“If you want to hear your voice floating in the middle of a beautiful tapestry of frequencies… you’re gonna need a pop group.” I can’t help but have a pooling soft spot shy of a puddle of swoon for “God Help The Girl,” the expectedly twee but crazy-charming lovable coming-of-age musical written and directed by Stuart Murdoch, also known as the lead singer of Belle & Sebastian. In a candy-colored, idealized, even lovable Glasgow, young fantasist Eve (Emily Browning) overcomes a fistful of emotional problems by learning to become a singer-songwriter and get out into the city with other very cool-looking girls and boys. (The press notes identify these prehensile bohemians as “mods, rockers, and emo kids,” so, okay.) There are marzipan likenesses to other movies, especially French, particularly Browning’s killer Anna Karina-like bangs. The soundtrack is, of course, all Belle & Sebastian all the time. As the song goes, “God help the girl, she needs all the help she can get.” Sweet salvation is at hand. With Olly Alexander, Hannah Murray. 111m. (Ray Pride)
“God Help the Girl” opens Friday, September 19 at the Music Box. Several sweet flavors can be savored in the featurette below.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images will be published in Spring 2022.