This week: twelve-year-olds looking for fun in GOOD BOYS, a teenager dreaming of escape in HOW TO BUILD A GIRL and a thirty-something finding happiness in SAINT FRANCES. Enjoy!
BEST FILM ON AMAZON PRIME
HOW TO BUILD A GIRL
Fed up with blokes mansplaining about how much they love music? Then this movie adaptation of Caitlin Moran’s best-selling, semi-autobiographical novel about a nineties teen trying to make it in rock journalism is the perfect antidote. Featuring the brilliant Beanie Feldstein - so good in recent hits Booksmart and Ladybird - as sixteen-year-old indie fan Johanna, HOW TO BUILD A GIRL may feel clumsy on occasions but that’s also part of its charm. Here’s a homegrown story of high-school and housing estates, of first love and fashion mistakes. Anything too slick just wouldn’t be right.
WATCH: Beanie Feldstein stars in How to Build a Girl
LA-born Feldstein copes admirably with Moran’s Wolverhampton accent and it’s fun - and often moving - to watch her face the realities of writing for a music magazine where all the staff are guys. Then there’s the great Paddy Considine as Johanna’s dad Pat, also with big dreams of making it in the music industry but forced to come to terms with the fact that his time may have passed. If some moments feel a little gimmicky (Johanna has posters on her wall that come to life), at least there’s always an uplifting message at the heart of the likeable HOW TO BUILD A GIRL. Don’t worry about youthful mistakes, it reminds us. They only make you stronger.
HOW TO BUILD A GIRL  is available on Amazon Prime
BEST FILM ON NOW TV
Check the credits for new comedy GOOD BOYS and you’ll see it was produced by Sausage Party and Pineapple Express star Seth Rogen. Really, that’s all you need to know. Even though this is the story of three twelve-year-old boys, with Seth behind the scenes it’s very much not a film aimed at small children. Telling the tale of pals who get into all kinds of trouble when their drone crashes into a neighbours’ garden, this is laugh-out-loud funny - a fabulously cheeky reminder of what it’s like to be young. Just make sure you watch it when the little ones have gone to bed.
Hitting childhood bravado hilariously on the head, GOOD BOYS features jokes and situations that will make your jaw drop. As the film goes on though, the naughty gags start to blend with some more poignant moments that actually have say something insightful to say about growing up. So what begins a little like noughties teen movie Superbad (another Seth Rogen production) finishes more in Stand by Me territory. Yes, a film that gets so many chuckles out of body parts actually ends up focusing on the most important one of all: the heart.
GOOD BOYS  is available on Now TV and Sky Cinema
BEST FILM AT THE CINEMA
Could this be the movie that entices you back into the cinema? It’s certainly what we need right now: a film that’s fresh, funny, original and uplifting. It’s also a star-making lead turn from Kelly O’Sullivan (who also co-wrote the script). As mid-thirties drifter Bridget, still uncertain exactly in what direction her life is headed, she’s impressively laidback and natural. It’s only after Bridget gets a job as a babysitter for precocious Frances (8-year old Ramona Edith Williams) that she starts to find some meaning to her previously aimless life.
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SAINT FRANCES follows in the footsteps of Amy Schumer and Lena Dunham with its joyfully honest portrayal of young women’s issues, from boozing to babies. But there’s a warmth here too - an enjoyable lack of cynicism - that ultimately makes this low-budget romantic comedy feel positive and empowering. With her independent spirit, O’Sullivan has reinvented and refreshed the stereotypical ‘chick flick’ and given us a glimpse of a brighter future.
SAINT FRANCES  is at cinemas now