Sunday, 20 February 2011

Little Darlings (1980)

"The bet is on: whoever loses her virginity first- wins"

Yet another film that had eluded me for years, and once again expectations were set to maximum.
For those of you who are not familiar with this film, it's basically about a group of 15 year olds at summer camp who all claim to have had sex, except for two young women, Angel (Kristy McNichol) and Ferris (Tatum O'Neal). They decide to make a bet, the first one to lose their virginity wins. Cue a young looking Matt Dillon to step in and try to help one of them out with their situation. Randy by name, randy by nature.

I thought I was going to hate Matt Dillon in this. After seeing him in My Bodyguard I just wanted to punch his smug looking face in, but in this he's actually quite charming. Armand Assante is also quite brilliant as the teacher. He won me over in a scene where he serenades the girls with a song about a chicken that has no bones on the guitar. One of the characters looked very familiar and it bugged the hell out of me until about half an hour in when it hit me, the character of Sunshine is played by Cynthia Nixon (or Miranda from Sex and the City to most of you). I knew I knew ya! As Del Griffith would say.
Obviously this film ultimately strikes gold with it's two main child stars, O'Neal and McNichol. Both of whom are fantastic, although I did start to get creeped out every time O'Neal's character Ferris tried it on with the teacher (Assante).

The story is quite tender but it treats the subject matter with great care, unlike many other camp movies from the same period. It's a stage that we all went through and I thought it dealt with it excellently.

I couldn't help but notice that Barry De Vorzon's Baseball Furies Chase music was playing in the background in an early scene. It may have been in my mind but I swear I could hear it playing softly as the girls enter their cabin for the very first time. I hope someone has a screening fairly soon so that they could confirm this to me.

This film is amazing and it comes with my seal of approval (for what it's worth). I'm placing it high up on the list of my all-time favourite 80's movies. We're talking Three O'Clock High and alike here!

What can I say? I'm a sucker for an 80's summer camp movie.

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