Meet Sue, a teenage Australian girl in the late 70s, whose life mainly consists of doing what everyone else does - watch the surfing boys and have sex with the same surfing boys. The girls have to follow lots of strange customs, e.g. do not eat or go to the bathroom when a boy is around. Ugly girls have two choices - being bitches and hate boys, or being generally cheap and looked down upon by everyone. The afternoons are spent on the beaches, in the backseats of car or at home-alone-parties where sex and alcohol are the main ingredients. Parents and teachers are trying to straighten the kids out, but that is not easy. Written by
Rune Dahl Fitjar <email@example.com>
Interesting, if somewhat flawed portrait, of Australian teen surfer culture
This is an early effort from acclaimed Aussie director Bruce Beresford. It was made during the period of the "Australian New Wave" of the 70's and early 80's when there was a proliferation of both of government-sponsored artistic fare and more commercially-minded genre fare emerging from Down Under. The story concerns two teenage girls who decide to join the popular clique at school, even though that mostly seems to mean lying around sunbathing with their most beautiful but most vapid female peers or having embarrassing sex with dimwitted male surfers in the back of a boogie van at the drive-in while all their friends sit in the front.
This is a well-made and fairly realistic film, but it suffers from the same problems as a lot of the teen-oriented movies made in other countries. First off, both the female and male characters look at least five years too old to be teenagers and they are all unusually attractive. One of the female leads kind of approaches ordinary-looking, but the other one, and about every other actor in the cast (even the supposed "nerds") is extraordinarily good-looking. Frankly, it would be easier to sympathize with these virginal girls being taken advantage of by muscle-headed male surfers if they didn't all look like Nichole Kidman (who isn't in this, but would have blended right in). Beresford's camera also spends so much time lingering on barely clad, nubile bodies that I sometimes felt like I was watching a David Hamilton film. Not that there's anything wrong with that necessarily, but it does kind of detract from the seriousness of the film a little bit.
On the plus side, this is an interesting portrait of the late 70's Australian teen surf culture, and it is certainly well-crafted as a film. There was a reason Beresford would go onto to international fame with films like "Breaker Morant". This is somewhat flawed, but an interesting film nevertheless.
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