Gregory's Two Girls (1999) Poster

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A brave attempt at an original sequel.
bob4kate20 August 2002
The good thing about this film is that it stands alone - you don't have to have seen the original. Unfortunately this is also it's biggest drawback. It would have been nice to have included a few of the original characters in the new story and seen how their lives had developed. Sinclair as in the original is excellent and provides the films best comic moments as he attempts to deal with awkward and embarrassing situations but the supporting cast is not as strong as in the original movie. Forsyth is to be congratulated on a brave attempt to move the character on and create an original sequel but the film is ultimately flawed and lacks the warmth of the original
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By no means his best film - but still an enjoyable romp, as long as you're broad-minded.
Bakunin15 October 1999
By no means his best film, and by no means comparable to the original (how could it be, the original is a gem) - but still an enjoyable romp. The original hit movie, Gregory's Girl, oozed pubescent romance and bittersweet comedy.

But the long-awaited sequel starts with a dream sex sequence between a male teacher and his 15-year-old pupil in the school's shower block while the headmaster and police batter on the door.

The actor John Gordon Sinclair, who played gawky but charming Gregory in the first film, plays a Gregory who has become a 35-year-old teacher with a passion for schoolgirls. This in itself will be enough for many self-appointed moral watchdogs to condemn the film out-of-hand - they are the same people who tried to claim Lolita was a dog before anyone had even seen it. Yawn, snore... this kind of rent-a-gob puritan "outrage" looks so stupid from countries like Spain or Holland where a fifteeen year-old is several years over the age-of-consent.

This is indeed a funny film, in the politically-incorrect mould pioneered by several recent USA films. That's not to say it's a good film - but it's not bad either, and if you suspend disbelief (hey, you did it for Star Wars Episode 1 :) then it is at least very funny in parts - it's just that those parts don't hang together very well.

And it is shocking too, especially to the frosty English looking for another fix of comforting adolescent nostalgia. Liz Lochhead, the poet and playwright, said of seeing an early cut of Gregory's 2 Girls. "It does shock you. You go, 'Oh my God, what is going on here?' But it's a dream and that makes you laugh. The film is, of course, about that - it's definitely about Gregory's forbidden desires - but I think that's wonderful... The whole film is about him trying to run away from his own desires. It has big sweeping things to say about Scotland. It's an immensely sad and painful film too, but very, very funny. I think the best word to describe the film is sore."

According to one insider, an early script of Gregory's 2 Girls had several sex scenes, including the opening fantasy and a later sequence in which Gregory and the schoolgirl consummate their relationship. He said the script made a point of stressing that the girl was underage. The girl is played by a 16-year-old actress, Carly Mackinnon. Certainly very topical in Jack Straw's New-Labour hang'em!flog'em! 'we-will-rule-for-100-years' Britain, in which such teacher/teen-pupil relationships are daily fodder for Puritanical comment.

Bill Forsyth, the director who also made the original Gregory's Girl 20 years ago, has understandably refused to talk to the media since starting work on the film, which was reportedly fraught with difficulties and personality clashes, and went over budget and over schedule.

In June 1996, Forsyth submitted the script of his Gregory's Girl sequel to the Scottish Film Production Fund (SFPF) with a view to securing lottery funding. The fund turned him down and then 'withheld judgment' on the application. Sources say the film's subject matter was deemed "indecent" and the SFPF allegedly feared 'being crucified' in the tabloid press. This decision was later overruled by the Scottish Arts Council, who held final say on lottery funds, which instructed that Gregory's 2 Girls be awarded 1m, supplementing the 2m invested by Channel 4. Shooting finished in July 1998 and the film premiered at the 1999 Edinburgh Festival in August 1999, then at BAFTA in London in September 1999. For those wondering, the original film, made almost 20 years ago, became a classic for its innocent charm and offbeat sense of humour, and launched the career of Bill Forsyth who went on to direct such low-key classics as Local Hero. It's a pity he didn't try for a more low key piece instead of going for a A Fish Called Wanda style comedy-romp. It's as if the climate of the times caused him to shy away from dealing sensitively and humourously with a love relationship between a teacher and a schoolgirl.
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I loved it!
hidden_shallows26 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
As a huge fan of the original, I avoided this film like the plague when the bad reviews started coming in eight years ago, but I just finished watching this film and found it to be a really pleasant surprise.

