Gregory's Girl

Movie review by
Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media
Gregory's Girl Movie Poster Image
Sweet, low-key '80s Scottish romcom has nudity, language.
  • PG
  • 1982
  • 91 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Sometimes you try so hard to get what you think you want that you can't see the chance for happiness that's right in front of you. Waiting for your life to start or for things to start happening for you is hard, but keep trying, be patient, and things will start to happen when you least expect it. There's some controversy but most characters react positively to idea of a girl on the school's soccer team.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Gregory's a good role model for making his way through life with a happy-go-lucky attitude. He doesn't let things get him down, goes with the flow, but takes action when he's ready. He's exceptionally sweet to his younger sister and they model a strong, loving sibling relationship. Dorothy's a terrific model of a strong, athletic young woman who doesn't back down or shy away from asking for fair and equal treatment. The young women in the class model mutual support and cooperate to help one another. Teachers make fun of a student behind the student's back.

Violence

A brief scuffle with pushing and shoving when an older kid takes something from a smaller, younger kid.

Sex

A woman gets undressed and her bare breasts are shown. Teens watching from afar have strong reactions played for comedy. One scene of repeated kissing. One scene shows kissing in the background. Men wolf-whistle at high school girls. Teachers briefly discuss receiving love poems from a student. A boy pats a girl's behind and leaves a hand print on her skirt. Teens talk and speculate about sex and romance, but not graphically or in great detail.

Language

"T-ts," "pr--k," and "piss off." "A--hole" is used in a special-feature interview on the DVD version.

Consumerism

Brief mention of Bacardi and Coke.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A minor character just out of high school smokes and offers a cigarette to a middle schooler, who turns it down. A middle schooler holds a pipe in his hand and to his mouth; no smoke is shown coming out of the pipe. A high schooler offers an unspecified drink to another, who turns it down. Teens speculate about what they'd order in a bar.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Gregory's Girl is a romantic comedy set in Scotland from the late '70s. A woman undresses and her bare breasts are shown as "peeping tom" teens watch from a distance; their strong reactions to what they see are played for comedy. Otherwise sexual content is a couple of scenes with kissing, teens talking about sex and romance, and a scene in which teachers talk about getting love poems from a student. A boy pats a girl's behind and leaves a hand print on her skirt. Gregory is a good role model for trying his best and not letting failure get him down, and he's an especially sweet older brother. Dorothy is a positive role model for a strong, athletic girl who expects fair and equal treatment on the school's soccer team. Teen classmates model mutual support and cooperation. A minor character smokes in one scene. Strong language is rare and includes "t-ts," "pr--k," and "piss off."

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What's the story?

Who'll be GREGORY'S GIRL? Will it be Dorothy (Dee Hepburn)? She's very pretty and a talented soccer player, and Gregory (John Gordon Sinclair) is smitten after Dorothy joins his soccer team. Or will it be Susan (Clare Grogan)? Susan's crushing on Gregory, but does he even notice her? The group of high schoolers still have a lot to figure out about life and love, but they're making their way, one awkward moment at a time.

Is it any good?

This quiet, quirky romantic comedy still charms decades after it was released, thanks mostly to the largely untrained cast of theater kids who bring fresh believability to their roles. A sleeper hit when it was released in the United States in 1982, Gregory's Girl brings a timeless quality to the universal awkwardness and confusion of the teen years that everyone can relate to or remember. The wry script gets most of its humor from low-key, goofy moments that director Bill Forsyth gives plenty of room to play out. The scenes with Gregory getting advice from his younger sister are especially sweet, and the way the group of high school girls help Gregory's date with Dorothy turn out the way it should is a refreshing change from so much mean-girl competitiveness in typical teen movies.

The Scottish accents may be a little difficult to follow at first, but you can always turn on the subtitles and turn them back off once you get the hang of them. There aren't a lot of areas of concern, but bare breasts and frequent talk about love and romance make it best for teens and up.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the sex in Gregory's Girl. Is it realistic? Is it glorified? How much is OK in movies, games, books, etc.?

  • Does your school have coed sports teams? Are they a good idea, or is it better for the genders to play separately? Why? What are the pros and cons?

  • Did you like Gregory? What are his character strengths and weaknesses? Is he easy to relate to?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love coming-of-age tales

Themes & Topics

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