God bless Stuart Murdoch. The gifted grand-master of the ephemeral band Belle and Sebastian has written and directed a film that perfectly captures the whimsy and wonder of those summers of our youth. Remember those seemingly endless summer days comprised of random day trips and visits to the park, talking about life and art and love? God Help The Girl masterfully acts as a nostalgic ode to a wandering summer where things happen because they just have to.
Eve, the film’s main heroine/protagonist/complicated character (and who also strikingly resembles my good friend Cheralynn), is battling personal demons after escaping from a psychiatric hospital. She then meets two new friends who, as a trio, form a band with a goal of being discovered and made famous. But, as the cinema gods have dictated for years and years, their personal motivations are questioned and all three characters find out more about themselves in that one summer then in all of the years leading up to it.
For those of you that follow my blog, you know of my undying love for Belle and Sebastian. To watch a film whose soundtrack manages to reach deep into my own personal nostalgia of days past is nothing short of custom made. Watching God Help The Girl reminded me of roaming day in and day out during those endless summers where everything seemed to be sepia toned and mod-related. It made me feel like it was just last week I was meeting new friends and spending hours upon hours in the park, drinking wine and listening to The Rolling Stones. The gentle buzz of the cheap wine taking me and my friends into the evening where we would dance all night to music made famous many years before we were born.
I loved this film, but I also think that a big part of my love is due to Belle and Sebastian playing a pivotal role musically in my growing up. Stuart Murdoch’s film is like a reverent wink to those viewers who know the band well. I couldn’t help but feel that the film was written for my eyes only, and I’m totally OK with that. I don’t need everyone to like what I like, and this film makes that a perfectly fine behavior to have.