Growing up in the 1970s on the Isle of Wight, Holly and Marina make a childhood pact to be friends forever. For the troubled, unpredictable Marina, with her seemingly glamorous father and her Valium-addicted mother, Holly stays the only constant in a life of divorcing parents, experimental drugs and fashionable self-destruction. Meanwhile, Holly buries herself in books out of feelings of frustration with her over-protective mother and a nagging insecurity around her beautiful and possessive best friend. She holds just one secret from Marina, her increasing passion for Marina's brother Nat. As the years roll by, the girls experience everything life has to offer, sex, love, loss and rock 'n roll. But eventually for Holly, a friendship which has never been equal gradually begins to feel like a trap. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
I loved this film. I cannot fathom why the above reviewer calls it "maudlin" and the comparison to Antonia and Jane seems way off base, as does the comment that this is somehow like a Mike Leigh film! (makes me think they have never seen a Mike Leigh film). Also the comment on the "Miranda" character does not inspire confidence since the character's name is Marina!
In any case, this film deftly captures several eras with its complex and lush visual design, reflecting the inner world of Holly who is a creative, romantic soul and the outer surface of Marina who is a chameleon-like, savvy trendsetter. The music is also extremely well-utilized, as are the many pop cultural references that lend authenticity to the changes in chronology without being too obvious.
A fine cast too! Williams and Friel are excellent and their evolution from teenagers to young women to early thirties is convincing and enthralling. I also love Trudy Styler as a pill-popping, slutty- dressing "mom" and Allan Corduner has a solid turn as Holly's kind, befuddled father. Kyle Maclachlan seems somewhat miscast at times but plays the reckless professor well. I also found Oliver Milburn as Nat to be charming, and though she has a small role the French actress who plays his fiancé is great...I last saw her in My Sex Life and she is also terrific in that.
On its surface (the candybox colors, the fluffy music) this might seem like a Brit chick flick but it's really an exploration of what happens when an obsessive friendship grows beyond its usefulness.
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