Bill Forsyth’s Funny Teen Romance

Skillfully treading the line between sincere and cheeky, Bill Forsyth’s Gregory’s Girl has become over the years one of the most-loved comedies overseas in the UK. Entertainment Weekly named it one of the 50 best high school movies of all time. The Scottish filmmaker took a cast of unknown non-actors and fashioned an endearing comedy about teen lust that comes off as sweet and charming. The innocence of an awkward boy’s first romance is deftly handled as he falls in love with a girl trying out for the football (soccer) team.

The carefree Gregory (John Gordon Sinclair) is a Scottish teenager that falls in love at first sight with the athletic Dorothy (Dee Hepburn). Their school’s abysmal soccer team holds an open tryout after losing numerous games. When the vivacious Dorothy shows up and proves she’s better than anyone else on the team, Gregory falls madly in love.

Gregory’s Girl remains a uniquely funny and warm teen comedy

Gregory’s humorous attempts at wooing Dorothy don’t get him anywhere but provide many amusing moments. One of the most refreshing aspects is how Gregory completely accepts Dorothy as a player. He is never bothered by her challenging gender roles, and there aren’t large amounts of screen time wasted on Dorothy’s soccer exploits. Everyone just accepts she’s talented. Gregory is only concerned scoring a date with Dorothy.

Director Bill Forsyth (Local Hero) explores adolescent romance in a sweet, disarming manner. Aided greatly by the quirky and innocent lead performance by John Gordon Sinclair, his Gregory is a goofy kid you can’t help but root for getting the girl. Gregory is the complete opposite of the usual jock or pretty boy romantic lead. Most of the best advice he gets comes from his ten-year-old sister, one of the great idiosyncratic sibling relationships in comedy history.

Approaching high school romance with an irresistibly delightful good nature and slyly subverting the teen genre’s usual tropes, Gregory’s Girl remains a uniquely funny and warm teen comedy.

Video

Film Movement uses the same 2K restoration of Gregory’s Girl struck by Pinewood Studios for the UK market. The 1980 Scottish comedy maintains complete film-like authenticity and integrity throughout its 91 minutes. Film Movement authors the 1080P video with a superb AVC encode on a BD-50. Taken from the camera negative, the solid elements have been cleaned up and given a fine transfer with palpable detail.

The movie’s cinematography reflects its era and budget. This isn’t Lawrence of Arabia with razor-sharp imagery and brilliant picture quality. Stable and consistent, the definition and clarity are fairly average and may disappoint. The color palette is washed out some; gamma is on the high side. The contrast could have more punch. Black levels are satisfactory.

Gregory’s Girl has likely never looked better than this Film Movement BD with a satisfying transfer. That isn’t to say there is no room left for improvement.

Audio

The low-budget teen comedy lacks stellar audio quality. A tad harsh and congested, if serviceable, but underwhelming. Film Movement drops lossless audio for some reason, included on the Region B disc.

The narrow stereo mix might as well be mono, heard in 2.0 Dolby Digital. The thick Scottish accents take some getting used to for American listeners. Some of the slang and pronunciations are completely foreign sounding for those used to American English and may be difficult for comprehension without using the subtitles.

The original English soundtrack is still recommended over the strange “American” dub provided in 2.0 Dolby Digital, which has different actors dubbing dialogue in less accented English. The American dub is a bad relic of American distribution for the film and is inferior.

Optional English SDH subtitles play in a white font. A French dub in 2.0 Dolby Digital is included.

Extras

Film Movement bestows their typically classy treatment to Gregory’s Girl, largely surpassing the Region B-locked Blu-ray put out by Second Sight. Besides a new essay by film scholar Jonathan Murray in the included booklet, the trailer and a new interview with Bill Forsyth tops the preceding Region B release.

One benefit of this Film Movement BD is that it’s coded for all regions.

Audio Commentary with director Bill Forsyth and film critic Mark Kermode – A pleasant look back by the director recalling the cast and behind-the-scenes tidbits, prodded by Kermode when the conversation lulls.

Gregory’s Girl Trailer (01:37 in HD)

Film Movement Promo (01:26 in HD)

Bill Forsyth on Gregory’s Girl (20:43 in HD) – An exclusive interview given by Forsyth. Informative and deprecating, the director has little ego recounting the movie’s creation.

Bill Forsyth: The Early Years (20:01 in HD) – An interview pulled from the Second Sight BD. The Scottish director describes his complete lack of interest in filmmaking growing up and his early days as an inexperienced director working on behalf of a BFI grant.

Gregory’s Girl: Memories with Clare Grogan (10:59 in HD) – The actress for “Susan” gives a recent interview detailing her memories of working with John Gordon Sinclair, touring America and wardrobe issues.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

Gregory's Girl
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras
4

Movie

A good-hearted and warm teen comedy about adolescent dating that remains endearing.

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User Review
4 (1 vote)

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