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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Review: How to Talk to Girls at Parties

Sometimes on the weekends when I'm trying to find something to watch and relax to, I end up finding something horrid or a piece of fried gold. How to Talk to Girls at Parties definitely falls into the latter category and is a transcendent slice of the 70's punk scene in England cross-pollinated with the goofiest aliens I've seen since Dude, Where's My Car?

The story, which is based on the story of the same name by Neil Gaiman, follows a young punk named Enn who just wants to go to shows and hang out with his friends. It is on this quest to have fun that they stumble upon a strange group living in a house, of which the lovely Zan is a member. What they don't realize that these people aren't just odd--they're out of this world! That doesn't stop Enn and Zan from falling in love, but can they make it work or will their story burn up on reentry?

The visual language in this film is amazing. From the opening scene, shot with a frame-rate that staggers and stutters, imbuing the whole proceedings with the "fuck it" attitude of the punks, to meeting the dizzying and colorful and bizarre aliens, I was hooked. It's a weird movie, but it's a movie with something to say that just wants you to watch and listen and enjoy the ride. The closest analogue that I can think of would be a cross between SLC Punk and Dude, Where's My Car? but even that falls short in the world John Cameron Mitchell has presented us with.

The cast is great too, and own their roles completely. A standout for me is Nicole Kidman as a queen of the punks looking to promote her son as the next big thing. She rules every scene that she is in and kicks so much ass it hurts. But Alex Sharp and Elle Fanning have a great chemistry that rivals any romance that I’ve seen on screen lately. Their characters ache with a longing that springs off the screen whenever they are near each other. Despite their differences as human and alien, they find a way to connect in a mad world, and isn’t that what we all want at times?

If you’re a fan of punk rock, aliens and romance and don’t mind a little quirkiness, this flick is for you.

Check it out.

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