Okay, if you are looking for a retread of the original, you're in for a big disappointment, but if you are looking for something quite different, a bit edgy and political, then this is the film for you.

Gregory is now thirty four and works as a teacher at his old comprehensive school, where he's being pursued by a fellow teacher and having sexual dreams about one of his students. When the student insists on meeting up with Gregory, a series of misadventures ensue that include torture, breaking and entering and all manner of unexpected twists and turns that left me feeling elated and moved.

If you are looking for something original, then I highly recommend this film. I only wish that more people had gone to see this when it was released and seen it for what it really is.
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Deserves points for trying to be much more than an easy "cash-in" sequel but it doesn't work that well as a story
bob the moo2 April 2006
Gregory Underwood is a secondary school teacher in Scotland now but his relationships with women is no stable than before. Despite the very clear attention of colleague Bel, Gregory prefers to stay at home watching Chomsky tapes and worrying about the general state of the world. Unknown to anyone else he has a major crush on a girl in one of his classes – football player Frances. Despite the risk, when she appears to come onto him he responds only to find that she just wants to talk to him about the fact that a local electronics company appears to be manufacturing torture equipment.

This film received bad reviews when it came out and I suspect many reviewers (like myself) just disliked the idea of a sequel to such a famous film after so many years had gone by. Of course opening the film with a sex scene between a teacher and a young pupil that is played for laughs was never going to be that good a move – especially in a time when paedophilia is the number one topic for a tabloid witch hunt on any given day. And so I found myself at the start of a very strange film indeed, one that has a teacher/pupil relationship at the core and stuff about corporations and globalisation etc around the edges – suffice to say that this is not just a retread of Gregory's Girl for the sake of making some extra money. However, why Forsyth chose to place this story within a sequel was a mystery to me because it does stand alone so much there appears to be no other reason to connect the two other than raising the money to make it.

The plot is a strange mix of issues and relationships and it is certainly never dull but this is not to say that it all works because it most certainly does not. It is a messy affair that starts off with the crush but gradually forgets it and instead wanders onto the issue of corporate social responsibility and globalisation but does it in a way that doesn't really ring true or allow for a clear message to be delivered. It is still interesting and I stayed with it for the couple of things that it was trying to do but even at my kindest I can't pretend that it worked out because it didn't. The plot doesn't flow that well and although it is interesting it doesn't stick in the mind as a good narrative or one that pulls anything in particular off.

The cast are OK and seem to get the light tone of the film even if they don't always seem to know where it is all going either. Sinclair plays his usual character well and manages to keep the audience onside (not as easy as it sounds in this film); however again, did we need him to be called "Gregory" or was it just to get funding? McKinnon is surprisingly assured and gives a very strong performance. Between the two of them they make their scenes work really well, with both of them coming from their different angles well. Support is so-so but not really any better than that – Kennedy, Scott, Murtagh and others are very much secondary to requirements and their performances are a notch below the lead two. Forsyth's direction is good and he injects the film with a feel that is recognisable as him.

Overall though this is not a film to dislike for being an unnecessary sequel because, in fairness, it is actually a very brave attempt to do something different that unfortunately doesn't come off. The challenging relationship drama that could have been so impacting is gradually lost in a bigger story that never hangs together. Deserves points for trying but sadly it is just not that good a film.
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Great film, warm, very funny, unexpectedly subversive.
lambchopnixon18 April 2004
A shift in outlook is neccesary to enjoy modern British films, one that somehow allows them to be seen in their own right and for their own qualities rather than by the criteria that American films are judged. Britfilm has to try hard to be gritty and finds it hard to make it, but at warmth British films can lord it over their otherwise overwhelming competitor.

This film fails not in its content but only in attaching itself to the predeccesor, so allowing it to be all to easily seen as the work of star and director somewhere near the end of their tethers. It's a couple of decades later, Gregory teaching and this time with two girls on his mind. He teaches at his school railing against human rights abuses. When students he's fired up find abuses in their midst he must face whether he's just all talk.

