“Don’t worry — it’s not THAT bad. If it was, everyone wouldn’t be doing it.”
15-year-olds Angel (Kristy McNichol) and Ferris (Tatum O’Neal) compete to see who can lose their virginity first at summer camp.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Summer Camp
Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary stipulates that adults will “appreciate the funny, sensitive performance by the versatile McNichol, but not much else” about this infamous coming-of-age film. More than 25 years after its release, however, the “adults” watching this film on video are likely the very same underaged girls who, as Peary notes, “repeatedly sneaked by near-sighted ticket takers and made this R-rated comedy a big commercial success.” Whether or not you have memories of it from years ago, this little-seen film remains an undeniably powerful portrait of teenage rivalry and bonding; it’s refreshing to see a rare female perspective on the age-old trope of teens desperately seeking to gain sexual experience. While Tatum O’Neal inexplicably seems like she’s sleep-walking through her role, McNichol’s soul-searching insecurity over losing her virginity is honest and sensitive, and buoys the entire film.
- Kristy McNichol’s Oscar-worthy performance
- Cynthia Nixon in a bit role as a flower-child camper
No, but it’s recommended for McNichol’s fine performance.