A year after ‘St Trinian’s’, comes another boarding school based film. And again there is one who does not fit in, but not because she’s a good girl going into a hectic school, but the opposite; a rebellious, disobedient American 16 year old being sent to boarding school in England to learn some life lessons.
Now, it might seem from that description that I don’t like the film, but do not jump to that conclusion. Yes, I love ‘St Trinian’s’, and I love ‘Wild Child’. ‘Wild Child’ is definitely one of those cheesy chick-flicks to fall in love with, a proper teenage based film, to say the least.
This comical romance/friendship building film is based around Poppy, “Moore Poppy Moore”; played by Emma Roberts (recognisable from a variety of similar genre films, such as ‘We’re The Millers’, but also Nancy Drew herself). When she pushes her father to the limit for the last time, he sends her to Abbey Mount School (the most stereotypical version of a British school ever…); and to say the least she acts pretty stubbornly about the whole situation. However, the great thing about this film, is of course she is meant to be like that, the school is supposed to change her, as we grow to love her character and become to understand the reasons she is that way in the first place. Poppy tries to boss around her new roommates (ones she believed she shouldn’t be living with anyway – in her eyes supposed to be having a room to herself), but her roommates fight back, trying to get her to pull to the new ways of this different school; however in the end just trying to help her leave instead. These roommates are Kate (Kimberley Nixon), Drippy (Juno Temple – also in ‘St Trinian’s, but also one of the fairies in ‘Maleficent’), Kiki (Sophie Wu) and finally Josie (Linzey Cocker). Additionally, I can’t forget to mention that obviously there is a rivalry between Poppy and another girl, the head girl in particular, Harriet (Georgia King). And how could I forget? The romance element? Bring in Freddie (Alex Pettyfer), a guy who is out of bounds (obviously). A great addition to the film, I have to add.
Amongst all this, ignoring the very stereotypical views of both the English and the American, ‘Wild Child’ has many moments that are hilarious, such as sassy comebacks from Poppy. There are hilarious moments with one teacher in particular, Mr Nellist (Jason Watkins). It’s just a cute, feel-good movie. I would say based for a very particular audience, if you couldn’t already tell. There are also some other recognisable actors, Shirley Henderson for example (very famous – but some people round my age would probably recognise her as Moaning Myrtle); there is also a brilliant scene with the excellent Nick Frost (of course a comical actor, in films such as ‘Shaun of the Dead’, ‘Paul’ and ‘Hot Fuzz’).
The music is great in how it connects to the film, making it that much more enjoyable. There are also some pretty dramatic scenes, but who cares? It just adds to the comedy and amusement of the film, or in some cases, the dramatic element definitely adds a seriousness in a scene in particular. But there are also some pretty great scenes, going from Lacrosse matches to town, to the ‘Movie Magic’ school dance. There are many scenes that are different from all the others and should all be appreciated in my opinion.
So if you are the appropriate audience, or if you just think this would be a feel-good film for you to watch, then I would recommend it. It’s such an easy watch as you witness Poppy’s mission to leave Abbey Mount and return to her Malibu life. So why not go discover who they are? If they know anyway… “Who are we?!”