I love a coming-of-age film. When done properly they’re often lovable, uplifting and usually carry with them bags of emotion that’ll leave you in a teary heap by the end of proceedings. So when I saw that well-liked writer Caitlin Moran had penned the script to her own book’s film adaptation, How to Build A Girl, I was extremely hopeful that Amazon’s latest young adult outing (following in the footsteps of the awesome Dating Amber) would deliver the goods with Beanie Feldstein (of Booksmart fame) in the lead as aspiring music journalist Johanna.
There’s no getting around it: the Brummy/Wolverhampton accent is distinctive. If you travel around the country and you catch an ear-full of it, you know where that person is from. Now, I’m told God loves a trier and Feldstein gives it a right old go – in regards to the accent and her general performance, that is full of energy – but from the moment she opened her mouth it shouted ‘American trying a difficult accent far too hard’ and it grated on me quickly. It also doesn’t help that her character was generally rather unlikeable. A double-whammy.
The film itself has a few decent moments; some quirky cameos and a couple of nicely done musically-induced bits. That being said, with an accent I couldn’t get over carried by a character I thought was a bit of an annoying cow – added to several wasted supporting characters whose storylines disappear at the drop of a hat (aka Paddy Constantine) – Moran’s self-adapted flick fell massively flat.