You know me, I am not usually one to compare the film version of a book to its original source. In fact, I vehemently hate people who do so because, for the most part, they do so in some sort of pretention that does who love film are less. On the other hand, I completely understand that immersing yourself in the world of a book, getting excited over an adaptation only for the tone, characters and storyline to be completely off is the worst feeling. That loss of fictional identity when someone (or, in most cases, a studio) decides to completely eradicate all that the books had done is one I know all too well. Especially when it comes too Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging.
Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging has received a lot of praise for its humour and comedy which seemed to please critics for a while. The movie is a quaint and occasionally funny affair that relies on a lot of the ingenuity that Rennison had developed including olive costumes, kissing experts and little more. However, that is where a lot of the humour ends, dissolving into platitudes, wooden performances and a rather stiff storyline that strains during its runtime. The young stars are a ok but they do not excel with a shoddy script whilst the adults such as Alan Davis struggle underneath the plot.
I’ll be honest, there was a part of me that felt indignant that the snarky and self-absorbed Georgia who was weirdly hilarious had turned into a moral lesson that did nothing to excite or amuse like the books did. However, after so many years, giving it another chance and placing the book down still rocked against the movie. There is too much twee and forced performances from talented actors such as Aaron Taylor Johnson (all baby-faced and such) and Georgia Groome. The finale ends on the elevated platform (literally) that felt predictably sweet and sickly so. Indignant I may be, but it goes beyond judging the film by the book. This still falls flat, fails to entertain or impress as a cinematic outing. The characters, the author and finally, the audience deserved better.