How to Build a Girl (2019) Movie Script

[Johanna] I've read every book
in this library,
but I can't find a story
about a girl like me.
Girls in books always have a moment
where everything changes,
but my moment still hasn't happened.
Today is like yesterday.
Tomorrow never comes.
I know what usually starts an adventure
the arrival of a mysterious hero,
a Mr. Darcy,
a Mr. Rochester, a Rhett Butler,
who turns everything upside down.
I am not closed-minded, but finding
the romantic hero of our age
in Wolverhampton seems unlikely.
[lighter clicks]
["Connection" playing]
-[bell rings]
-[music stops]
-[bell rings]
[Johanna] No.
I do not think my adventure
starts with a boy.
I think it starts with me.
[dog barks]
[Johanna] Like all great heroes, I have
a sidekick. My faithful dog, Bianca.
I also have a plan.
I'm going to be a writer.
What kind of writer?
I don't know yet.
The kind that is totally amazing,
travels the world, has sex,
and writes powerful truths
that change people's lives.
-[boy] Oi!
[boy] Go on, fatty!
What's a female eunuch?
Hey, are you a lezzer?
[Johanna] After all, I know the impact
a great book can have.
I know what you're thinking.
There are a few key differences
between me and your typical heroine.
-You all right, bab?
-Hi, Dad.
For starters, I am not a tragic orphan.
I actually have too many brothers.
Four, which is simply excessive.
Then there's my mother's
postnatal depression,
which you should absolutely expect
if you get pregnant at 38. Ugh.
Unlike Virginia Woolf,
I don't even have a room of one's own.
This is Krissi's room
with a partition down the middle.
Like Berlin.
But here, I have everything I need.
Elizabeth Taylor, the Bront sisters,
Donna Summer, Dr. Sigmund Freud.
-Good morning, Johanna.
-Hey, Bronts. Good times, ja?
[Johanna] I have the love
and wise counsel of my God Wall.
What a beautiful day!
I regret to say
that despite my best intentions,
today has been another miserable one.
Well, missy, I've had plenty of those.
There's nothing
a little musical number can't cure.
How much longer
am I going to have to be here?
I need something to happen.
I want to burn!
I want to explode! Oh!
I want to have sexual intercourse
with someone who has a car.
What's a car?
How do I get there from here?
Come on, repulsive. It's the news.
The real news. Bong!
Top of the Pops.
[dog whimpers]
Come here, Smudge.
Would the people in the cheaper seats
clap your hands,
and the rest of you,
if you'll just rattle your jewelry.
[plays drums]
[Johanna] Who are these?
Happy Mondays. I'm putting them
on the front cover of the fanzine.
Do you know nothing
of popular culture, Johanna?
[Dad] Fuck me.
I could do better than this lot.
They look like a bunch of brickies.
Where's a nice poofy spaceman
when you need one? I miss Bowie.
[baby coos]
-How are you feeling, Mum?
-I'm becoming evil.
Nice one, bab.
I'd kill for 20 minutes' sleep.
I'd kill the last panda on earth.
I'd cuddle up with its furry corpse
for a bit of shuteye.
You've still got
those sexy eyes, though, love.
[Johanna] Still can't sit down?
Oh, God.
It's like the Joker's smile down there.
[Pat] Take your coat off.
You won't feel the benefit, cocker.
Pat, it took half a tit to get him off.
-[baby cries]
-This is ecstasy funk, Dad.
I can't stand it when amateurs
take over from proper jazzers.
They've crossed
the cultural picket line, this lot. Scabs!
-Dad, shush! I'm trying to hear.
I just wanna get back
in the game, love, back on top.
I'm the bastard son of Brendan Behan,
and one day these fuckers
will all bow down to me.
To me, yes, yes.
Johanna Morrigan
-Ovulate quietly.
No, no! I've been chosen!
-Listen! Listen!
Our Young Poet of the Midlands finalists.
Tomorrow has come.
-Are you going to be on telly?
-From your writing?
Birmingham? It's gonna be
at least a tenner in petrol.
What am I going to wear?
-Turn that fire off. We're broke.
-[doorbell rings]
[Pat] There's me bloke from Stoke.
Here you are, son. Hand him over.
Can we keep him, Dad?
No, mate. Hounds for pounds, innit, eh?
-[boy cries]
Please, Dad. Please.
Happy Mondays on the cover,
and then a think piece
about Riot grrrl inside.
This is my turning point, Krissi.
I'm going to get out of here.
Become a writer.
And everyone wants to have a date
with people who are on TV. It's a fact.
For a tenner,
I'd probably have a go on Andy Bibby.
Andy Bibby farts on his own hands
and throws them at people,
shouting, "Turtle Power."
Well, we could conduct
our relationship downwind.
What about Richard Moseley?
He's tall. Value for money.
Richard Moseley
once shot a snail with an air rifle.
John Kellog has a good bag.
So Chaucer was one of the first poets
to use the five-stress line,
the decasyllabic cousin
to the iambic pentameter.
He helped standardize Middle English.
A daring satirist, a proto-feminist,
and not, as surmised by Lee Bacon,
"just shit at spelling."
-Nice one.
-[bell rings]
-[overlapping chatter]
-Did you like my essay, Mrs. B?
-Mrs. Belling.
It was your best yet, Johanna.
A very entertaining 33 pages.
You're very generous with your words.
Artistic expression
is the greatest preventative
-for melancholy and morbidity, Mrs. B.
-Mrs. Belling.
My memoir already runs up to 300 pages.
Johanna, you're 16.
Have you got many memoir-ies?
I am blessed
with a rich internal life, Mrs. B.
I just write about all the things
I imagine I'll do.
The only trouble is
I don't know the end yet.
I'm an English teacher.
Share that problem
with the philosophy department.
Johanna, may I offer you some advice?
Cannon away, full power, Mrs. B.
Mrs. Belling.
You need to just rein it in a bit.
All teachers look for a spark.
Very few have it. You do.
In fact, right now you're like Krakatoa.
But I need five pages
of GCSE-compliant coursework,
not War and Peace, the unabridged version.
[indistinct chatter]
[Johanna] That's the cool room.
I've never been in there.
Get a shift on, babba.
It's time for your starring role.
Birmingham New Road
will be a circus by 6:00.
