Friday, November 28, 2014

God Help the Girl (2014)


Music has a lot of meaning. The songs themselves have meaning but the meaning I am talking about is what a song means to the listener. It could evoke a memory that is either good or bad, it could remind the listener of fun time they had, it could help pull someone out of a rut, etc. Florence + the Machine’s “Shake It Out” will never cease to make me feel better (I love the song so much I have the line “It’s always darkest before the dawn” tattooed on my arm in the font from the Lungs album). Whenever I hear Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance” I think of my twenty-first birthday when I had really listened to it and how I heard it endlessly at the bars in Hoboken when my cousins took me out. Most importantly I believe music is a great form of escape. Songs have stories and I like to imagine what it would look like if it was played out in a music video. They take me to a better space in my head. When I listen to music all my worries disappear I just focus on what the singer is singing to me.
I love music so much. As of this writing I have 8,504 songs on iTunes. I am constantly finding bands and singers to add to my collection. My collection ranges from Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Cher, Kelly Clarkson, Kimbra, Haim (their song “If I Could Change Your Mind” is my most played song at 243 plays), Fleetwood Mac, Gerard Way, Black Sabbath, Shane Filan, Tegan and Sara, Billie Holiday, Caro Emerald, The Delays, The Colourists, Cheryl Cole, Taylor Swift, Pat Benatar, Blondie, Jim Croce, and countless other artists. If it sounds good to me I add it to my iTunes.
In the movie God Help the Girl music means different things to each of the three main characters but they are brought together in how music acts a form of escaping from the real world. Music is their hopes and dreams.
Eve (Emily Browning) is in recovery from an eating disorder. Her life is depressing her she wants to leave the facility and live her life again. Eve leaves the care facility she is recovering at and heads into town to a show. At the show she meets James. He was one of the acts performing but his band could not get together to play the song and he got into a fight with the drummer. James and Eve become friends bonding over their love of music. Sometime later Eve leaves the care facility and moves in with James.
James plays the guitar. He has been teaching a girl named Cassie how to play. Cassie is not really into learning the instrument she just wants to write songs. James tells Eve that Cassie is missing something with her writing. Eve helps her by having Cassie explain her day and they put it into a song. All three plan on creating a band.
Things go well for Eve for a while until she spirals into a depression. This bout of depression started when James went away for a while and did not tell her where he went to. She tries to kill herself with her medication and alcohol. After this incident Eve realizes she needs to leave the town and her surroundings. She gets accepted to a music school in London. She tells James she has to go be around older people who will support her the way she needs to be supported.

God Help the Girl was a very good movie. My summary does not do it any justice but I do not want to give too much away. It was very hipsterish from the music to the costumes to the filming style. I actually did not mind that it was hipsterish because the story was decent and, to me, it did not feel like it was trying to be hipsterish. I forgot to mention that it is a musical and the characters do break out into song. I swear it is not cheesy at all. The songs have a very late fifties/early sixties feel and I loved that. My favorite songs are “The Psychiatrist is In” and “I’ll Dance With Cassie.” Everything in this movie just works out perfectly. I enjoyed it from beginning to end mostly because it is so different from what has been released lately. God Help the Girl is definitely worth seeing especially if you love music and can relate to how it moves you through life.