It's A Boy Girl Thing

It's A Boy Girl Thing


Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

Aloof, studious Nell and carefree American football jock Woody despise each other. This is more problematic because are next door neighbours, so Nell has to put up with Woody's music when she's trying to read Shakespeare and he has to put up with her disapproval. At school, his constant practical jokes make her miserable; for his own part, though he doesn't show it, he fears that her taunts about him ending up a nobody might be true. Things come to a head during a visit to the museum where they inadvertently (and quite inexplicably) invoke an ancient Aztec curse. The next morning they wake up in one another's bodies and realise they're in trouble.

Body swap comedies are pretty routine stuff and you might reasonably think that you can already predict everything that happens afterwards. To large extent, you'd be right, though the film does use its characters' predicament to make observations about class and social experience as well. Refreshingly, it doesn't rely on the assumption that male and female concerns are altogether inherent, but allows each of the teens to learn a bit about the behavioural expectations which go with having a different body, increasing the range of things they want out of life and enabling them both to become a bit more human. In their different ways they are both sympathetic from the outset. Confident performances from the likeable leads make this a much better film than it could have been.

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All that said, It's a Boy Girl Thing is not only lightweight but gives the impression, plotwise, of being held together with bits of string. It's insulting to the audience to suggest that they don't care at all about the story making sense as long as they get the expected helpings of farce and romance. This is, at heart, a John Hughes movie, though nothing like as well made - as with so many clones in the genre, it seems to think that teenagers lack any critical faculties. Just a little too restrained for its own good - Nell and Woody's utter failure to be sexually curious about their new bodies is scarcely believable - it ends by piling on the Eighties cliches to a suffocating extent. It goes through the motions with the nasty girl, the new look, the big game, the prom, and even a Tiffany song to the point where one wonders why anyone bothered to make it when they could have ust edited together scraps of existing films instead.

If you're looking for an easy-going comedy date movie which will please undemanding girls without being too painful for boys, you could do worse than this, but you'll have forgotten it entirely by next week.

Reviewed on: 20 Dec 2006
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It's A Boy Girl Thing packshot
A boy and girl who hate each other swap bodies as a result of a mysterious Aztec curse.
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Angus Wolfe Murray *

Director: Nick Hurran

Writer: Geoff Deane

Starring: Samaire Armstrong, Kevin Zegers, Brooke D'Orsay, Mpho Koaho, Maury Chaykin, Sharon Osbourne, Sherry Miller, Robert Joy, Emily Hampshire

Year: 2006

Runtime: 110 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: UK


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