What do you reckon? Nine quid for the lot.
Donny Buddhamere's done us proud.
-We look like a fat Bros.
-Nice one.
This jacket is too tight.
I don't think it's made for women.
You've inherited the Finlayson
women's breasts, Johanna.
We can't be contained by a catalogue bra.
[Pat] Where's me bloody keys?
Come on. Let's go.
[presenter] Now, the first
lucky linguist to compete
[Johanna] This is it. My pivotal moment.
Like when the Little Mermaid gets legs.
[presenter] who lists his address
as East of Eden, West of Solihull,
with his poem, Brut 66.
[boy] I only have three true friends,
the moon, my fist and a gun
We played this show, you know,
back in '78.
They didn't like the lyrics
to "Fuck Me Till My Bladder Bursts,"
so we did an instrumental
in the end. Classy.
It was our last-ever performance.
-D'you wanna take your coat off, love?
-One minute.
Uh I'll stack them, like Tupperware.
[sighs] No, it's not working.
You'll be fine.
It is dead sweaty out there.
Well done, mate.
Are you all right, love?
Hey, I've got some advice
for you, all right?
Key wisdom. Don't ever forget this.
If things ever get lairy,
turn the conversation to jazz.
Confuses people.
And get on the hot bad jazzers,
Mingus, Coltrane.
You're on. Go, go.
Johanna Morrigan, from the
Warstones estate in Wolverhampton.
-That's my daughter.
-She says her poem is influenced
by her family's unusual business
breeding Border Collie dogs.
That's right.
I love a Collie.
Take it away, Johanna,
with our final poem about friendship.
[microphone feedback]
[mouths] Go on.
My Best Friend
by Johanna Morrigan.
My father sells your babies.
You howl when you're alone.
You do not know who your parents are.
And all you want to do is bone.
Well, my best friend is Bianca,
My dog,
Despite her mental health seeming fragile.
And when it comes
to scaring off assailants or yobs,
She has proven less than agile.
You cannot hug me with your paws.
I know, Bianca.
I've tried
Come on, Johanna.
Dog anatomy lacks rotator cuffs.
You can't open your forelegs that wide.
But, Bianca, I know you can always hug me.
You can always hug me.
Hug me with your eyes.
I'm so nervous. I'm so nervous.
When there's one-million people
watching, it's nerve-racking.
I'm just I'm just mad!
Anyway, to be honest, Alan
-Oh, here she comes.
-That's what everyone says.
[sputters] Just a mad, lonely teenager
and her dog, but
But we, we're like Shaggy and Scooby-Doo.
Best friends forever
against the world. [chuckles]
[mimics Scooby-Doo] I rove my rog!
Everybody roves my rog!
-[Alan] Let's
-[Johanna] Scooby!
Just as a reminder,
later on in the program,
we're going to make some groaty cakes
with a modern twist with Cyrille Regis.
Don't tune out.
Maybe Johanna would be
more comfortable over there
while I announce the winner
of Young Midlands Poet of the Year.
Lee Veltman!
Okay, we're gonna keep a tight formation,
and you're gonna remember
Krissi's crisis mantra.
Everyone can suck a big bag of dicks.
Good girl. Come on.
Maybe no one saw it.
[Krissi] Yeah.
All good so far.
-[boy 1] Here she is.
-[boy 2] Scooby-Doo!
Yeah, fuck them all.
Is your brother Shaggy?
Go on. Do you want Scooby Snacks?
Here's your Scooby Snacks! Eh?
[Pat] Can I help you, lads?
Is that Karl Boden?
What about it?
I fucked your mum back in '72.
Give her my regards, won't you?
-Oh, mate.
-Come on. Let's go.
Go on inside, kids. Tea's ready.
Your mum's busy
garnishing the toast with beans.
[woman] Pat Morrigan?
You have puppies for sale?
I do, yes. Famous pups, as it happens.
Immortalized in poetry
on Today in the Midlands.
I'm from the DSS.
We're investigating allegations you're
illegally claiming disability benefit
whilst breeding Border Collie dogs.
Not me, love.
[dogs bark]
Rats, though. We've got
a big rat problem round here.
[dogs whimper]
I'm so sorry.
[Johanna] Losing the TV is tough,
like when Beth dies in Little Women.
I have become destroyer of the world.
I shall feast only on my misery.
And jam.
What have I done?
I've brought ruin upon our family.
I think I'm dying.
[Freud] You are not dying, Johanna.
This is called anxiety.
Will jam make it better?
No, jam will not make it better.
I am afraid you will
just have to accept this.
[sighs] The thing is, I don't think
my main problem is anxiety, Mr. Freud.
I just need money.
Money for the family.
But I am now a failed artist,
and when you're a failed artist,
there's only one thing you can do.
-You have to die.
-[Freud] Johanna, no!
-No, you must live.
-No, you have so much to live for.
[Maria] Johanna, honey, we need you.
No! Never.
I've got some good tips on how to do it.
-What are you doing?
-Working out how to die.
Fair enough.
Ask me why.
I know why.
I'd wanna die, too, if I'd shamed myself,
plunged my whole family into poverty.
It's fair enough.
I would have advised it myself.
[sighs] Maybe I'll commit
the ultimate sacrifice.
Cut my hair off, like Jo March. Sell it.
I'm not sure Cash Converters
have a hair department, Johanna.
[Johanna whimpers]
[Krissi sighs]
Stop moping.
Try this.
They're looking for writers.
It's a competition to be a rock critic.
You might wanna give your poetry a break.
"Live and breathe music?
D&ME are hiring hip young gunslingers.
Show us what you've got."
I am none of those things.
You should do this.
I'm not a corporate sell-out whore.
Those guys only write
about what they think is cool.
I write about what I love. It just happens
that everything I love is cool.
A 10-year-old could be a rock critic.
Now I just need
some modern rock to critic.
-[buzzer sounds]
-Touch that and die.
[music starts]
-[Krissi laughs] My God!
-This is a classic.
["Tomorrow" from Annie playing]
[Krissi] Hey.
Emily and Charlotte Bront shared quills.
Well, I want it back by 5:00.
And you are so Anne.
Don't start that again.
