The Movie Waffler New to Prime Video - SOUNDTRACK TO SIXTEEN | The Movie Waffler


soundtrack to sixteen review
Two 16-year-olds struggle with the trials of teenage life.

Review by Ben Peyton

Directed by: Hillary Shakespeare

Starring: Scarlett Marshall, Gino Wilson, Emily Jayne, Celiya Köster-Brown, Jennie Hilliard, Sean Micallef, Jack Boal, George Fanzio, Jamal Hadjkura

soundtrack to sixteen poster

Maisie (Scarlett Marshall) is 16 and never been kissed. Ben (Gino Wilson) is 16 and never been kissed. Soundtrack to Sixteen follows their struggle to rectify this while, at the same time, attempting to navigate the trials and tribulations that accompany boozy house parties with the added stress of school exams.

Maisie’s tired of not quite fitting in and being excluded from certain gatherings, as well as being anxious to have that first kiss before she turns 17. Stalking her handsome crush (George Fanzio) isn’t working out and so she decides to surprise everyone, herself included, by adapting her personality and infiltrating the cool girls’ gang. Longing for attention and desperately seeking snogging, she turns a blind eye to their bitchy behaviour as they take advantage of her good nature, further alienating her from her real friends.

soundtrack to sixteen review

Just as much a misfit as Maisie, Ben does actually have a group of friends, albeit socially inept ones more interested in playing Pokémon than hanging out at house parties. Ben’s eager to achieve decent grades in the upcoming tests and is prone to losing his temper in true moody teenager style. His problems start when he begins to realise that he’s probably not as clever as he thinks he is, and his plummeting results would seem to agree.

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Of course, their paths collide and what follows is a charming, witty and highly entertaining combination of coming-of-age story and romantic comedy, made even more watchable by their pitch-perfect performances. Both superbly portray the complex issues faced by young adults as naivety clouds their judgement and compels them to make wrong decisions.

soundtrack to sixteen review

Written by sisters, Hillary and Anna-Elizabeth Shakespeare, their script deftly captures the awkwardness of sexual awakening in hormonal young adults. A game of ‘I have never’ showcases the consequences of bowing to peer pressure and inner monologues are used, often with hilarious results. There are also tender moments of simplicity. A shared bus journey beautifully captures the bumbling nervousness of a simple introduction, and watching an older sister play with her much younger sibling is surprisingly moving.

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Backing up the two leads is a strong ensemble cast, particularly Emily Jayne, Celiya Köster-Brown and Jennie Hilliard as three self-obsessed, delightfully nasty girls that do their best to bring out their worst. There’s a thumping soundtrack crammed full of teenage angst, while the original music by Patrick Savage and Holeg Spies is quirky and melodic.

soundtrack to sixteen review

Soundtrack to Sixteen is an incredibly confident debut feature from the Shakespeare sisters. Intelligent, amusing and delightfully nostalgic with accomplished performances (Marshall and Wilson in particular have extremely bright futures), it’s well worth watching these teenagers trying to get their kicks.

Soundtrack to Sixteen is on Prime Video UK now.