A bright satirical comedy about an innocent high school girl granted her wishes by a student prodigy. A broad satire of teenage culture in the sixties, its targets ranging from progressive education to beach movies.
High-school senior Barbara Ann Greene has a lot to overcome to reach her dreams to be popular, get a job, find a husband, and maybe even be a movie star: she's poor, her parents are divorced, and her mother is a cocktail waitress. Right beside her, though, is her best friend and Svengali, Alan. He helps her get 12 cashmere sweaters, a job in the principal's office, spring break at Balboa, and more. Along the way, the satire bites teen mores, beach-blanket bikini movies, adults in charge, the country-club set, Christian-youth programs, older men's fantasies, and teen girls' innocence. How popular will Barbara Ann become, and what lengths will Alan go to get her there? Written by
Underrated and years ahead of its time satirically. Hey, Hey,Hey!
I first saw this on late night T.V. years ago. I loved the opening music. Only on more serious subsequent viewings did I realize what a brilliant satire this gem was. The skewering of such sacred cows (circa 1966)as beach movies, Balboa Island (which I remember visiting when I was a kid in 1967), "progressive education", and especially psychiatry:"They're supposed to be dirty!!",referring to the ink blots.
Tuesday Weld is a great and unbelievably underrated actress. She should have been in so many more quality films. Roddy McDowell and of course Ruth Gordon are always wonderful. If this movie doesn't have a cult following, I'm shocked. It would be great if a movie were made satirizing today's pop culture (and going much further than "American Dreamz").
I agree that this film,Dr.Strangelove, The Loved One, and The Magic Christian are some of the best and most important films of the 1960's.
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