17 user 57 critic

How to Build a Girl (2019)

R | | Comedy | 8 May 2020 (USA)
2:14 | Trailer
A teenager living with her working-class family on a council estate in Wolverhampton, England, grows up to become a popular but conflicted music journalist.


Coky Giedroyc


Caitlin Moran (based on the novel by), Caitlin Moran (screenplay)
305 ( 2,734)
1 win. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Beanie Feldstein ... Johanna Morrigan
Cleo Cleo ... Bianca Morrigan
Dónal Finn Dónal Finn ... Karl Boden
Paddy Considine ... Pat Morrigan
Laurie Kynaston ... Krissi Morrigan
Stellan Powell Stellan Powell ... Lupin Morrigan
Freya Perry Freya Perry ... Morrigan Twin
Harper Perry Harper Perry ... Morrigan Twin
Violet Amer Violet Amer ... Morrigan Twin
Sarah Solemani ... Angie Morrigan
Andi Oliver Andi Oliver ... Donna Summer
Michael Sheen ... Dr. Freud
Sue Perkins ... Emily Bronte
Mel Giedroyc ... Charlotte Bronte
Alexei Sayle ... Karl Marx
Learn more

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The novel charts the journey of teenager Johanna Morrigan (Beanie Feldstein), who reinvents herself as Dolly Wilde: fast-talking, lady sex-adventurer, moves to London, and gets a job as music critic in the hope of saving her poverty stricken family in Wolverhampton. Written by variety

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content, language throughout and some teen drinking | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Sue Perkins (Emily Bronte) and Mel Giedroyc (Charlotte Bronte) have been good friends for many years and have worked on several projects together, most famously, as presenters of The Great British Baking Show (2010) between 2010 and 2016. See more »


Johanna Morrigan: Jeeves. These boots need a lift to the station.
Pat Morrigan: Darling I would love too, but there's been a bit of a development.
Johanna Morrigan: [Johanna and Pat step outside the house to an empty driveway] Where's the van?
Pat Morrigan: You've inspired me, love. I sold it.
Angie Morrigan: [Angie leans out of an upstairs window] You've sold it?
Pat Morrigan: Where the bloody hell did you appear from?
Angie Morrigan: I manifest when someone sells my fucking car.
Johanna Morrigan: Why did you sell it?
Pat Morrigan: To do this.
[Pat grabs a box of demo records and fliers]
See more »

User Reviews

Forgettable coming-of-age caper
1 March 2020 | by gallusNumptySee all my reviews

I'll be honest, I already wasn't a fan of Caitln Moran's origin before I tried reading the book on which this film is based, and I got about two chapters into it before realising it wasn't going to change my mind. So when this turned out to be the 'surprise film' I'd pre-booked a ticket for at a recent festival, I wasn't expecting much. And that's what I got.

It's the semi-biographical, played-for-laughs tale of a bookish teenage girl from a none-too-well-off family. Her father is a failed musician, her mother suffers from post-natal depression, and she shares a bedroom with her teenage brother. With encouragement from the talking posters on her wall, she finds her writing mojo, with the proverbial hilarious consequences. But we know the real Cailtin Moran is still a writer, so you can probably guess the ending.

I thought perhaps having never been a teenage girl myself was the main reason for failing to connect with anything the protagonist experienced, but my wife seemed to like it even less than I did. So I have to conclude it just wasn't very good.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Official Sites:

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Release Date:

8 May 2020 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

How to Build a Girl See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,201, 10 May 2020

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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