The sun'll come out tomorrow
So you gotta hang on
Till tomorrow
Come what may
Tomorrow, tomorrow
I love ya tomorrow
You're always a day away
When I'm stuck with a day
That's gray and lonely
[whistle blows]
I just stick out my chin and grin
And say
[girl] That's disgusting.
Are you dying?
This is a period, Lupin.
It is why women have been oppressed
throughout history.
Till the twin-tub was invented,
we were too busy scrubbing
to agitate for the vote.
Will I get a period?
-[phone rings]
[Angie] Johanna.
[Pat playing drums]
[whispers] Interview.
Mm. Mm-hmm.
The sun'll come out tomorrow
So you gotta hang on
Till tomorrow
[indistinct chatter]
Come what may
Tomorrow, tomorrow
I love ya tomorrow
You're always a day away
Tomorrow, tomorrow
I love ya tomorrow
You're always a day
["La Cucaracha" playing]
[rock music playing]
[indistinct chatter]
Prince is short, but you've made him
look like a sex-case Oompa-Loompa.
Tell him to take off his top.
Embiggen him if necessary.
Oh, Just Seventeen's
on the 23rd floor, love.
Thank you, but no. [chuckles]
I'm Johanna Morrigan.
I have an interview for the job.
Hot young gunslinger.
Fucking hell!
Right, there goes a tenner.
Andy, you win.
-Sorry, didn't think you were real, love.
Well, a 16-year-old girl
reviewing the soundtrack to Annie?
We just thought it was the dicks
at NME winding us up.
But did you think my writing was good?
Yeah, it was funny.
It made us laugh.
But it's not really us.
So I go?
I guess.
Here. You've come a long way.
Have a free T-shirt.
Thank you.
[toilet flushes]
I was right the first time.
I'm not cool.
I should just die!
[woman] Do you know
what cool people are, Johanna?
Cool like the people in that room?
Cool people are the worst.
They don't dance, they wear
uncomfortable little trousers
and they're constantly misquoting Kerouac.
Have you read On the Road, Johanna?
Don't bother. It is a very long book
about a man getting a lift.
Do you know what a good book is?
Little House on the Prairie.
She makes her own knickers
and her dad shoots a bear.
That's a story.
Come on.
Give your face a rinse
and dance back into that room.
I'm too scared.
Darling, rooms like that
need girls like you.
This is why you are magic.
Look. Look.
I might not know much about your
Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine
or your Sultans of Ping FC
or your Fire Drill Next Tuesday,
but if you think I'm funny
and I can write,
then it can't be harder to learn about
than the periodic table,
and I got a 98% on that test.
I only failed on Kr.
Krypton is my Kryptonite.
[sighs] I could improvise,
like the hot bad jazzers.
Coltrane, Mingus.
-Give her the Manic Street Preachers.
-You're doing the Manics, Tony.
I have just scalped Morrissey.
I'm exhausted from the kill.
I need to rest in the shade.
Besides, you didn't tell me
the Manics were in Birmingham.
I'm not really feeling regional right now.
Try her.
Fuck it. Yeah, trial run.
Johanna, you get to make first contact
with the demented Welshmen.
Man the barricades for us, yeah?
Leaping lizards!
What? Are you in fact
being Annie right now?
Yes, sir!
Enjoy the munificent 10p per word.
[Johanna] I will.
I'm much obliged to you, sir.
I'll remember that.
I have nothing to wear.
That is not factually correct.
Nothing to wear for who I need to be.
The best item of clothing I own
is my hair.
Is my hair.
You look like Captain Caveman.
Absolutely not.
I've been saving that for three years.
This is 9.48.
Well, the fanzine has a lot of overheads.
Revolutionary independence is costly.
That's okay. I can totally
transform myself for 9.48.
[Johanna laughs]
["Rebel Girl" playing]
I need this.
Observe the world's greatest eyeliner.
Good God, it's the Child Catcher.
No. Johanna Morrigan is dead.
This This is the legendary Dolly Wilde.
[Pat] You never forget
your first gig, bab.
It's like your first kick in the balls.
Changes your life.
Get your ears around my remix.
Your dad's gone up a level.
-[dance music playing]
-Do you like this one?
I've done it rave style.
I'm on one, love. I'm back.
Next Live Aid, I'm getting
the Phil Collins slot, both of them.
No, fuck it, three.
I'll do Africa an' all.
Too right!
[Pat chuckles]
For I'm the bastard son of Brendan Behan,
and one day these fuckers
will all bow down to me.
[Johanna] Whoo!
-[engine stops]
-[seat belt clicks]
Look at that. The Midlands.
When I was your age, the only thing
we cared about was how to escape.
So you either become a boxer,
a footballer or a pop star.
It was the only way.
Obviously, I chose pop star.
But you You've got your writing, bab.
-You've found a new way.
-I know.
I meant for me, like.
Get me in the papers.
I know what to do this time round.
First time round, I was a right twat.
I'm ready for it now.
The songs are ready. They're all killer.
You'll know when it's the right time.
Yeah! Access all areas. Come on.
[upbeat music playing]
-What are your expenses like?
Can I get a pint of Guinness, please,
and a whisky chaser?
If only we were in Dublin, eh?
Get a proper pint.
Good evening.
You all right, Birmingham?
Good to be back.
[Johanna] Manic Street Preachers
by Dolly Wilde.
April 8th, Edwards No.8,
Digbeth, Birmingham,
West Midlands, United Kingdom,
The World, Milky Way
We come from urban hell
and we destroy rock 'n' roll.
-[loud rock music]
["You Love Us" playing]
[typewriter clicking]
["You Love Us" playing on tape]
"At 9:00 p.m. last night,
rock 'n' roll meant nothing to me.
By midnight, it was the most
important thing in the world."
Yow gonna buy that?
Yow gonna buy that?
I'm a newsagent's, not a library.
Look, Mr. S, I'm a byline.
I'm hearing the word "buy"
and I'm liking it.
I've got your dad's bill here. 27.48.
Dad has a bill here?
[Mr. S] Yeah.
Charge them to the account, Mr. S.
I'm a rock critic now.
I come from urban hell
and I describe rock 'n' roll.
["Movin' on Up" playing]
[Johanna] Edwards No.8.
Bath Moles.
Rayleigh Pink Toothbrush.
Derby Warehouse.
