How to Talk to Girls at Parties (film)

How to Talk to Girls at Parties is a 2017 science fiction romantic comedy film directed by John Cameron Mitchell and written by Philippa Goslett and Cameron Mitchell, based on the 2006 short story of the same name by Neil Gaiman. The film stars Elle Fanning, Alex Sharp, Nicole Kidman, Ruth Wilson and Matt Lucas. Principal photography began on 9 November 2015, in Sheffield.

How to Talk to Girls at Parties
How to Talk to Girls at Parties poster.png
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJohn Cameron Mitchell
Screenplay by
Based on"How to Talk to Girls at Parties"
by Neil Gaiman
Produced by
  • Iain Canning
  • Howard Gertler
  • John Cameron Mitchell
  • Emile Sherman
CinematographyFrank G. DeMarco
Edited byBrian A. Kates
Music by
Distributed by
Release date
  • 21 May 2017 (2017-05-21) (Cannes)
  • 11 May 2018 (2018-05-11) (United Kingdom)
  • 25 May 2018 (2018-05-25) (United States)
Running time
102 minutes[1]
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
Box office$385,733[2]

The film had its world premiere at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival on 21 May 2017.[3][4] It was released in the United Kingdom on 11 May 2018, by StudioCanal UK, and in the United States on 25 May 2018 by A24.


Young Enn and his best friends stumble upon a bizarre gathering of teenagers who are from another planet, visiting Earth to complete a mysterious rite of passage. That doesn't stop Enn from falling madly in love with Zan, a beautiful and rebellious alien who becomes fascinated with him. Together, they embark on a delirious adventure through the kinetic, punk rock world of 1970s London, inadvertently setting off a series of events that leads to the ultimate showdown between punks and aliens.



Principal photography on the film began on November 9, 2015, in Sheffield, which would be standing in for London.[5]


In September 2015, A24 acquired U.S. distribution rights to the film.[6] It had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on May 21, 2017.[7][8] It was released in the United Kingdom on 11 May 2018[9] and in the United States on 25 May 2018.[10]

Critical responseEdit

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 48% based on 94 reviews, with an average rating of 5.3/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "How to Talk to Girls at Parties has energy and ambition, but is ultimately too unfocused to do much with either — or develop its themes into a cohesive whole."[11] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 50 out of 100, based on 24 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[12]

David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter stated that despite the charming characters of Elle Fanning (a curious alien) and Nicole Kidman (a nihilistic low priestess), its attempts to "add political substance feels less than half-cooked" and in effect sacrifices "narrative cohesion" and "overcomplicates" Neil Gaiman's 18-page story.[13] Owen Gleiberman of Variety wrote: "The film enunciates its raw themes — punk means individuality! the aliens are all about conformity! — but never begins to figure out how to embody those themes in a narrative that could lure in the audience."[14]


  1. ^ Jagernauth, Kevin (April 13, 2017). "Sofia Coppola, Todd Haynes, Michael Haneke, Bong-Joon Ho & 'Twin Peaks' Lead 2017 Cannes Film Festival Line Up". The Playlist. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
  2. ^ "How to Talk to Girls at Parties". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
  3. ^ "The 2017 Official Selection". Cannes Film Festival. April 13, 2017. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
  4. ^ Winfrey, Graham (April 13, 2017). "2017 Cannes Film Festival Announces Lineup: Todd Haynes, Sofia Coppola, 'Twin Peaks' and More". IndieWire. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
  5. ^ "On the Set for 11/13/15: Sigourney Weaver and Michelle Rodriguez Start on 'Tomboy', Bella Thorne and Patrick Schwarzenegger Wrap 'Midnight Sun'". SSN Insider. November 13, 2015. Archived from the original on November 17, 2015. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  6. ^ Jaafar, Ali (September 15, 2015). "John Cameron Mitchell's 'How To Talk To Girls At Parties' Acquired By A24 – Toronto". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 7, 2017.
  7. ^ Alvarez, Joe; Orlova-Alvarez, Tamara (May 22, 2017). "How to Chat to Girls at Parties Premiere at the Cannes Film Festival". Ikon London Magazine. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
  8. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy; Evans, Greg (April 13, 2017). "Cannes Lineup: Todd Haynes, Sofia Coppola, Noah Baumbach, 'Twin Peaks'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
  9. ^ "How to Talk to Girls At Parties". Launching Films. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
  10. ^ "How to Talk to Girls at Parties". BoxOfficeMojo. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  11. ^ "How to Talk to Girls at Parties (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  12. ^ "How to Talk to Girls at Parties Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  13. ^ Rooney, David (May 21, 2017). "'How to Talk to Girls at Parties': Film Review | Cannes 2017". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
  14. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (May 21, 2017). "Film Review: 'How to Talk to Girls at Parties'". Variety.

External linksEdit