The film follows bright, quirky 16-year-old Johanna Morrigan (Feldstein), who uses her imagination to regularly escape her dull life in Wolverhampton and live out her wildest fantasies. In an attempt to get away from the flat she shares with her four brothers and eccentric parents, Johanna submits a music review to indie rock critics at a weekly magazine. Despite being initially brushed off, she makes a name for herself in the ’90s rock music scene by taking on the persona of Dolly Wilde, a music critic that obsesses over fame, fortune and men.
Alfie Allen, Paddy Considine, Chris O’Dowd and Emma Thompson round out the cast of the Coky Giedroyć-directed movie. Caitlyn Moran penned the script, which is based on her novel of the same name.
The trailer opens with Johanna asking photos of late celebrities and fictional characters how much longer she’ll be stuck living with her family. “I want to burn. I want to explode. I want to have sexual intercourse,” she whines.
Her brother later tells her to stop complaining and suggests that she apply to become a rock critic for a magazine. She goes to the office for an interview but is quickly turned down for the role.
After being overlooked for the job, Johanna decides to reinvent herself by dyeing her hair bright red and adopting a new wardrobe. “Johanna Morrigan is dead,” she tells her family while showing off her new look. “This is the legendary Dolly Wilde.”
Johanna finds a passion for rock and roll when she attends a concert and is soon hired as a music critic.
“These are the places you come where you can dance and scream and be with your own kind. Where everything is possible,” she says in a voiceover as a montage shows her dancing in a crowd and becoming close with a musician (Allen).
The following clips show Johanna drinking with her new co-workers, who believe she is really an acclaimed music critic. “The thing about crossing over to the dark side is that once you’re there, it doesn’t feel dark at all,” she continues in a voiceover.
Despite the success of her newfound career, Johanna’s family becomes skeptical of her sanity as she drastically changes and becomes more rebellious.
How to Build a Girl will be available on VOD on May 8. Watch the full trailer below.
This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.