In Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, Lady Bird, and even Booksmart, Beanie Feldstein has had to share the spotlight with others. But she’s finally getting the lead role she deserves. Based on Caitlin Moran’s novel of the same name, How to Build a Girl is a coming-of-age teen comedy that stars Feldstein as Johana Morrigan, a teen girl stuck in a working-class neighborhood in England who decides to reinvent herself. “Johanna Morrigan is dead,” she says in the trailer above. “This is the legendary Dolly Wilde,” a music journalist who crosses “over to the dark side.” In other words, she becomes a jerk.
Welcome to being a writer! Here’s the official plot synopsis.
Johana Morrigan is a bright, quirky, 16-year-old who uses her colorful imagination to regularly escape her humdrum life in Wolverhampton and live out her creative fantasies. Desperate to break free from the overcrowded flat she shares with her four brothers and eccentric parents, she submits an earnestly penned and off-beat music review to a group of self-important indie rock critics at a weekly magazine. Despite being brushed off initially, Johana clamors to the top of the ’90s rock music scene by reinventing herself as Dolly Wilde – a venerable, impossible-to-please music critic with an insatiable lust for fame, fortune, and men. It isn’t long before the rapid pace at which Johana’s life is changing becomes overwhelming and she runs face-first into a devastatingly real, existential crisis: Is this the type of girl she wants to become? Or does she need to start over and build again?
How to Build a Girl, which also stars Alfie Allen, Paddy Considine, Chris O’Dowd, and Emma Thompson, hits VOD on May 8.