Windsor Old Trout.
King Tut's Wah Wah Hut.
Dudley JB's.
For when the house is too small
and your bones itch to dance
and you pretend the dry ice
is getting you high,
and it doesn't feel right until
your clothes cling to you with sweat.
These are the places you come
where you can dance and scream
and be with your own kind
and where everything is possible.
-See you later.
-Love you!
-We love you!
[alarm beeps]
Wake up, fucko. School.
["Movin' on Up" resumes playing]
Come on.
Yeah, shut up.
So this is Dolly Wilde, from D&ME.
My sister.
There you go.
Nice one.
-Let's have a look.
I think that's for you, love.
Oh, this one's yours.
-Dad, have you got rice?
-[doorbell rings]
-[Krissi] Dad.
-You've taken the last chow mein, son.
-I've been left with rice.
-[Lupin] I love chicken chow mein.
Johanna, are these twats for you?
Are you the girl from D&ME?
I am she.
These are the Strange Cages from Bilston.
So sorry about that.
[Angie] Pat, will you deal with this?
Yeah, come on in, lads. Nice one.
Nice to meet you.
-You the bass player?
-[man] Yeah.
You'd be better off over here, mate.
Nice bit of separation there.
It's not quite what I meant.
This isn't the friggin' Commitments.
[man] So first up is a song
about unrequited love.
It's called
"Annabelle - My Bloodied Heart."
You'd have a better chance with
Annabella if you gave your hair a wash.
-[man] Okay, lads.
One minute, lads.
Lads, just stop you there.
You're lagging a bit on the drums.
You are, yeah.
You're not keeping time right.
Just step aside. Let me have a go.
I'll show you a few little tricks.
I'll show you a bit of rock 'n' roll.
Are you ready? One, two, three, four.
[continues singing]
Where are you going? What are we
supposed to do with that lot?
Dolly Wilde's on the move, like Aslan.
Well, it's Johanna Morrigan's
turn to clean out the deep-fat fryer.
This bitch be paying rent, Krissi.
You're not friggin' Superman, you know.
You're just a girl in a hat typing jangly.
[editor] All right, come on.
No, thank you, sir. I'm high on mere life.
[Andy] I OD'd on life once.
Someone blew life right up my arse.
-[mimics fart]
So, how is life in the world
of the hot child genius?
I love the new look, by the way.
Very wild, Miss Wilde.
Thank you, sir. Life is frustrating.
Oh, I hate to hear
about a woman being frustrated.
I don't seem to be progressing
as I thought. I want bigger things.
Well, in my experience,
the world welcomes women
who ask for big things.
So I should just ask?
Ask and it will be given.
[man] I'm telling you, it is.
It has to be.
It has to be. Trust me.
Kenny, sir, may I ask you a question?
Fire away.
Can I write a feature, please?
-A feature?
I want to interview someone.
Let me interview someone.
I like bands. They're friendly.
To you, my darling, of course they are.
Talk to Derby about features, all right?
Sir, I think I'm ready
to take on more responsibilities
and stretch myself.
I very much see part of my job
as helping young women
stretch their responsibilities.
-Sit here and tell me more about it.
-Sit here?
Watch this.
Oh! This was a good idea. This is fun.
Does anyone else want a go?
This is awesome.
I mean, it's not as good as a chair,
like all you guys have,
but it's definitely second best.
Maybe we could wrestle, too.
[groans] No. No, okay,
you've got the feature, okay?
You can do John Kite in Dublin.
-They're my thank-you bounces.
[attendant] Please make sure
your seat backs and tray tables
are in the full upright position
and that your seat belt
is correctly fastened.
The gig's at 10:00 p.m.
We'll do the interview first in the pub.
-Are all planes this small?
-Some clippings and some photos.
You've heard his new record, yes?
Is this turbulence?
We haven't taken off yet.
They say flying
is the safest mode of transport,
but surely that's walking.
Then after the show
Oh, God, what's happening?
We've just gone above the clouds.
[man] John, what are you
talking about? Come back.
-Let's just do it in the pub.
John, D&ME's here.
John. D&ME. This is Dolly Wilde.
All right, Duchess? Pleasure to meet you.
Shall we brutalize ourselves with gin?
I would just like some pop, please.
-Do you want a cigarette?
-No, thank you.
Well, I applaud your brightness.
When you start smoking, you think
that you've bought a fun baby dragon.
You think that you've charmed
a fabulous beast
that will impress
your enemies and your friends.
Twenty years later,
your lungs are full of cinder,
the bed's on fire,
and you realize the dragon grew up
and burned your fucking house down.
So, the interview.
Ah, the interview.
If you had to murder someone evil,
how would you do it?
-Amazing question.
-What's your worst song?
-Which is the best Beatle?
-That's quite
What would you spend a pound on
in a sweet shop?
Darling, have you ever done,
like, an interview before?
No. I will be honest with you,
I've never done an anything before.
I'm quite new. I went on a plane today
for the first time.
-Do you know how amazing it is?
-Tell me.
[sighs] Today I learned
an astounding thing.
It's always sunny above the clouds.
However awful it is on earth,
if you go high enough, it's always summer.
Isn't that amazing?
Ed, we're finished here, mate.
I have other questions.
Darling, if you think I'm gonna
sit here bollocking on about me
when you're both mad as Jesus
and new to abroad
[chuckles] Come on. We're going out.
Welcome to the world.
James Joyce's favorite pub.
[Johanna] In Ulysses, it's Davy Byrne's.
[both laugh]
[both laugh]
Come on, boy. Watch out. Rock star here!
-How you doing?
-I'm all right, mate. I'm good.
-Same old routine?
-You ready? Good.
It's all good.
There you go.
Come on.
It's okay. Come on. Let's do it.
This is the Duchess.
Right, I am reliably informed
by Melody Maker
that I break hearts in two, so
Safety goggles on, eh?
You said heartbreak
Only happens when you're older
Don't put the angels to bed
And it's okay to lie
Is what I have learned
I tell them my day-making girl
Is off saving the world
You said heartbreak
Only happens when you're older
Don't put the angels to bed
And it's okay to lie
Is what I have learned
[John] Classy.
I'm having this.
Hotel tax, innit?
For the honor of my company.
-I do have a proper question now.
-Hit me.
