Starring: Robert Buchanan, Dee Hepburn, Allison Forster
Director: Bill Forsythe
Distributor: Roadshow Home Video
Gregory is just about the biggest dork you’ve ever seen on screen but probably one of the most adorable too. Towering above all his high school buddies this gawky Glaswegian lives by his wits, able to con his soccer coach into keeping him on the team at the expense of his little friend with the big hairdo, Andy (Robert Buchanan). The coach tries out newcomers to fill the vacated spot and suddenly Gregory finds himself playing ball with a (gasp, gasp) girl. It’s love at first sight with the gorgeous Dorothy (Dee Hepburn) and as Gregory falls in deeper he starts to fall apart. In the absence of coherent parents his wise ten-year-old sister Madeleine (Allison Forster) has to instruct him in a few home truths. ‘Don’t get too serious about it’, she advises; ‘You’re too romantic.’ But it doesn’t stop him howling at the moon by night and feeling restless and dizzy by day.
Gregory is a totally charming character and he has rightly claimed his space in British film culture due to a standout performance by the pimply young John Gordon Sinclair. This guy is a natural comic, not unlike John Cleese with his funny walks and tight witty patter. His Gregory nonchalantly puts under arm deodorant on over his shirt and when Dorothy catches him topless in the change room he modestly covers his nipples with his fingertips. Eventually plucking up the courage Gregory asks the sporty Dorothy out on a date but as the clock ticks past the appointed time his hopes dwindle. Finally one of Dorothy’s friends comes to collect him and escorts him off on a wonderful adventure to meet the girl, maybe not of his dreams but of his true heart. As Madeline says, ‘It’s hard being in love, especially when you don’t know which girl it is.’
Scotsman Bill Forsythe, who later went on to make the wonderful magical realist film Local Hero, wrote and directed this movie winning a BAFTA for Best Screenplay and a Peter Sellers Award for Comedy. This is a hilarious and absolutely heart-warming tale about a boys’ first encounter with the opposite sex. Just as fresh as it was back in 1981 when it was first released, Gregory’s Girl is a delight to behold. And if the dialogue doesn’t have you in stitches then the hair-do’s definitely will. There’s even a lost penguin waddling around for no apparent reason to keep you well and truly amused. Fun factor – 10.