This is a subversive film in that there's not the usual worldly character of any American movie that you expect to do whatever he does, but a naive man boy who may still put everything on the line for principles. Maybe. It's certainly no protest-by-numbers though, being too warm. Where U.S. film may seem realistic because they're urban and gritty, this and other British films of recent years - those that don't try to match America for visceral thrills - are real because British humour reveals truths.
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Pointless with funny moments but zero endings
leo_bfg26 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
As one of the few commentators not to have seen the 1st film, I found this to be a very disappointing movie.

Yes, it has a funny awkward type of humour if you can bear the (highly) morally dubious premise. However, it fails abysmally in the important areas.

There is thin and nonsensical plot line involving Gordon Sinclair's generous friend who may or may not be entwined in a conspiracy to supply dangerous electronics to Third World countries - possibly in free computers ... or possibly not. Vague, long-winded and inconclusive. The lack of any substantial ending is so infuriating and what is present is pompous and wholly illogical. The film feels half-finished.

Suspension of disbelief is extremely difficult when witnessing a very attractive female teacher (Maria Doyle Kennedy) can be drawn to Gordon Sinclair's unimpressive character, especially when he fends off her advances. Laughable. It worsens later in the film when he achieves his romantic ambitions then throws it all away for some ideals based on very little evidence of ambiguous value.

Not many films leave me feeling cheated, but I felt my time was stolen.
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CharltonBoy23 April 2002
There are many things that can be said about Gregory's Two Girls but i'm afraid not too many of them are good. This film cannot be compared to the original Gregory's girl in any way. This film lacks the charm ,comedy and script that the first film has and the only thing this bore has in common with Gregory's Girl is that it stars the very average John Gordon Sinclair . In this movie he tries to be funny but with a lousy story only manages to look like a poor version of Mr Bean. Another problem about this film is the way the Gregory Character changes as the film goes on. At the start of the film he a such a crush on the school girl that he even has a wet dream about her ( did we have to see the wet patch?)as the film goes on he loses the urge to be with her to the extent that the film has no meaning whatsoever and turns into a stupid , dull story about fighting human rights. Yawn. 5 out of 10.
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A real disappointment
two-robinsons23 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
First of all my heartfelt commiserations to anyone who bought a cinema ticket in the hope of seeing a film in the same mould as the fantastic Gregory's Girl and Local Hero but ended up leaving the theatre feeling disappointed and vaguely cheated. While it's true that sequels are usually, bar a few notable exceptions, a mistake and exist merely to provide studio executives with an opportunity to cash in on the success of a previous film by offering us either a thinly disguised retread of the original story or a plot line so far removed from the intentions of the original that the resulting film makes no sense. In the case of Gregory's Two Girls, Bill Forsyth has the dubious honour of managing to commit both sins - on the one hand revisiting the plot of Gregory's Girl, while at the same time serving up a frankly incredible and moronic storyline involving Scottish arms dealers. Schoolboy Gregory is now a teacher at the same school where at the tender age of sixteen, he harboured a hopeless passion for the football playing Dorothy. Although now thirty five, Gregory still harbours a hopeless passion but now for the football playing Frances, also sixteen, despite the fact that music teacher, Bel