Why are your songs so sad?
Oh, baby, now, uh, that's a big one.
you see, I was, uh, born
in a crossfire hurricane.
[chuckles] No, that's a quote,
"Jumpin' Jack Flash."
The Stones? Have you never listened
to the Stones?
I have the Best Of
reserved at the library,
but there are six
other reservations ahead of me.
And yet you can quote Ulysses.
Well, no one reserved that at the library.
-I bet. Well
Like you, baby, I'm a scratcher.
I was born in Blackwood,
South Wales Valleys,
in a crossfire drizzle.
My mother had my three sisters
and then she got ill.
We'd go and visit her in hospital and, uh
She, uh She didn't wanna touch us.
It made her cry.
When we'd say goodbye, she'd press
the tips of her fingers to her mouth,
press it on our mouths and say,
"This is John's kiss."
The little ones, you know,
they just wanted their mum.
When she, uh, decided to die
I'd go into her wardrobe
and put on her coat and hug 'em.
So they could smell her, you know.
I read somewhere
that's what you do with puppies.
You put 'em in a cardboard box with
a blanket that smells of their mother.
And your dad?
This is all off the record now, of course.
We are off road now and off balance, too.
[John chuckles]
This is far too much about me.
You. Tell me one true thing about you.
Whose eyes do you have?
Whose Whose wonder?
[sighs] I used to think that anyone
who didn't have my mother,
my eyes are hers,
or my father,
he's the one who loves the world,
was so unlucky.
They might as well just lie down and die.
But then she had the unexpected twins.
And now she's just
I miss her.
Even though she's there.
So I guess I write,
because that's like
putting a wish into a bottle,
isn't it?
Baby, I think we are both in the business
of putting wishes in bottles.
I mean,
that's the whole business we're in.
-Do you want some nuts?
All right.
[both laugh]
-I love a bath.
-Oh, me too.
I just don't understand showers.
They're depressing.
It's like standing in the rain on purpose.
But I love doors.
They make the outside stop.
-I love doors now.
I've fallen in love with doors.
They're amazing.
But do you love dogs?
Do I love dogs? I absolutely love dogs.
What's your favorite type of dog?
-Ey up.
-I am irreversibly in love.
Nice one, bab. I've got a gammon
on the go if you want a slice.
[Johanna] Dad.
I brought you a proper pint
from Dublin, like you always wanted.
Thank you very much for that, love.
That's great.
Look at that. Proper pint.
Oh, it's a bit flat.
[Johanna] John's nuts.
I don't know what to write.
Ah, the ecstatic torture of love.
[Marx] The socioeconomic conditions
that lead to the dominance
of working-class rock 'n' roll.
Just write from the heart, Jo,
and into the bank balance.
Love that.
John Kite interview, Dublin,
by Dolly Wilde.
Some people aren't just people,
but a place.
A whole world.
You said heartbreak
Only happens when you're older
[Johanna] Sometimes you
find someone you can just live inside.
Don't put the angels to bed
And it's okay to lie
Is what I have learned
I tell them my day-making girl
[choir] She's out saving the world
You said heartbreak
Only happens
When you're older
You are the whole world.
Don't put the angels to bed
Come with me.
Let yourself go.
[choir] She's out saving the world
Johanna? Johanna? Johanna, let me in.
Go away!
-Saving the world
-Saving the world
-[groans] Go away, Krissi!
[Krissi] What are you doing in there?
-Let me in.
Sounds like you're whisking something.
Joanna, I've just had a really flirty half
an hour with John Kellog on the 512
and I need to share.
I was working.
What, on how to skin him
and wear him as a coat?
Listen, I finished it.
[exhales] "John Kite in Dublin.
He's not a beautiful boy, nor a tall one,
but when the wind blows in,
you can hear his heart beat
under his shirt.
And when conversation accelerates"
"you can hear his mind
chime like a clock.
He is bright, bright, bright,
like the lantern above a pub door
in November.
He makes you wanna come in
and never leave.
When he smiles,
it's like plugging in a Wurlitzer.
The dance floor floods with jivers."
This, Tony, this is why we don't employ
little girls to write our newspaper.
I've never been in an organization
that wasn't improved from hiring jailbait.
Shirley Temple is fired.
[Johanna sighs]
What you doing, bab?
Waiting for a phone call
that determines my entire future.
How long have you been waiting?
-Since ten o'clock this morning.
-I know the feeling, love.
I've been waiting for mine since 1978. Oh
Keep at it, cocker.
[baby cries]
[Mrs. Belling] Is this all?
I kind of lost my mojo, Mrs. B.
I'm doubting my authorial voice.
I don't need
your authorial voice, Johanna.
I need 500 words
on Anna Karenina by 11:20.
I can give you the headline.
"Unhappy girl throws herself
under a train. Fair enough."
As things stand, you're headed to a future
stacking cheddar
on the cheese counter at Safeway.
You're kind of crushing my
already faltering zest for life, Mrs. B.
Yes, I'm the cold light of day.
A hope smasher.
A teacher.
[music blasting in club]
Dolly Wilde.
Uh No, love.
I should be. Try Johanna Morrigan.
Neither of you are on here, love.
Don't you know who I thought I was
six weeks ago?
You're funny.
You should be a writer or something.
You're still not coming in, though.
No! No! No!
You've hit rock bottom? Amazing.
Details now, please.
I was so close.
I had the perfect life. I had friends.
I was almost out of here.
Now it's gone.
I'm 16 and I'm over.
[John] You can't be over.
You don't have the privilege
of that option, do you?
You cannot deny physics, darling.
You are the unstoppable force.
So don't stop.
Come on. Let me walk you home.
["Lover, You Should've Come Over" playing]
[fireworks whistle]
[keys rattle]
[Kenny] All right. Let's freakin' wake up.
Come on now. Bin it.
This is definitely going out as well.
Nothing else. No way.
I don't ever want to hear that.
I've hit the glass ceiling.
I'm an unstoppable force
and yet I'm being stopped. Why?
Well, what you don't understand yet
is that this is war.
There's only 15 or 20 bands out there
who really matter.
-Ones who can change people's lives.
So our job here
is to remove the parasites,
napalm them from their huts,
clear the way.
That John Kite feature,
Kenny wasn't impressed.
