Cinema Review: God Help the Girl | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Wednesday, July 17th, 2024  

God Help the Girl

Studio: Amplify
Directed by Stuart Murdoch

Sep 04, 2014 Stuart Murdoch
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When the description of a film begins with labeling the protagonist’s life a “catastrophe,” certain mental flags are raised. And yet God Help the Girl, a new musical from Scottish indie pop singer/songwriter Stuart Murdoch (leader of the band Belle and Sebastian), for the most part avoids much of the cringe-worthy, problematic issues that often burden films about young people with mental health issues.

Eve (Emily Browning) escapes her dreary, troubled reality through music with her friends James (Olly Alexander) and Cass (Hannah Murray). Murdoch seems to be aware of the oft-tread tropes and conventions of a coming-of-age story of this nature, and while he doesn’t eschew them entirely, there’s a mild wink of pleasant self-awareness.

The film is so overwhelmingly twee that it should be a disaster. But the sheer earnestness and unassuming glee of the film manage to pull off what contemporary musicals have been unable to do lately: evoke pure joy and enthrallment. Through infectious ditties, Browning and Alexander’s mellifluous voices, and modest charm, God Help the Girl pushes past its most flawed aspects and leaves one beguiled and with its tunes stuck in your head.

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 10/10


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