has made it clear that she is attracted to him. His passion for Frances and his desire to impress her lead to his involvement in a scheme to expose a local arms dealer who also happens to be an old schoolfriend. There's no point in going any further as the rest of the story is forgettable and the ending makes no real sense at all. The main problem lies with the character of Gregory himself, in that there is no sign of the endearing and charming sixteen year old Gregory who actively and comically pursues Dorothy convinced that he would eventually win her over. At thirty five, Gregory is presented to us as a rather sad and friendless creature whose life is neither active nor comic. Outside of work his time is spent watching videos of Noam Chomsky and reading magazines about international injustices. As his friends and family from the previous film have seemingly vanished, save two pointless scenes with his younger sister, who no longer offers him advice or seems at all interested in his life, we are left confused about what it is Gregory really wants, who he is and why he is the way he is. Why for example is he friendless? Why does he never see his father, who is clearly still alive? Why has he returned to teach at the school he once attended? Why is he so interested in Noam Chomsky and injustice? Why has he become so apathetic? Why is he attracted to Frances? Why isn't he attracted to Bel until the last twenty minutes of the film? What in heaven's name do Bel or Frances see in him as he is neither drop dead gorgeous or even interesting? Why does he continue to try and impress Frances even after he and Bel have become an item and when their association threatens to completely disrupt his life? Are we really to believe that a Scottish arms dealer openly selling weapons of torture to oppressive regimes could manage to evade media scrutiny but fall foul of a couple of school-kids? Does Gregory really think that dumping a handful of computers into the sea will change anything? To make matters worse, actor John Gordon Sinclair attempts to rehash his performance as the adolescent Gregory right down to the facial expressions and awkward body language. Unfortunately on a thirty five year old it just comes across as odd and vaguely creepy. On top of that, it's hard to feel any sympathy for, or empathy with a teacher who has erotic dreams involving sex with one of their uniform wearing pupils while they both lie on a pile of gym mats. Rather than being amusing it simply smacks of paedophilia. It's hard to know what was going through Bill Forsyth's head when he wrote this script or why he thought fans of the original film would embrace a story so completely lacking in the charm, wit and warmth that turned the first movie into a classic. I can only assume that the plan was to craft a film about a man who was refusing to grow up and commit to adult life and perhaps whose happiest memory was of being sixteen and pursuing the best looking girl in the school but who by degrees is forced to accept that a life lived in the past is no life at all.That at least could have been the basis of a film which was thematically interesting and intelligent. As it is Gregory's Two Girls adds up 116 wasted and pointless minutes saying nothing and signifying even less. Gregory's Girl was responsible for launching Bill Forsyth's career, here's hoping that Gregory's Two Girls won't be responsible for sinking it.
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Oh Dear Oh Deary me
dilsonbelper12 November 2020
Who's idea was this ? Appalling acting, Appalling dated humour, not even funny in 1999, Appalling...... Script Appalling..... Direction Appalling..... production Erase this movie from all , our children would look at this and frown upon us, "really some thought this was funny"
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kevin c2 May 2001
This film is a travesty, and isn't fit to keep company with the superior original. The plot is an absolute mess, and the film is way too long. Everytime they're struggling, they desperately inject a sentimental reminder from the first film.

