Review: How To Talk To Girls At Parties (2018)



Ann Rutkowski takes a look at the latest film adaptation from the work of author Neil Gaiman (Stardust, American Gods, Coraline) hitting theaters in the Valley June 1st

John Cameron Mitchell, of Hedwig and the Angry Inch fame, takes a short story by Neil Gaiman, and makes a fun ride out of a star-crossed love story. It’s set in 1977 Croydon, small-town London, where many families live in tower blocks and are planning for the silver jubilee. Nicole Kidman plays punk band manager/ fashion designer Boadicea, a lá Malcolm McLaren, and we follow our hero Enn (young Gaiman lookalike Alex Sharp) and his mates John and Vic to a punk show she is throwing. There is an after party they try to find and instead follow some odd music to a gathering of odd, color-coded creatures who wear either white, blue, purple, red, yellow, or orange, and call themselves the Colonies. “They must be from California,” one punk says to the others. When Enn meets Zan (Elle Fanning of Neon Demon and Super 8), he makes a connection that cannot be broken. She, with her long neck and tiny features, disagrees with the status quo of her people, and runs away with Enn to learn more about punk. When she screams, “I am not a tourist!” the crowd is entranced.

From Enn’s fanzine fliers for his band Virys, to the authentically 70s punk soundtrack, and the metaphor of the continual war between Fascism & Conformity versus Freedom & Anarchy, this film pulls you in, and ties it all together. Watch for references to consuming and excretion, because they come around again and again.

The mood has elements in common with Attack of the Block (for setting), The World’s End (for teenage characterization), and The Young Ones (for punk sensibilities). Make sure you see this with surround sound, since both the punks and the visitors value their audio experiences, so they are essential parts of the story.


· Yellow PT (parent teacher) Waldo = Spirit (uniqueness, enrichment, and authenticity)

· Orange PT Stella = Sex (reproduction).

· Red PT Bob = Strength (acrobatics).

· Blue PT Silas = Voice (musicians and performance).

· Purple PT Wain (comedian Matt Lucas) = Mind (perfection and status quo).

· White PT First = Will (leader).

“Smash the oppressor, tell the truth, be an original, blah blah blah.”