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.
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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
This film is a brilliant black comedy on par with Dr. Strangelove and that's not being hyperbolic. It's incredible that this film is unknown, it ought to at least be a cult favorite. By turns strange, hilarious, bizarre and even moving, if you haven't seen this you should. It is unlike any movie I've ever seen. I first saw it when I was a teenager when it came on an afternoon movie showing. (This was before the afternoon dial was filled up with Jerry Springer and his ilk.) I'm sure at least twenty minutes to a half hour were cut out of it to make room for commercials but I knew instantly this was something special. Something different. Something that touched a nerve where other movies had completely passed me by. And as if that weren't enough, the scene with Tuesday Weld going shopping for sweaters is my choice for the single most erotic scene in the history of movies. Get it. Watch it. Consider yourself a cut above the rest because you are in for something special.
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