Well, look good and run fast they certainly did. I was lucky enough to go to an exclusive screening of the new Fast Girls film last night, thanks to www.girlsingloves.com, and was immediately in awe of all things film as soon as I stepped into reception. CFC Framestore name-dropped all over me like a shitting bird (that’s lucky, right?) and it took all of my will power to look away from the impressive film poster display as we walked down stairs towards the screening room.
Greeted by a huge smile and handed a goody bag, I was asked my name and who I was here with. The temptation to say ‘William Thacker, Horse and Hound’ was just too much but thankfully, I got it right this time. As is common on a night out, we headed straight for the bar for our free glass of wine and had our photo taken next to the cardboard cut-outs.
In the screening room, the promise from StudioCanal was that ‘this film will make you want to run home’. ‘Is it really that bad?’ I thought until I realised she meant it in a ‘you will suddenly want to throw on your pair of festering trainers and pound the pavement’ inspirational kind of way.
The film begun and was immediately engaging with its ‘Save the last dance meets Attack The Block’ soundtrack, provided by a string of British artists, as we see Shania (Lenora Crichlow) don a tracksuit and hit the track. As a life-long sportswoman myself, I was suddenly taken back to the race track at my school, hating the fact that a) I had to run at all and b) I wasn’t allowed to pick up and throw my ‘oh no, this isn’t sweat, it’s my natural glow’ classmates like javelins.
What followed was a typically British, humbling and inspiring scene of events that left my heart in my mouth throughout. We laughed, we cried, we had a quick swoon, we were proud, we were not so proud, we hated. We loved it. It’s black vs white, middle class vs working class, west vs east and even lefty vs righty. The relatively unknown cast engaged the audience from their opening scenes and left us wanting more as the credits rolled. If nothing else, Fast Girls left me proud of our nation’s sports teams, excited for the Olympics and wanting to go for a run. It’s unlikely the latter will stick around but the first two are guaranteed.
After the screening, we were joined by Dominique Tipper (Sarah) and Lashana Lynch (Belle Newman), who played two of the Fast Girl athletes. Through questions about training regimes, giving up chocolate and their opinion of Noel Clarke (who played Tommy and co-wrote Fast Girls), their dedication and hard work to the project was clear. As was my desire to go for a pint or two with them. No such luck there.
In what is set to be a very British year for all of us, Fast Girls is perfect for getting us in the mood and establishing our support for Team GB.
Oh and it will make you want to run home. In a good way.