You just sounded
like an excited teenage girl.
I am an excited teenage girl.
Well, fan or hack?
If I want to get ahead,
I've got to get a hate?
We need you.
[Johanna] So everyone my whole life
has lied to me.
A nice girl gets nowhere.
But a bitch? A bitch can make a comeback.
I had no choice.
Pop has a new gatekeeper,
Dolly Wilde.
And I will not let you through
if you think it's acceptable
to dress like work-experience vampires,
and I mean you, The Hallows.
"This is rock 'n' roll, guys,
not a clown-hair competition."
[Johanna] It is a truth
universally acknowledged
that Paul Simon looks like a toe
someone drew a face on.
[Johanna] Joni Mitchell,
voice of an angel,
face of a Grand National winner.
Who is this bitch Dolly Wilde?
[Johanna] Hippies, just so you know,
there is no such thing
as a didgeridoo player.
That is a man mooing down a pipe.
This is horrible, like ear cystitis.
Guys, when did the burglars
steal your talent?
I'm calling the police.
"Jump Around" by House of Pain
is the kind of music testicles would make.
-[chuckles] All right, mate. Bye.
-Here you go, mate.
Dolly Wilde, every single letter.
[horn blares]
You're welcome.
[baby cries]
What do you reckon?
[Marx] No, stop. Halt. Stop this.
Whatever happened to raindrops on roses
and whiskers on kittens, Johanna?
They don't pay the rent.
Hi. How are you?
[excited chatter]
So, you don't have to worry
about that hymen any more, Krissi.
It's gone.
[exhales] I've literally
taken one for the team.
The team of sex. I'm post-virginity.
And it turns out I'm really good at it.
Everyone wants a piece of Dolly Wilde
and God wisely made enough to go around.
So I'm entering my inevitable period
of intense sexual experimentation.
I've done it with someone
from West Bromwich.
-[whistle blows]
-[both pant]
I've done it with a freaky-foot guy.
I did it with a man who faints
every time he sees a nipple.
And just last night,
I encountered something
I didn't think was possible.
[exhales] A penis that was too big.
Luckily I'm a quick learner.
I'll give you my tips.
One, when in missionary,
place your hands flat on his chest
and brace, brace, brace with your arms.
-[Krissi groans]
-Two, in doggy,
you can essentially
keep crawling away from the penis.
Every time he tries to get a bit more
inside you, just gallop a little faster.
-I'm gonna be sick.
Kris! Kris!
You can share some of your sexual
experiences, such as they may be.
Hmm! You need to be more repressed.
[door slams]
So, anyway, between us girls,
in all this, the only thing
I haven't learned is this,
-how does a man make you come?
-[Donna] I know what you're saying.
-That is the big question.
-Well, we managed without.
-Speak for yourself.
I like to give myself
a damn good wuthering.
I did try it once, but I
I didn't like it.
You just have to have a little fiddle
with yourself, darling.
That's exactly what I did.
That's my girl!
[baby coos]
These boots need a lift to the station.
Darling, I would love to, but
there's been a bit of a development.
[door opens]
Where's the van?
You've inspired me, love. I sold it.
You've sold it?
Where the bloody hell did you appear from?
I manifest whenever someone
sells my fucking car.
-Why did you sell it?
-To do this.
Here, look, you.
[Angie] Unbelievable. Not again, Pat.
I got these done an' all.
You called yourself Mayonnaise?
You sold the cow for magic beans.
[Pat] Do you not have any faith
in our daughter, Angie?
You can make me, can't you, love?
Absolutely. I'm all over it.
[Johanna] The thing about
crossing over to the dark side
is that once you're there,
it doesn't feel dark at all.
Dolly, how you doing, girl?
[Johanna] It feels warm and welcoming.
You and your friends
are just taking care of business.
[rock music plays on stereo]
-To evil.
-To evil.
-[glasses clink]
[music stops]
-Votes on this. Keep?
Majority vote. It lives.
Next one.
[French rock 'n' roll playing]
-Fuck, no.
-That is bad.
-[music stops]
-This is raping my ears.
-Kill it. Kill! Kill!
-You do it this time.
[all] Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill
-Here we go.
-Good shot, sir.
-[Andy] What's this one called?
-[Tony] Don't know.
-Have a twig at that.
-Does it matter what they look like?
Right, says the woman
who last week described Tori Amos
as having both the hair
and future of a mammoth.
-[Kenny] What's the band?
Who would go to their desk
and write, "I love Mayonnaise"?
-Not me.
-Kill it.
-[Tony] Kill it.
-[Kenny] Kill it.
Kill it.
Kill it!
[all] Kill! Kill! Kill
Time for your first blood, darling.
[all] Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill
-Big moment.
-Go on, Dolly!
[all] Ooh!
[Johanna] I just shot Dad.
[Kenny] Nice one, Dolly. Yes!
["Push It" playing]
[girl] I love you, Dolly!
[presenter] Come on.
-Ey up.
Bit of love,
bit of hate in the room there.
[camera shutters click]
-Thank you. Your hate is delicious.
[monkey noises]
-[glasses clink]
[presenter] And now to the most
hotly contested award of the night.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen,
it's Arsehole of the Year.
And in a year packed with contenders,
the winner proves that feminism
really is making advances.
The woman who suggested
the world would be a better place
if Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam
ripped off another idea from Kurt Cobain
and shot himself to death.
It's Dolly Wilde!
Thank you!
Sit on my face!
Sit on your own goddamn face.
I'm too busy.
[laughs] Whoo!
Ladies and gentlemen, Dolly Wilde.
Arsehole of the Year.
[indistinct chatter]
I definitely need some guidance.
That's without a doubt.
-[chuckles] Hello.
-Got a light, dude?
-Ah, are you smoking now, Duchess?
It's just most people tend to smoke
them, uh, the other way around.
[chuckles] There you go.
Going to congratulate me on
my award? I'm Arsehole of the Year.
-Do you wish me to congratulate you?
-I'm the best at a thing.
Then I wholeheartedly congratulate
you on your peerless evil.
-Thank you.
-You think it's ignoble?
I'm a massive fan of your bullshit.
I think you are smashing it, hogwash-wise.
Hmm, there's no greater rule
than, "Bitch gotta pay rent."