"Gregory's Girl" is one of the top 10 British films of all time, this one is awful.
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It really tries... but is just plain not good
Flagrant-Baronessa28 July 2006
Gregory's Two Girls is a sequel to Bill Forsyth's Brit-comedy Gregory's Girl (1981) starring the same John Gordon Sinclair as Gregory, and this time he is no longer in school as a student lusting after a classmate, but as an English teacher. Gregory still has a predilection for schoolgirls and he's got his eyes on Frances, a 15-year old "Celtic beauty" whom he teaches and develops an unusual bond with. As politically incorrect as this set-up sounds, Sinclair makes his character clumsy, insecure and likable and nothing feels racy, even when it tries.

This is a muffled Scottish drama-comedy that tries to be unusual and quirky, but truly lacks edge or humour of any kind. It also attempts more than one storyline, aside from Gregory battling his schoolgirl infatuation there is some sort of ethical dilemma going on with his best friend Fraser Rowan (Dougray Scott) who appears to be secretly selling interactive torture technology to third world countries. I have absolutely no idea what this storyline is all about or where it came from or who thought it would fit in in a film like this, but facilitates the relationship between Gregory and schoolgirl Frances as they both become involved in this dilemma.

Gregory's Two Girls is the kind of film that is relegated to a bad fate and panned by critics and I see why, but isn't an unwatchable experience -- occasionally nicely done, every now and then smirkworthy and above all, it TRIES. A for effort... but it doesn't really deliver. 5/10
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A terrible film
nwoodhouse3 April 2006
Watched this film having really enjoyed Gregory's Girl many years ago. This was drivel. The plot was vaguely distasteful with the teacher and his friend perving over 14-15-year-old girls in very short skirts. Previous commenters seem to think that this doesn't matter, but I found it rather nasty. If you have children at school then the last thing you want is to think that every youngish teacher is lusting after his pupils. We were surprised that the censor let that through. Apart from that the film was just a waste of time. The script was poor and John Gordon Sinclair trying too hard to recreate his schoolboy image, slightly wacky and off the wall. Why anyone would want to lust after him in this performance is incredible. This film failed on all counts for me. Dreadful. Please don't waste your time watching it. Life's too short
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several steps down from the original
SnoopyStyle4 November 2018
John Gordon Sinclair returns as Gregory Underwood. Bill Forsyth returns as writer/director. Gregory is back at his school now as the awkward English teacher fantasizing about his student Frances. Bel Jordan (Maria Doyle Kennedy) is a co-worker who is throwing herself at him without any success. He's a sofa activist. With his talks as inspiration, Frances and Doug investigates Gregory's former schoolmate Fraser Rowan (Dougray Scott) of exporting electronic torture machines.

I love the original which has an innocent charm and the awkward teenage hormones. Gregory is still obsessed with teen girls despite being 20 years later. It is very off-putting. I'm not even complaining about the disappearance of the love story with Susan although that would be a good sequel. I thought the torture machines idea is absolutely ridiculous. Everything seems wrong and flies in the face of the charming original. Then I surrender to the silly sincerity of the torture machines search. It keeps getting sillier and more sincere at the same time with the arrival of Maddy and her arrogant boyfriend. I had to laugh at the turn. The characters grow on me. Eventually I'm going along with the movie but the final ending pissed me off. It is the pettiest of vandalism and I was expecting the torture machine in the back of the truck. This is quite a step down from the original.
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I really wanted to like this, but God, how dreadful.
kevjonz15 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I can't believe that I can only give this movie 2/10 stars. I'm still in shock. The original Gregory's Girl was so lighthearted and charming, it was impossible not to like. I really wanted to like this movie. Unfortunately, very unfortunately, this rather strange and unnecessary sequel induces wincing and discomfort from the opening scene, in which Gregory (now a teacher at his old high school) has sex with a student. There's no gratuitous nudity here, but they do show the girl -- supposedly 16 years old -- sprawled out on a large pile of tumbling mats with her legs wide apart, and Gregory between them as police and school administrators pound and curse at the room's locked door. This sex tragedy does, however, turn out to be a dream as Gregory awakens to an ejaculatory mess in his bedding. Lovely.

As it turns out, the film is called Gregory's 2 Girls, because Gregory is being desperately pursued, inexplicably pursued, by a female colleague of his. This colleague is drunk, in one scene, and acting foolish as she runs all around the exterior of Gregory's abode loudly begging Gregory to have sex with her. During this scene, Gregory crawls around in the dark locking doors and ducking behind furniture to avoid her apparently quite perilous detection. He gives this woman the "just friends" speech for a certain duration of this film until the film's (very odd) script gives him direction to abandon this scheme of thought and start having sex with her. He makes an emphatic point to bathe in advance of initially having sex with her. Gregory has multiple bathing and showering scenes in the film, such to the extent that one would get the impression that he has some mild form of obsessive compulsive disorder. This is all in keeping with his strangely nervous and twitchy personality, which leaves one wondering why anyone would like or care about this guy. He's less mature and adjusted as an adult in this film, than he was as a teenager in the original film, which serves as an excellent example of character non-development. So, these days Gregory studies and quotes Noam Chomsky quite a bit, but still generally behaves like an imbecile.

A plot manages to evolve in the movie, which features a local computer and electronics manufacturing facility ran by an old friend of Gregory's who is now "back from America." According to Gregory's under aged sex object student, and a goofy looking male friend of her's, this facility is making electronic torture devices. The goofy looking guy produces a stolen circuit board of some kind to offer up as proof. This plot doesn't really go anywhere believable nor interesting, but culminates with Gregory and his sexy teenage girl stealing a class B truck filled with computer hardware from the evil facility. The two revolutionaries park this truck near the edge of a cliff and proceed to unload its cargo, which is mostly computer monitors, by throwing all of this equipment over the cliff and onto a rocky beach far below. They pollute the beach terrifically with computer hazmat debris, and imagine that they have saved the third world from electronic torture with this gesture. They go to sleep in the truck, and the movie ends with the teenage girl's vagina remaining presumably intact. No character resolution is provided to explain what becomes of Gregory's adult sexual partner, nor his relationship with her. The final interaction between these two characters simply involves Gregory borrowing the woman's car, after having sex with her as a product of her insistence.

