Gregory’s Girl (1980)

Gregory’s Girl (1980)

“She’s got teeth — lovely white teeth. White, white teeth.”

When a gangly Scottish adolescent (John Gordon Sinclair) falls instantly in love with a new female soccer player (Dee Hepburn) at his school, he seeks advice from his equally clueless friends and his wise younger sister (Allison Forster).

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Coming of Age
  • First Love
  • Scottish Films
  • Teenagers

Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary begins his review of this “offbeat comedy about teenage puppy love” — a “sweet, extremely amusing film” that “is like nothing made in the U.S.” — by noting that it was made “by Scotland’s inimitable Bill Forsyth” while “American directors were churning out vile sex comedies about teenagers.” He notes that “in some truly marvelous scenes,” Sinclair’s “shy boy gets advice about girls from his younger sister so he can plan how to win Hepburn.”

However, he points out that Forsyth “uses Hepburn not so much as a real girl as a kind of angel, who appears out of nowhere” and “orchestrates matters so that Sinclair ends up” in an unexpectedly happy space.

To say much more about the plotline would spoil this whimsical flick, which wanders about while painting a gentle picture of a specific time and place in which quirky people help each other out and (mostly) do the right thing. Frankly, it comes across as far too perfect to ring true — however, as a nostalgic remembrance of the way we wish things were, this one hits it right on the mark.

Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments:

  • Strong performances by the amateur cast
  • Michael Coulter’s cinematography
  • Fine location shooting

Must See?
Yes, as a charming Scottish flick.


  • Foreign Gem


One thought on “Gregory’s Girl (1980)

  1. First viewing. Not must-see.

    It’s true that, compared with a number of American teen films of the period, this flick stands out as refreshing. I would also agree that, ultimately, it’s not quite believable.

    The whole point of the film seems to be ‘Gregory wants a date – and it doesn’t necessarily have to be with the girl he’s been pursuing for the bulk of the film.’ To bolster that framework, Forsyth provides peripheral whimsy and some moments of delight. Still, the set-up seems to run out of steam in the last half-hour.

    Forsyth isn’t a bad filmmaker and he made a couple of must-see titles. This doesn’t seem sturdy-enough to be one of them.

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