[chuckles] I've always preferred,
in the end, "Say one true thing."
I'm in love with you.
I am in love with you.
You want one true thing.
Now we should kiss.
That's not me, Duch.
That's not my way.
Yeah, let's go.
Has St. Winifred's School Choir
had too much pop?
We must never forget that it's a miracle
when anyone gets anywhere
from a bad postcode.
And we must always
be respectful of miracles.
I'll be respectful, then.
[cackles] Clever girl.
One true thing?
Okay. I'll write one true thing.
[typewriter clicks]
"The real John Kite.
He finally opens up
over his heartbreaking childhood,
his mother's suicide
and the origins of that iconic coat,
by the journalist
that knows him best, Dolly Wilde."
Fuck. Exclusive. You've got a front cover.
[school bell rings]
-Ask me.
-Ask me.
[sighs] Please, Krissi, be happy for me.
I won a thing.
And, by the way, I made a man
who went to university at Cambridge
ejaculate into my comprehensively
educated genitals.
Do you wanna ask me about my date
with John Kellog and his bag?
After I promised on our mother's life
that I would never, ever tell anyone,
we drove 15 miles
out into the countryside,
blocked out all the windows
with towels and kissed.
Our dark queen!
[Johanna] I won!
-I'm Arsehole of the Year!
[indistinct chatter]
I woke up in London.
I'm too sexual for this room.
Johanna, enough.
This delinquency phase,
it's just not working.
You need to choose.
You're right.
So I resign.
No. No, Johanna.
Class, take out your Taming of the Shrew.
Johanna, stop. Stop.
No offense, but Patti Smith
didn't keep getting harassed
to take the gerbil home at weekends.
I'm going to get my kicks
while I'm still young.
My future turned up early.
I'm not going to keep it waiting.
The future can be awfully short, Johanna.
I haven't got anywhere else to go.
[Angie] I don't want to look at you,
Johanna. I don't want to.
I'm sick of it.
[Johanna] What?
[Angie] Six months ago, you were
a happy girl useful around the house.
And now I've got him telling me
that you've cock-blocked his career.
-I never said that.
-Him in tears
To be clear, they were intellectually
justified tears of rage.
-saying you've treated him like a
-An indolent hobbyist.
Now your teacher's on the phone
saying that you've resigned.
So my question to you, Johanna, is
when did you lose your fucking mind?
I guess it was around the time
I stopped being your daughter
and became the rent.
The same time I like to think you became
absolutely disqualified
from criticizing me.
We're your parents.
We can always criticize ya.
No. Not if you aren't actually
doing any parenting of me,
and you are selling cars I bought
in order to fund Springtime for Hitler:
A Jazz Odyssey.
Oh, my God. There's still
no one saying, "Sorry, Johanna."
Or, "Well done, Johanna."
Or, "Things must have
been hard for you, Johanna."
Do you think all this is normal?
Do you think I'm normal?
Well, it's not. None of this is normal.
-I invested that money in our future.
-[Johanna] It's not our future.
You're not the future.
Don't you understand?
You know what happened
when I played your record?
They shot it with a gun.
They laughed at it first, obviously.
And then they threw it off a roof
and I shot it.
Don't you get it?
I'm the future! I'm paying for everything!
Let's see how you manage
without me, Ringo, Ringo and Ringo.
Fuck you all!
[stomps up stairs]
[Tony] Everyone.
Look who's come to join our happy tribe.
It's the Arsehole of the Year.
[Kenny] Let's get a drink.
Emilia, Natasha, Sasha,
this is Dolly Wilde.
She's trouble.
Yes, I am trouble.
Join us, trouble.
Make that a double for the trouble.
-There you are.
[Kenny] So, Dolly Wilde.
How would you like to become
a full-time staff member of D&ME?
That's 19 grand a year.
The youngest person ever
to join the staff.
I accept. [chuckles]
Come here, baby.
I feel sick.
[Kenny] Here it comes.
[Kenny] Okay, Tony, it's your turn.
Come on.
Okay, so never have I ever given a wank.
Two words, Rupert Osborne.
I was the wankee, not the wanker.
No, I wouldn't wank off a day boy.
Never have I ever given a wank.
It's your turn, Dolly. Go on.
Never have I ever gone on holiday.
Why would you never go on holiday?
Because we were poor.
Forget that one. Forget that one.
No, I have a better one.
Never have I ever
kissed a girl.
-Do you want to kiss a girl?
-No way!
-See, I told you.
-Get in.
There he is.
Baby, you've gotta get in here.
-Everything's happening in here now.
I'll improvise.
I'll be back in a mo. A sex mo.
[indistinct chatter]
I still can't see
why we're giving her a staff job.
Because Tony likes a bit of rough?
It took me four years to get on the staff.
She's good for circulation.
Not if she sits on your lap. [laughs]
Would you do her?
I'd have to lay out
the terms and conditions,
but, yes, I would do her.
I wouldn't let her suck me off.
She's too chatty. She might bite.
I like her.
Mental girls from council estates.
-That is my thing.
I take something in the dirt.
-I help it grow. Pygmalion.
[Derby] Yes, just like Pygmalion,
but with a real pig.
[Andy] Do you know
who Pygmalion's father is?
-[Tony] No. Who?
-[Andy] Mayonnaise.
-[Tony] Mayonnaise!
[Kenny] Tony, you gonna
hold the mayo tonight?
Well, I might have mayo
on the side, you know.
I like to offer a comprehensive education.
[Johanna] Educate me?
Educate me?
Let's get one thing straight right now.
I'm a lady sex pirate,
a swash-fuckler, a lustketeer.
Where I come from
you make your own amusement.
You rinse every last drop
out of every last day
because there isn't anything else.
I've been chased and humiliated
and been utterly alone
and I still got up, put on my lipstick
and wrote every last one
of you motherfuckers off the page.
"John Kite isn't a person
but a whole world."
At least I meant that.
None of you mean anything that you write.
You're all just little boys
smashing things up.
I'm 16 and three quarters
and I'm too old for this.
I am not your bit of rough.
You were my bit of posh.
And you are all nothing
on the shoes of my father,
for I am the bastard son of Brendan Behan
and one day you will all bow down to me!
Is this home, love?
[engine starts]
Where are you going?
