God Help the Girl is a quirky independent musical about a girl named Eve (Emily Browning) who is an aspiring singer/songwriter. She’s also recovering from anorexia and escapes from the hospital to live out her dream. Eve meets James (Olly Alexander) who is a uni student and fellow musician. He invites Eve to live with him and his flat mates. Eve also meets Cassie (Hannah Murray) a high school student who wants to be a singer/songwriter too. The trio forms a band called God Help the Girl with other local musicians.
The film was created and directed by Stuart Murdoch, lead singer of Belle and Sebastian.( Jon Bear reviewed their music here.) Murdoch was inspired to create the movie after writing songs about young women. The band Belle and Sebastian are featured in the movie as the accompanying band to Eve and her friends.
I’ve been a fan of Emily Browning since she was a child. She guest starred in numerous Australian TV shows before her big break in the movie A series of Unfortunate Events. I never knew she could sing! Emily is the best singer in the movie and talented enough to produce an album. I found her character Eve, to be a beguiling and fragile young person. Everyone was charmed by her as she is talented and mysterious but also looks overwhelmed by life. I wasn’t surprised in the movie, when Eve said that she needed more structure and older people in her life.
While Eve and her friends share a close bond, she never confides to them about her illness. She reveals her experiences through her songs. James becomes aware of her problems from listening to her music and from living with Eve but never talks to Eve about it. I felt a little disappointed that James never talked to Eve about her health issues which I think would have been healthier for all of them. James is also pining for Eve which doesn’t help. Cassie is too young to realize that anything is wrong with Eve. Instead, she admires Eve for her worldliness and musical talent.
I thought this movie was okay, it was just the little things that stopped it from being a good movie. I think teenagers will like this movie as it is a coming of age story with three cute young people. It’s a fun breezy kind of movie to watch with friends.
The movie has a whimsical hipster feel which is helped by the adorable vintage outfits that they all wear. Eve has an extensive wardrobe yet only has a backpack which is supposed to have all her possessions in it. I found that little detail jarring because with her wardrobe, she would need a suitcase. Aiding the hipster vibe is the music which is quirky and cute. I liked the little dance numbers in the songs. Although, I didn’t think the songs were catchy or memorable. Personally, I thought all the songs sounded the same; it could have been improved if the characters had their own sound when they sung their individual songs.