Gregory's younger sister, Madeline, who was a charming and insightful character in the original film, makes a brief cameo in this sequel. She introduces Gregory to her American boyfriend who, like Gregory, is also a big fan of Noam Chomsky. Gregory likes him for this reason. The three of them have lunch together. This new boyfriend gives Gregory an impressive ballpoint pen, with which Gregory will later impress teenagers. Then Gregory climbs aboard a train and goes home. No portion of this entire sequence with Madeline serves to advance the film's plot an any significant way.

There is one other useless character in the film who shows up in the form of a peace activist who is friendly with a dog and takes lots of pictures. He also knows a family of Chileans. This character gets deported or something, before doing anything of long-term consequence. This film is completely in-cohesive. The movie lacks a meaningful plot, and is thematically inane. Skip this movie, and check out other Bill Forsyth works. I'd recommend the original Gregory's Girl, Housekeeping, Local Hero, and Breaking In with Burt Reynolds, which are all great movies. I have no idea how Forsyth could have managed such a stink-bomb with Gregory's 2 Girls, but I guess you can't win them all.
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Not likely to significantly revive Forsyth's reputation
allyjack16 September 1999
Forsyth returns to the site of the small-scale comedy that made his now-battered name with this somewhat ambitious but messy and incompletely developed chronicle of a teacher who talks about responsibility and activism but practices only stagnation, until the discovery that a local computer company is manufacturing torture devices for Third World dictatorships - and the galvanizing influence of a pupil about whom he has erotic fantasies - bring him to belated life. It's easy enough to see what Forsyth had in mind, but the movie isn't at all well integrated - the Big Ideas float like patches of oil on a stagnant loch. The two girls of the title are both merely wet dreams of different kinds (the movie attempts to forge a parallel between his political/social and his personal maturity - the latter of which is achieved by having actress Kennedy hang around in desperation until he's ready for her "ripe" charms); the movie gets its biggest laugh from the well-timed use of the word "beaver"; the happy ending is a total cheat; even the setting isn't particularly well evoked...on the whole it's not likely to significantly revive Forsyth's reputation.
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Waste of time
Davcat26 May 2000
Warning: Spoilers
What a dog's dinner this movie turned out to be.

Like the majority of people who saw "Gregory's Girl" - an excellent film for many reasons - I expected perhaps too much from the sequel.

It started off good, and the acting was reasonable, but the direction...?? It quickly started going nowhere, meandered around, and then finally petered-out. WHY did it suddenly end with the dumping of a load of computer hardware, over a cliff??

This was an opportunity wasted - and John Gordon Sinclair (an excellent actor) must have been aware. Original: great - follow up: rubbish. D- can do better - see me after school.
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FlashCallahan20 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Gregory is back at his old school, teaching English. When two of his pupils uncover evil practices at a local factory they want their teacher to help them expose the wrong-doer, who happens to be Greg's old schoolfriend.

Trapped between his idealism and breaking the law while trying to choose between two girls - one a schoolgirl and the other a full-blooded woman - Gregory still has some growing up to do.....

The first movie was a treat, a real boys own movie about growing up lusting after the girl you'll probably never have a chance with. It was a firm favourite of mine whilst I was at school, and its never really gotten out of date.

So Forsythe decided to make a sequel, and with he end result, you can probably understand why he hasn't made a film since. Its strangely watchable, but when it comes to it, Gregory is nothing more than a pervert, lusting after school children, which in all fairness ruins any elements of comedy.

There is a really silly subplot, involving Dougray Scott and his torturing computers, and again its a daft maguffin, only used to get Gregory closer to Frances.

It all ends on a depressing note, knowing that Gregory's career is now in tatters, and will probably end in prison.

Should comedies leave you with that after thought?
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