-Away from you.
[doors slam]
[sighs] John Kite keeps calling you.
He left a message for you.
His worst song is "Alison."
The best Beatle is Paul.
In a sweet shop, he would spend
a pound on pineapple rock.
"I apologize to Johanna
for not ending the interview there.
I should not have burdened her
with my friendship."
Oh, God, Mum, what do I do?
-[baby cries]
["Blow like the Wind" playing]
You blow like the wind in my sail
Cut like the knife in my hand
And now you're brining me
Up or down
I cannot
Decide if I'm lost or I'm found
Perhaps it's a sweet mistake
You got to give me some kind of clue
What to do
I'm out of ideas
Yet, I'm still
Drinking the hours away
But the days don't hold much truth
Without the nights I meet with you
[Angie] Johanna.
[baby cries]
[indistinct chatter]
[clown] Right, here we go.
Where's he gone?
We've screwed this up.
What are we gonna do, bab?
Go on in there, love.
[announcer] Please go to the Jamison ward.
Please go to the Jamison ward, please.
[clown] Is it behind your ear?
All right, let me have a look.
I've got another one.
I think I've got another one here.
Mum, please talk to me.
You were my magic, happy girl.
You used to be.
Happy girls shouldn't talk to
sad, old, scared women.
You might catch it.
Budge up, bab.
Bab, don't hurt yourself.
Bastard world will do that for you anyway.
Don't hurt yourself.
[Lupin] There she is. Mum! Johanna!
Hiya, bab. Aw!
-How are you, love?
-Yeah, I'm all right?
-Your sister.
-There you go.
Hello. Hello.
You've written
what looks like U2 on your arm.
No, I I didn't mean to. The
It's a typo.
They're just meant
to be bold, agonized slashes.
It looks like
you tried to kill yourself for Bono.
All right, now let's take the bastards
into a jazz break.
Awake, Wall of Gods.
Speak, feel, breathe, live!
Johanna, we've missed you.
It's good to be awake again.
What month even is it?
What have we missed?
I became evil, but it's July now
and I'm over it.
-That's wonderful.
-Come on. Give me five.
[knocking on door]
I'm applying for the job of flatmate.
Well, I want to apply for trainee writer
on whatever it's called, your mag.
Okay. You're hired.
-[chuckles] My going word rate--
-Get off.
Ow! Get off! Krissi! Krissi!
-Stop it!
-You were a nightmare.
Don't do it again.
And it stinks of smoke
and Mum's gonna kill you.
Hello. Is that Rob Allan, lead singer
of The Hallows? It's Dolly Wilde.
[Rob] You've got some nerve calling me.
Have you any idea what you did?
-Yes Yes, yes. I know.
-[Rob continues talking]
That's actually why I'm ringing.
I wanted to apologize to you
for the review.
That you are "a shit-wizard,
a weasel in a waistcoat
making musical limescale" was wrong.
-I know that now. Bye.
-[Rob continues talking]
["I'll Stand By You" playing]
"Too old for the children's ward.
Too young for the adult ward.
Why 16 is the worst age to self-harm.
By Johanna Morrigan."
God, you're young.
Come on in.
[chuckles] I didn't think
it was possible to laugh so much,
given the subject matter,
and cry, obviously, and laugh again.
And we were passing this around
the office like drugs or a baby.
This is what you should be writing.
Do you know what you look like,
tearing apart records for the music press?
You look like an Olympic swimmer
in a bathtub.
But this, this we would like to run
in the next issue.
Why, thank you.
Thank you very much, ma'am.
And start you with a monthly column,
like a monthly letter from you
telling us what you've been up to.
Building a Girl.
Would you like that job?
Ma'am, I am more obligated
than I can express.
And are you in fact
pretending to be Elvis right now?
No. I think this is me now.
For now.
Good. You're hired. Get out.
-I'm busy.
-Okay! Thank you.
[Johanna] In the last week,
I've apologized to 133 bands
for the bad reviews
I've written about them.
But there is one person to who
I owe more than just "I'm sorry."
Mr. Kite.
I promise I won't take
more than one minute.
I will talk extra, extra fast.
-I should never talk to you again.
-I know.
I know. I am so sorry.
I have two things for you.
This is the first.
My brother's fanzine.
That's the original piece
I wrote about you.
The one they wouldn't let me print.
That's how I really feel.
The other piece
was a terrible, terrible mistake.
Yeah, well, you sold me, babe.
I know.
That's why the other thing
I want to give you is this.
A tail?
It's my hair.
I tried to think of what would be
the ultimate sacrifice,
the thing I would be
most upset about if I lost it.
Your hair?
I took something of you.
Now I'm giving you something of me.
Come on.
This is all very beautiful,
but it's not really about me, is it?
It's about you.
And how in love with the world you are.
Don't stop.
It's your thing.
This is my embarrassment booth.
-I'm sorry I tried to kiss you.
Listen, darling, we probably will kiss
one day. That's just statistics, baby.
How will we not end up
falling terribly, terribly in love?
It's just the age thing now, babe.
Too young.
-I'm nearly 17.
Not you, Duch. Me.
I'm far too young for you. Hopeless.
Love is a big old beast.
You're going to be
far too busy for it right now.
I am. I'm gonna move to London
when I turn 18.
-Go to gay clubs. Buy a piano.
You need to go out there
and have some adventures.
And I would, uh
I would like to audition
for the role of your confidant.
I would like the honor
of being your friend.
You should write a song about me.
-You will. I'm incredibly inspiring.
-Hm, nothing rhymes with Johanna.
Nothing rhymes
with Layla or Prudence or Sharona.
Come on. Let's go and fuck up
the next ten years.
I have school on Monday.
Then we'll fuck it up after 3:30 p.m.
So, what do you do
when you build yourself,
only to realize you built yourself
with the wrong things?
You rip it up and start again.
Build up and tear down.
Endlessly, repetitively, unceasingly.
Invent, invent, invent.
What will eventually be you?
One day you'll marvel over what you did.
Marvel how you tried to keep
the loud, drunken,
laughing, cutting, panicking,
unbearably present secret of yourself,
when really you were
just about as secret as the moon.
And as luminous under all those clothes.
And how, like all the best quests
you did it all for a girl.
["Build a Girl" playing]