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The film is a lighthearted story of four teenage girlfriends of various temperaments who escape from their parents for a few days in 1963 for an adventure in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina where the big spring festival promises a dance contest, beer blasts and lots of cute boys. Carson (Phoebe Cates) is engaged to a rich but square young man, Melaina (Bridget Fonda) fancies herself as a Hollywood sexpot, Luanne (Page Hannah) wears glasses and is a prim and proper senator's daughter, and Pudge (Annabeth Gish) has recently lost weight but has always been called "Pudge" and suffers from low self-esteem.
The trip is spurred by the upcoming marriage of Carson. During their busy weekend at Myrtle Beach, the four find romance, dance up a storm, and make serious life decisions. Their story chronicles their final farewell to girlhood, and entree into womanhood and focuses on both the girls' moral quandaries and their budding sexualities.