Well here’s a weird-looking one.
Truth is, I think this movie is one, maybe two weeks old. I decided to skip out on seeing it because it was playing in only one theater even remotely near me, I use the word “near me” as loosely as possible. That theater is the Arclight and tickets are, like, eighteen dollars. And for a movie that doesn’t look like it’s any kind of award-winning, or ground-breaking slice of cinema, it didn’t seem worth it compared to a Star Wars movie. But circumstances brought me around the neighborhood and I decided, screw it, let’s see what I’m in for. Plus, it’s the last week it’s out. Might as well.
The story looks like it takes place during the golden age of punk rock in the late 70s and a group of young guys happen across a group of humanoid aliens, and one of the guys falls in love with an alien girl as she seems to want to stay in human culture.
Here’s the cast. Starring, we have Alex Sharp (TO THE BONE , and upcoming films THE HUSTLE  and UFO ), Elle Fanning (THE BEGUILED , NEON DEMON , and upcoming films I THINK WE’RE ALONE NOW  and A RAINY DAY IN NEW YORK ), Nicole Kidman (THE BEGUILED, LION , SECRET IN THEIR EYES , and upcoming films BOY ERASED  and AQUAMAN ), and Matt Lucas (SHERLOCK GNOMES , ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS , and the upcoming MISSING LINK ).
Now for the crew. Directing and co-writing, we have John Cameron Mitchell, known for stuff I’ve never heard of. Mitchell’s partner-in-pen is Philippa Goslett, known for stuff that I’ve either never seen or heard of. Co-composing the score are Nico Muhly (THE SEAGULL  and ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL ) and Jamie Stewart (stuff I’ve never heard of). The cinematographer is Frank G. DeMarco, known for stuff that I’ve either never seen or heard of. Finally, the editor is Brian A. Kates, known for NORMAN (2017), and the upcoming WE THE ANIMALS (2018).
Overall… yeah, this looks weird. I can’t say to how bad it could be, but it doesn’t look like a good movie. It certainly looks trippy, with a hint of awesome music, so perhaps it’ll be a fun movie? But I can’t tell.
This is my honest opinion of: HOW TO TALK TO GIRLS AT PARTIES
Set in London, circa 1977. Henry “Enn” (Alex Sharp) is your typical English teen who loves punk rock, dancing, drinking, and even writing his own comic sketches. One night on the town with his friends John (Ethan Lawrence) and Victor (Abraham Lewis), they go to a club and have run-of-the-mill fun. Eager to join the after-party, they head on over to where they think it’ll be held, but wind up in a… very strange place. An abandoned building that seems to be ran by a clan of humanoid aliens, that the boys think is a cult, clad in multi-colored spandex. While both Victor and John are eager for an experience, Enn finds an even stranger girl named Zan (Elle Fanning), who seems to want to break away from her already strange group. They immediately have chemistry and run off together as she wants to experience the lifestyle of punk, rather than observe it, despite her actions being against the will of her people.
I don’t know what the fuck I just saw, but I want to see it again, and again, and again, until the day my brain becomes so scrambled that no amount of cocaine, meth, ecstasy, or mixture with alcohol could ever hope to have an effect on me like this movie did.
Picture for a moment that you’re at a party and your wild and crazy friend gets shit-faced drunk. The more he drinks, the crazier he gets, the more shit he climbs on and breaks. Now imagine while doing all that, he’s trying to say something smart. But you don’t give a flying fuck about what he’s saying because his sentences are word-spaghetti and you’re just there to see how he can possibly top each and every crazy thing he does and are constantly surprised when he does something just as stupid, or even stupider. That’s this movie.
In short, I fucking loved it.
The movie wastes no time in letting you know how bonkers it’ll get, though you wouldn’t be able to guess it. In fact, the first few minutes of this movie are pretty annoying. Punk teens acting like punk teens, making faces in and spitting on mirrors, putting stickers on road signs, making trouble for the locals, typical behavior like that. Coupled with some obnoxious editing, specifically the “skipping disc” technique, you know, like someone paused the movie and pressed the pause button again to view each frame? Yeah, that goes on for a good minute and it was inducing a headache pretty fast.
But then one bike ride later and it’s the beautiful beginnings of violently putting my mind through a blender.
The alien-occupied house is if someone decided to make BDSM for a live-action Nickelodeon sitcom. The spandex outfits are over the top and colorful. The orange and black have weirdly sexualized outfits, the reds are acrobatic, and each color is doing something completely different, like dancing, or whatever weirdness they can come up with. But it’s not just in the bizarre fashion. Each colored group represents a different “colony.” If I’m interpreting their culture correctly, they’re not humans in disguise, but they’re humanoids from different planets with different cultures, but are still one people who congregate among their own people, as well as their differing leaders. Each one is on Earth for different reasons, like the yellows only want to observe and interpret humans, but others, I guess, get to have a more direct relationship? It’s not really explained what each colony wants or expects, but then again, this movie gives you no time to ask any questions because you’re just kind of thrust into all this insanity.
Let me make this clear here and now, I can definitely see someone not liking this movie, as it provides few answers for the lucrative amount of questions the audience is likely asking. Regardless, this is precisely why I love it.
Even when Enn and Zan start up their relationship, it’s pretty unnatural. She has him pet her armpit, screaming into each other’s mouths, as well as usual punk shit by vandalizing, it’s all totally weird. There’s even weird lines like, “I one harmonized with a brown dwarf.” Shyeah, you try interpreting that. While the boys think she’s talking about a black little person, anyone with a passing knowledge of space would know she’s talking about the gas giants that don’t quite have the masses of stars (yes, I’m directly quoting MASS EFFECT 2). But… you tell me how one has sex with a brown dwarf… if that’s even what “harmonizing” means! Hey, there’s things about these aliens that I can figure out, but if I had them beat for beat, then I don’t think they’d be very good aliens.
What else is there to say? Kidman was a lot of fun! I loved her over the top look and attitude (twelve abortions???), the way John and Victor freak out over the aliens and everything that they do, the crazy visuals, I honestly had more fun with this movie than I have with most movies this year. I was utterly fascinated by where this movie would go and how it would top itself, and it never disappoints. I had a blast. Don’t ask me what this movie was really about, don’t ask me if there was anything deep in it, you know what, don’t even ask me if it’s a good movie. I don’t know! All I know is, if you like movies that leave you with a feeling like I’ve got, then I highly recommend checking this one out. Pretty sure it’s out of theaters now, but when it comes out on streaming, I definitely say that it’s a trip unlike anything I’ve experienced in awhile. What an utterly pleasant surprise. Eighteen dollars well spent and I would totally own this on Blu-Ray! Put your brain in a blender, sprinkle it with glitter, top it with a “fuck you” and you’ve got something special.
My honest rating for HOW TO TALK TO GIRLS AT PARTIES: 5/5
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