Sunday 18 February 2018

Pyjama Girls * * *

(Club, IFI)

Paul Whitington

Most of you will have noticed the fashion among young inner city females for wandering around in pyjamas at all hours of the day and night.

That trend, which may or may not have started in Ballyfermot as long ago as 2002, is the starting point for this nicely made Irish documentary but by no means its only theme.

A first feature for Maya Derrington, Pyjama Girls follows the fortunes of two Dublin teenagers who wear their PJs out and about as a matter of pride.

Lauren and Tara are inseparable, but nobody seems that happy about it, because both their families believe they're a bad influence on each other. They smoke in council flat stairwells and slag each other off on the top decks of town-bound buses, and talk to friends about which of their teenage acquaintances have got pregnant.

Of the two, Lauren is the more disturbed. Her mother is a drug addict and a violent one at that, and Lauren has been raised mainly by her long-suffering grandmother. She's been kicked out of school but is clearly bright, and while expressing contempt for her absent mother she does seem to bring her up a lot.

As these funny and mainly likeable girls explain, the pyjamas are a way of expressing the fact that even when they're outside in their estates, they still feel like they're at home. Maybe so, but they're also a badge of inactivity. At one point, Lauren makes reference to Adam & Paul, and compares herself and Tara to them as though it was a good thing.

Irish Independent

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