the movie is the cinematography. There're a lot of weird shots and filters that work in the film's favor and get the surreal feeling across. The scene where they sing at a punk club where they describe a ritual to the audience gets really bizarre when they appear in space and fuse together. I like how they interpolate a line from The Beatles "The End". I found that very clever. The characters are off but for the most part interesting to watch. Enn's a typical teen trying to find his place in life and his friends are either rough or inquisitive. Zan's a curious alien who slowly and slowly understands life on earth and makes a path for herself. Their chemistry's interesting. When they kiss it's really nice. The supporting characters are interesting too. Nicole Kidman as the owner of the club is cool to watch though she looks like Jeremiah from Labyrinth (which's another bizarrely decent movie). Most of the music is good too.

The only issues I have are the pacing and concepts. The concepts are interesting but I feel like the pacing seems to go too fast for the audience to grasp them and when they're talked about it's usually in a riddle or short discussion that makes it hard to understand followed by the characters rarely elaborating or expanding on the concept(s). I feel like the book would've elaborated more than the movie did. The aliens are interesting: They wear brightly colored spandex, reproduce somewhat asexually and are divided into groups for this bizarre right of passage. What's really weird is when they dance they scream like harpies and they even do it to defend against intruders in a few scenes. They also hypnotize their victims using their songs like sirens.

One thing I thought was interesting was how the aliens are either American or have American accents. This makes me wonder if it was a commentary on how the Brits see us. It's just a theory... PT Wain (Matt Lucas) has a stiff american accent which strangely enough works in his favor. I won't give away the ending but it's very heartfelt. If you like strange art or indie films than you'll enjoy something out of this otherwise you may be turned off by it's constant surrealness and ideas that often go nowhere.

Review by mitsubishizero from the Internet Movie Database.


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