Playing on the Team
Following an 8-game losing streak, a desperate (and sexist) Glasgow school soccer team coach reluctantly accepts hotshot female player Dorothy (Dee Hepburn,). Teenager Gregory (John Gordon Sinclair), falls hard for his new teammate. This is the plot of “Gregory’s Girl” which was perhaps the biggest sleeper hit of the 1980s.
Adolescence is sometimes painful and frequently ludicrous. It has been the subject of many, many movie over time and is wonderfully delineated in Bill Forsyth’s “Gregory’s Girl”. It is still as much fun as it was when it was released some thirty years ago.
The film takes on a simple premise, uses a young and untried cast, and never strives for “social significance”, cheap laughs or manufactured drama. The end result is a treasure.
Gregory (Sinclair) is a teenage schoolboy growing up in a Scottish town and the star player in the school football team. When their spectacular losing streak prompts the coach (Jake D’Arcy) to make some changes, Gregory’s somewhat upset to be demoted to goalie. He feels better when the most obvious talent for his replacement is the gorgeous Dorothy, a new girl in town. He pursues her to the jealousy and disgust of his mates, who think the whole idea of girls playing footie is not normal. She’s patently not interested, however, unlike her friend Susan (Grogan). Eventually Dorothy agrees to go out with Gregory, but he finds the date doesn’t turn out quite as planned…
The real pleasure of the film is in the non-stop parade of funny, well-observed scenes and killer lines of dialogue. Forsyth the writer captures the often ridiculous intensity of teenage infatuation and growing pains in general and as a director, he develops the core cast and a string of fresh and natural performances.
The kids hang about and trade endless speculation on the impossibility of being sixteen and happy at the same time. Gregory turns for romantic advice to his younger sister, who is much more interested in ice cream. His sister, in fact, is oblivious to boys, although one pays her an earnest compliment. We are reminded that we tend to forget a lot of things about adolescence. The movie contains wisdom about being alive and teenaged and vulnerable.
- Audio Commentary with director Bill Forsyth and film critic Mark Kermode
- Bill Forsyth on Gregory’s Girl interview
- Bill Forsyth: The Early Years interview
- Gregory’s Girl Memories with Clare Grogan interview
- New essay by film scholar Jonathan Murray
- Alternative U.S. and French dub versions
About Film Movement
Founded in 2002 as one of the first-ever subscription film services with its DVD-of-the-Month club, Film Movement is now a North American distributor of award-winning independent and foreign films based in New York City. It has released more than 250 feature films and shorts culled from prestigious film festivals worldwide. Film Movement’s theatrical releases include American independent films, documentaries, and foreign art house titles. Its catalog includes titles by directors such as Hirokazu Kore-eda, Maren Ade, Jessica Hausner, Andrei Konchalovsky, Andrzej Wajda, Diane Kurys, Ciro Guerra and Melanie Laurent. In 2015, Film Movement launched its reissue label Film Movement Classics, featuring new restorations released theatrically as well as on Blu-ray and DVD, including films by such noted directors as Eric Rohmer, Peter Greenaway, Bille August, Marleen Gorris, Takeshi Kitano, Arturo Ripstein, King Hu, Sergio Corbucci and Ettore Scola. For more information, please visit www.filmmovement.com. Visit www.filmmovementplus.com for more information about Film Movement Plus, the new subscription streaming service from Film Movement.