Saturday, March 12, 2011

Where The Boys Are

I think I misnamed this blog.  It should be Real Storytelling For A Digital World.  I may change it.  Who cares about writing anymore when the focus is all on story.

Do you remember the movie Where The Boys Are (1960)? It's a musical comedy I suppose.  Comedy with plenty of loud and lousy music in it. I always watch it.  I used to find it very likable, now I find it strange and curious. 

One aspect I find curious is the star, Dolores Hart.

Pretty girl, no?  Not a bad little actress, certainly as good as anyone else in that movie.  She also made a movie with Elvis.  Maybe she dated him.  Eventually she moved to a town not far from where I grew up and became a nun at the Regina Laudis Abbey.  That's a life arc that seems quite remarkable to me.  (Good going, Mother Dolores!)

The movie is all over the place.  There are so many characters, 4 college girls, Jim Hutton a college guy, George Hamilton, a Brown man, and some crummy jazz musicians.  And I mustn't forget the mermaid with the big flotation devices aka breasts and Brooklyn accent.  If we're to believe the last scene, it's a movie about searching for love and finding it.  For Dolores' character.  Yvette Mimieux's character is gang raped, or if not gang, then simply raped to the point of an emotional breakdown. 

Apparently there is great danger in bad boys who claim to attend Yale but just want sex.  And lots of it.  To quote from  A Sure Thing.  

(The next movie I'll address is A Summer Place but we'll stick with this for today)

This is supposed to be wittily entertaining and a jolly movie but I fail to see what the rape's doing in there.  Some will say it's a morality play.  Geez, that's what I want, a bunch of Hollywood freaks giving me lessons in morality.

If we follow that train of thought, Dolores' character, Merritt (for me just like the Parkway) is at a traditional type school but she's full of progressive type thoughts which translates to girls have to put out to be popular.  Okay.  Big shrug.  (Fast forward 50 years and 12 year olds are still getting that message...discuss amongst yourselves.)  Big twist in the plot by the end.  Yvette puts out and it lands her in the psych ward.  Merritt doesn't and it lands her the heir to a fortune.

Am I bored yet?

I guess this works in 1960 as a date movie you'd see at the drive-in as a triple feature with Palm Springs Weekend and Beach Blanket Bingo because there are more important things to do than watching the movie and detecting holes so big you could sail the Amoco Cadiz through them.  The jazz scenes are so loud that they cover up any other activities that might possibly be taking place with all the girls being lectured to on this putting out topic.

So as a piece of fluff, Where the Boys Are, is highly entertaining.  As a storytelling experiment it garners an EF.
Epic Fail.  It could only be written by a man and it was.  Both the book and the screenplay.  Directed by a man.

I love men.  I really do.  But they should disabuse themselves of the notion they know how to write women.  They don't.  They write women the way they wish women would be.

Meow!  Sex Kittens At The Beach!

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