I watched Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging for the first time and I’ve never cringed more

It was so awful, but I loved it

The is no greater genre of cinema than the cringey 2000s rom-com. Full of nostalgia, predictable plot lines, and comfortable cliche endings, they make the ULTIMATE comfort films. Despite watching my fair share of them, I’d never gotten round to watching Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging. For me, it was one of those films that you hear people talk about so often you feel like you’ve seen it before you’ve actually sat down to watch it.

Well last night, I finally did, and it was an rollercoaster experience. The iconic opening Olive scene was actually really funny, so we were off to a good start. However, followed by tired outdated tropes and acting that was giving GCSE drama at best, I started to feel a bit underwhelmed. I was fully ready to write this off as a dated 2000s cringe-fest that should stay in 2008.

Somewhere along the way though, I changed my mind. For the most part, I found Georgia actually insufferable. Self-obsessed, spoilt and inconsiderate, she was just a bit of a dickhead. But that’s what makes this film so charming, because whilst the bad bits are BAD, underpinning it all is an honest and unfiltered story of a teenage girl fucking things up and figuring it out – something I’m sure we all relate to. With that said, here are my thoughts after watching this 2000s classic for the first time:

Sorry but Robbie is awful

Every good rom com needs the perfect love interest, Robbie was not it for me. I don’t care if he wrote Georgia songs and said a couple nice things to her, him being in year 11 while she’s in year nine made every aspect of their plot line uncomfortable. What was the point in making him that much older. Obviously two years isn’t a lot, but when you’re that young? Red flag Robbie, that’s creepy.

Also lets remember he kissed a 14 year old while he was still dating Lindsay. Then asked Georgia out no more than 24 hours after breaking up with her. I don’t care how “slaggy” Lindsay was, dick move dude. The whole “You Belong With Me” trope of a boyfriend who hates his fake, bitchy girlfriend and leaves her for the plain girl definitely hasn’t aged well, and he got away with his antics way too easily.

Lindsay deserved better

The 2000s were OBSESSED with making ‘girly’ girls the villain, and that’s the treatment Lindsay got in this film. She was slut shamed, cheated on, and humiliated, and for what? Whilst she said some pretty nasty things to Georgia, her meltdown at the end was kind of understandable considering how Robbie had treated her. She just fell for the 2000s’ trap of blaming Georgia for Robbie’s actions, but that’s hardly her fault.

Please don’t bring binoculars to school to spy on boys

I get the ACE gang are meant to depict your stereotypical boy-obsessed teenage girls but Jesus Christ this felt a bit much. If you can’t remember, when Tom and Robbie first arrive at school in proper rom-com slo-mo style, the girls declare it’s “boy stalking time”, whip out some binoculars and follow them around town for the rest of the day – creepy. They also use the binoculars to watch Lindsay get undressed then proceed to make fun of her big bum and bra inserts. The whole saga was just so uncomfortable.

The soundtrack was actually iconic

Going into this I knew She’s So Lovely was attached to the film, but I didn’t realise the entire movie soundtrack was made up of so many iconic tunes. Lenka, Kate Walsh, AND Lily Allen all in one soundtrack, actually incredible. Plus it gets bonus points for giving Robbie’s band (called the Stiff Dylans for some reason) an actual original song, Ultraviolet, which absolutely slaps. The music provided incredible vibes throughout the film, which made some of the more uncomfortable on-screen moments more bearable.

Peter is a menace

Speaking of uncomfortable, did the scene where Georgia paid Peter to snog her really have to go on THAT long? This boy was an absolute menace. Pushing Georgia into the bush like that (in other words, literally assaulting her) with zero repercussions? Absolutely despicable.

Let’s face it, Georgia was annoying

For most of the movie I found myself getting really irritated with Georgia. She was mean to her parents and her friends, made everything about her, and complained about EVERYTHING. Her attitude towards Jas especially made a bad impression. All Georgia wanted was a boyfriend but when her best friend gets one she criticises her for it? Not cool. I mean even when her literal dad was trying to have a serious conversation with her about his job offer in New Zealand, all she could think about was how him leaving could help her get what she wanted? Her dad was actually my favourite character in the whole movie, he deserved more respect than that.

But that’s what makes the movie great

My opinion started to change during Georgia’s inevitable redemption arc. After spending the whole movie being rude and self-obsessed in a desperate attempt to appear mature, it FINALLY sinks in that she got it all wrong when Robbie provides the confrontation she needed (although a bit rich coming from him). Watching that realisation sink in for Georgia, and then seeing her actually take it on board and attempt to fix things with her family, made me completely change my mind on her character.

At the end of the day, she’s 14, of course she’s going to make mistakes. But even more so, her self-obsession seems like a product of her age: When you’re 14 everything feels so immediate and all-consuming because you don’t have the tools of experience to cope with new feelings and situations. Like of course to her, a boy not calling her back felt like a bigger problem than her dad’s career progression.

We’ve all felt like ‘a sad excuse for a girl’

She summed it up herself in the pool scene, when Robbie laughs at her fake-tan fail and she says: “I’m such a sad excuse for a girl”. I know it was probably written as just a funny throw away, but something about it made me feel so sorry for her. Being a teenager is hard, but being a teenage girl – hell. No matter what you do, how you try to meet expectations and standards, you’ll get it wrong. The goal, especially when the film came out, is some seemingly impossible balance of unrealistically-pretty but natural, not a prude but not a slag, perfect but not too perfect.

I could call Georgia a lot of negative things, but at the end of the day, she represents most us at that age. She thinks she has it all figured out till she doesn’t, she tries hard to get things right but always seems to get it wrong, but most importantly she does seem to learn from the events of the movie to try and be a better person. Looking past the dated humour, questionable age gaps, and painful-to-watch scenes, there’s a wholesome and honest sentiment about making mistakes and moving on.

That said, I think the cat deserved more screen time.

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