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Georg Stanford Brown
Remake of the 1960 movie of the same name has four college coeds; virginal Jennie, outgoing Carole, wealthy and spoiled Southern belle Sandra, and horny Laurie traveling to Fort Lauderdale for their Easter week of Spring Break and the series of adventures and mis-adventures they encounter, which include the naive Jennie persued by musician drifter Scott and Sandra's snobish musician cousin Camden. Meanwhile, Carole is seeking a break in her relationship with the jealous Chip who follows her down to Florida. Sandra pursues a romance with local policeman Ernie who arrests her on the first night for being drunk and disorderly, while Laurie just seeks any man she can get her hands on. Written by
I'm absolutely astonished at the negative and even erroneous comments people are making about this film. I loved it! For an '80s teen-sex-beach party type of film, what other film could compare? "The Beach Girls" (1982), "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" (1982), "Foreplay" (1982), "Goin' All The Way" (1982), "The Last American Virgin" (1982), "Porky's" (1982), "Spring Break" (1983), "Screwballs" (1983), "Loose Screws" (1985), "Summer School" (1987), "Hard Bodies" (1989)? I've seen most of them, and for my taste none of those even come close to having simultaneously such good music, good humor, and good scenery as this one.
My favorite scene in this movie is in the intro when the girls first hit the road and the great song "Hot Nights" is playing, with nice aerial photography of their convertible zipping along en route to Florida. Lynn-Holly Johnson is one foxy lady! In that (pre-Internet) era when I was just starting to get interested in tracking down films with Lynn-Holly in them, the combination of my having found her by accident in this film, the great music, the aerial photography, and the nice Florida scenery really did it for me. I was thrilled. This became my favorite recent movie for the next several months, and I still haven't seen anything in the same genre that compares since then.
The music is generally good throughout this whole film, which I can't say for the 1960 version or any other teen-sex comedy I've seen. "Hot Nights" is by far the best song, but "Be-Bop-A-Lula," "Slow Down," and "Seven Day Heaven" are good, too, as are the Rockats songs in general. The inflatable man scene, the drunk driving accident scene, and the mansion party scene are high points of humor. The overall upbeat feel of the film is good, and it looks and feels like it was set in Florida, just as it was supposed to. If its goal was to capture the party atmosphere of spring break in Fort Lauderdale in the '80s, it succeeded admirably.
It's hard to compare this film to the original 1960 version because the two versions were set in such different eras that they are almost completely different films. The 1960 version may have been cute in some ways, but it is *so* old-fashioned with its euphemistic talk about "playing house" and the girl being traumatized just because she lost her virginity that it's painful to even watch at some points. In contrast, this 1984 version has freewheeling drugs, drunken driving, and stripping. Nobody's striving to land a husband, and it even has a few topless shots in it. This is a real party movie. To hell with the plot. Who needs a story line in a film like this?
It is not true that there are only non-nude bikini shots in this movie: see the Mister Bullhorn part and the Hot Bod Contest part for topless shots. I also think Lorna Luft has a great body, so I don't understand the criticisms about her being in the Hot Bod Contest. I also didn't notice that the girls looked too old for college, either, since college is full of students of all ages. Also, the criticism that this movie was a "career stopper" for Lynn-Holly and others just isn't logical since it might only be coincidence that those stars didn't go on to make any more significant movies, and other actresses have starred in turkeys and their careers still survived. Also, Lynn-Holly was *not* a Playboy magazine Playmate. She appeared under some bed covers in one photo in the June 1981 issue of Playboy at the time of "For Your Eyes Only" (1981), but I believe that's all. Therefore I don't think many of the criticisms about this film and its actresses are valid or even factual.
A deeper criticism might be that most of the humor relies on sex, alcohol, and drugs: the M*A*S*H syndrome. I've watched this film at times when I thought all the humor was funny, and at other times when I thought all the humor fell totally flat, so apparently it depends on your mood and your perception of those topics. In any event, this film definitely captured a freer, more tolerant era, just before the War On Drugs became oppressive, just before the AIDS scare became serious, and before the city of Fort Lauderdale harassed spring breakers nearly out of existence in that city. I never thought I'd look back on the '80s with affection, but considering America's post-9/11 Zeitgeist, the '80s are starting to look pretty darned good in comparison.
No matter how you look at it, this film definitely deserves a *lot* higher rating than its current 2.5/10. I give it 8/10.
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