The ‘How to Talk to Girls at Parties’ Trailer Does the Punk

John Cameron Mitchell’s latest looks like ‘Under the Skin’ meets ‘Jubilee.’
How To Talk To Girls At Parties
By  · Published on April 3rd, 2018

John Cameron Mitchell’s latest looks like ‘Under the Skin’ meets ‘Jubilee.’

You wouldn’t know it by the new trailer for How to Talk to Girls at Parties, but the movie was mostly panned at the Cannes Film Festival last year. A24 is surely hoping you’ll forget to look at Rotten Tomatoes, because they’re selling something that looks great in a two-minute package. There’s Elle Fanning as an alien who wants to “do the punk.” There’s Nicole Kidman channeling Toylah Wilcox (though likely looking more like David Bowie in Labyrinth to many viewers).

And it’s made by Hedwig and the Angry Inch writer/director John Cameron Mitchell and based on a story by Neil Gaiman. It’s like fellow A24 sci-fi art film Under the Skin meets classic punk art film Jubilee. Or maybe it’s just a gender-reverse reworking of Earth Girls Are Easy meets 24 Hour Party People? In any event, this trailer looks good enough that even knowing it’s been negatively received has me wanting to see it anyway.

Watch for yourself:

Here’s the official synopsis via A24:

John Cameron Mitchell, director of the acclaimed films ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch’ and ‘Shortbus’ takes us to an exotic and unusual world: suburban London in the late ’70s. Under the spell of the Sex Pistols, every teenager in the country wants to be a punk, including our hopeless hero Enn (Alex Sharp). Crashing local punk queen Boadicea’s party, Enn discovers every boy’s dream –gorgeous foreign exchange students. When he meets the enigmatic Zan (Elle Fanning), it’s love at first sight.

But these teens are, in fact, aliens from outer space, sent to Earth to prepare for a mysterious rite of passage. When their dark secret is revealed, the love-struck Enn must turn to Boadicea (Nicole Kidman) and her followers for help in order to save the girl he loves from certain death. When the punks take on the aliens, neither Enn’s nor Zan’s universe will ever be the same again.

How to Talk to Girls at Parties is still without a US release date but is expected to open in the summer.

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Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.