Out of It (1969)

Out of It (1969)

“I can just say anything, and you’ll believe me.”

Over the course of summer vacation, Paul (Barry Gordon) attempts to woo sexy Christine (Lada Edmund Jr.) away from her jock boyfriend Russ (Jon Voight).

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Comedy
  • Coming-of-Age
  • Jon Voight Films
  • Rivalry
  • Teenagers

Response to Peary’s Review:
This “very amusing” coming-of-age comedy (which Peary argues is “waiting for discovery”) belies the stereotypes of most teenage sex romps, emerging as an authentic look at teenagers testing out their interests and affections. The story isn’t linear; indeed, what we think will be the crux of the film (Paul getting Christine to go out with him) happens almost immediately, with the rest of the movie focusing on the complications of what happens next. Other than Jon Voight’s somewhat predictable performance as a “dumb, tough jock”, these characters are surprisingly three-dimensional: they’re conflicted about what they want, and getting what they want doesn’t necessarily lead to the satisfaction they were hoping for. Director Paul Williams uses clever editing to focus on Paul’s state-of-mind — check out the hilarious Romeo and Juliet scene, for instance.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Lada Edmond, Jr. as the surprisingly nuanced Christine
  • Paul staring distractedly at an unaware Christine’s heaving bosom throughout an entire production of Romeo and Juliet
  • Clever, humorous editing
  • An honest portrayal of teenage rivalry, horniness, and confusion

Must See?
No, but it’s recommended.


One thought on “Out of It (1969)

  1. First viewing. A once-must, but more of a once-should. “Out Of It’ (a clever, layered title) belongs to a batch of films viewing teens with compassionate intelligence. Though I haven’t done a study on such films, a number of these (including, though darker, Perry’s “Last Summer’ and Petrie’s “Buster and Billie’ — the latter lost and overlooked by Peary) seem to have come out between the late “60s and the early “70s. Before that, the average teen film was either about delinquency or Annette in a one-piece; after that, teen films gradually became less and less about the teens themselves — and more about how “stupid’ they were and should be killed in slasher movies to, gradually, how “stupid’ they are…period. (A modern film like “Election’ seems to be an exception but, as I said, I haven’t done a study.) “Out Of It’ is not a great or particularly memorable film: Barry Gordon (Woody Allen-esque with less verbal diarrhea) learns how to deal with a) not being one of “the beautiful people’ and b) girls. That’s basically it. Wry moments keep it going — called “impossible”, Gordon replies, “Oh, no, I’m quite possible. I can be had.”; figuring out how part of “it’ works, Gordon says while making out, “I can just say anything and you’ll believe me.” It’s also novel to see the “blonde beauty’ pursue a more intellectual interest even though she eventually settles for “less’. It’s the kind of little movie that may make you think, “Yeah, it felt like that.”

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