Why is it that high school and campus comedies always end up at the top of my DVD pile and at the tip of my tongue when I need to delight the room with a quick quip? Mean Girls, Clueless and Heathers have all reigned supreme on my screen at one time or another and now Whit Stillman’s beautifully mannered college comedy Damsels in Distress looks set to take its place among this elite group of films.
Released in cinemas last week, Damsels stars the wonderfully gawky Greta Gerwig as Violet, leader of a gang of do-gooders attempting to help their college classmates through the stresses of college life. She takes new transfer Lily (played by Analeigh Tipton of America’s Next Top Model ‘fame’) under her wing. The film also marks the very welcome return of Adam Brody to our screens (Seth <3 Summer 4EVA!) playing one instance of their eponymous distress.
The film seems to take place in an alternate universe – a universe where a man can reach college without learning his colours; creating a dance craze is the highest achievement one can reach; and the right smelling soap can save your life. It also happens to be eminently quotable. Just try not to label everyone you see a ‘playboy operator’ for months after you see it… or was that just me?
The costumes are another great reason to seek this film out. Crisp white shirts paired with simple skirts and pretty pastel dresses with contrasting cardigans had me green with envy until I took a look at this picture of our own Betty –
Couldn’t she just slip right in to the film? So everyone can recreate this look, just drape a cardigan over your shoulders and find an Adam Brody lookalike to take you dancing! How hard can that be?