Sweetheart, dir. Marley Morrison, UK 2021, 103 min., English, 15
The last place socially awkward 17-year-old AJ (Nell Barlow) wants to be is on holiday at the seaside with her annoying family. Dragged along by put-upon mum Tina (Jo Hartley), AJ is determined not to have fun – and when she discovers the campsite doesn’t even have wifi, it promises to be the worst week of her life. But after meeting resident lifeguard Isla (Ella-Rae Smith), perhaps being stuck on site isn’t so bad when there’s a chance she could fall in love for the first time.
Winner of the Audience Award at the Glasgow Film Festival, Marley Morrison’s debut feature is a refreshing take on the coming-of-age story – led by a winning performance from Nell Barlow as the misunderstood AJ, whose connection with a never-met lifeguard takes everyone, including her, completely by surprise.
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