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Susan Douglas Rubes
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A homely but vivacious young woman dodges the amorous attentions of her father's middle-aged employer while striving to capture some of the glamorous life of her swinging London roommate. Written by
Rick Ferncase <email@example.com>
In the early scene at the piano where Georgy's father has brought her a dress to wear to a birthday party, she's wearing glasses when he starts to say, "Oh, please yourself," but not wearing them before he finishes the line. See more »
[to children's dance class]
One and two and one and two! One and two and one and two. Everybody go round! Very good! Faster! One and two. One and two and one and two! One and two and one and two. Very good. All right, everybody round me, come on! Quick, quick! One more quickie to finish. You're things in space! Right. Spin into space! Blblbl. And one two three, one the floor, quick!
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A movie that starts and ends with an ingratiatingly contagious pop song would portend to be as substantive as a Fluffer Nutter sandwich. But Georgy Girl is surprisingly engaging, and tugs at far more profound emotions than those tapped by, say, Bridget Jones' Diary, which might be seen as a modern equivalent.
The song -- or actually, two different version of the same song -- is essential to understanding the movie, which makes one wonder which came first. Was the song inspired by the novel, or was it written for the movie? The opening, like a music video, introduces us to Georgina, or Georgy, and to her plight as a terribly un-chic 60s chick. But what makes Georgy interesting is that she clearly doesn't care that she's out of sync with Swinging London, circa 1966.
The timing of the film is also critical, just as it was with The Graduate. The London youth scene we are introduced to -- in black and white, no less -- is one in which conventional morals and values are being shed, yet there is still an innocence about it. The decadence that would taint the later '60s is hinted at in the troubles Georgy's roommate, the seemingly hip and carefree Meredith, faces in the latter half of the film. And the character of Jos, Meredith's boyfriend and then husband, also embodies the joie de vivre spirit of the day, but then crashes into the dead end that inevitably comes when a man lives like a child (even one of the flower variety).
Georgy's relationship with her father's employer, James (played by James Mason), is troubling in its incestuous overtones, but maybe the discomfort the viewer feels is intended.
My only gripe is that the conclusion of the film -- when we learn what Georgy is really all about, what she wants out of life -- is explained in the song, and not as clearly revealed in the plot or character exposition. But I suppose that lends a certain charm to the story, as if Georgy is indeed living inside a pop tune.
Georgy Girl, though very much of its time, is not dated, and explores choices we all make within a unique context, that of a moment in time when culture and values began tilting off their axis.
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