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Gregory's Two Girls (2004)

Gregorys 2 Girls

He’s back – and he’s got some serious explaining to do

Directed by:

Bill Forsyth

Rating: 3/10

Running Time: 111 minutes

UK Certificate: 15

On DVD

Country: Germany, United Kingdom

Some things never change. Take Gregory, for example. 18 years after winning the hearts of audiences the world over in Gregory’s Girl, Bill Forsyth’s tale of coming-of-age in Cumbernauld, he’s still at the same school – though now as an English teacher. He also still looks a bit like a potato, though admittedly that’s more the fault of actor John Gordon Sinclair than Gregory himself. Another thing that hasn’t changed is that our Greg is still having woman problems. This time, though, Dee Hepburn and Clare Grogan are nowhere to be seen. Instead, we have to make do with Bel (Maria Doyle Kennedy), the fellow staff member who won’t take no for an answer, and Frances (Carly McKinnon), the mid-teen object of Greg’s wholly-inappropriate desires. But ‘Gregory’s 2 Girls’ is about more than just love-struck eyes meeting across the classroom. Bizarrely, it’s also about someone called Fraser (Dougray Scott), who’s apparently an old school chum of Greg’s yet wasn’t in the 1981 original. On the surface he seems a charitable soul who’s devoted his life to supplying free computer equipment to generic starving Third Worlders – but underneath it all he’s actually a trader of non-specific torture devices to various unnamed tyrannical regimes. To say it’s all a bit on the vague side would be an understatement, but as long as Gregory – wannabe radical that he now is – has enough to go on, then apparently so should we. Forsyth has been one of my all-time favourite film-makers, having brought us both the original Gregory flick and the even better Local Hero, but this latest effort just falls flat in too many departments. As a director he’s failed to move with the times, and as a result this film feels almost as outdated as it is unsexy. Political activism and small town whimsy – much like the English teacher and his pretty 16-year-old pupil – prove uncomfortable bedfellows, and after nigh-on two hours of waiting for something to happen, the whole thing just peters out into a bizarre and unsatisfying ending.

It's Got: Unmatchable expectation levels.

It Needs: More of the original cast to be brought back (though many of them are no longer in the acting game – in fact, one of them served me in a Stirling pub not so long ago).

DVD Extras Just a trailer – and a lot of use that is, given that it’s basically an advertisement for something you’re already watching. DVD Extras Rating: 1/10

Alternatives:

Gregory's Girl, Local Hero

Summary

Watch the first one instead. Twice.

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