Saturday, 14 January 2012

Little Darlings (1980) Review

 Hello guys and girls. Today I thought I would review a film that I heard about a good while a go and only just recently got round to watching. Yes, after seeing this piece of amazing film I did slap myself repeatedly for being a big scuzzy dummy. Why do they I always seem to do this? I hear of so many great films on good authority and get round to them at a snails pace. Regardless, I am so happy that I did take the plunge and find a download of this gem that is yet to get a DVD release.

I first became of this film thanks to a good friend of mine, Robin Bougie who of course is the genius behind Cinema Sewer and reason why my pockets seem to be empty because of all the fantastic films he has turned me on to. However, that was last year. Recently on Facebook it was brought to my attention that this film was being shown on the TCM channel in America so of course being here in crappy old England we weren't able to see it so of course I had to the right thing to do and find a copy online so let me stop rambling on and actually let you guys know what I think.
 Little Darlings was made in 1980 and directed by Ronald F. Maxwell who hasn't really got that much worth mentioning to his credit aside from the T.V movie; Parent Trap 2. The stars of the show are Tatum O'Neal and Kristy McNichol who star as two 15 year old girls. Kristy plays as Angel. Angel is your typical street wise kid who likes nothing more than a good old smoke and has a smart mouth to boot. Tatum however plays as Ferris who is the cute rich kid. Both girls are being sent to a summer camp called Camp Little Wolf. Aside from our main stars there is also a strong supporting cast including a young Matt Dillon who comes into play about halfway through the film.
 The main premise of this film is basically Angel and Ferris trying to lose their virginity while at camp. The conversation comes up about virginity and a bet is made involving Angel and Ferris... a nice little betting racket, take note pre teens! Of course in typical movie fashion, our two main characters don't like each other so the bet is almost just as important for them as it is for the other girls. We also now have team Angel and team Ferris as the remaining girls try and aid their chosen competitor by giving them advice on such things as who and what to look for.
 After the girls have found their potential cherry poppers this is where their trials and tribulations begin. Ferris picks Gary who is the mature camp counsellor played by Armand Assante. Angel sets her sights on the handsome, long haired rebel Randy who is played by Matt Dillon. What happens over the next few scenes mixes between some really well written and genuinely funny banter between all the girls who you can just tell where having just as much fun in character and behind the scenes and of course the equally well written and played courtship between the girls and their chosen men. Both however have completely different success.
 With Ferris trying to get the older guy, you know already that her chances are pretty darn slim but does she give up? No way! In fact some of her actions in these parts are enough to melt any boys hearts, imagine if I saw this when I was 15... oh boy. Angel however has great success with Randy but as it progresses and comes up to the big moment you can really feel how scared she is about the big moment and you do genuinely feel for her. You feel for both characters. It's a beautiful thing when a film comes along and the majority of the characters are likeable. Not only that but I'm pretty sure a lot of you guys can relate to everyone in this film.
 I won't ruin what happens for you guys because you really do have to check this out for yourselves. One thing I love about this film is how the characters develop. Seeing the different dynamics of each character, seeing the characters evolve. Right from the start you know that Angel and Ferris will become friends but the film handles t so well that it's refreshing and not just "well she's going to do that... she's going to say this... then they will do this.." Of course there are a lot of things that happen along the way but experiencing them for yourself is part of the journey of this film. It's a great story that has been told countless times but again, the way it's handled is brilliant. Full of some great banter between the girls too. A film that has it's funny parts and it's sad parts but touching all the way through.
 Another thing about this film is the soundtrack. I'm pretty sure I heard the theme tune from The Warriors playing faintly in the background during one of the first cabin scenes with all the girls but that's not the best of it. There are songs by Blondie, John Lennon, Supertramp to name a few. It all just gells really well with the film. If you like your teen comedies then you should give it a go. Think of Meatballs mixed in with a pinch of Stand By Me and Goonies and a faint hint of Hardbodies and you have Little Darlings. It's not a teen comedy that uses dick jokes and gross out gags to get the laughs. In fact there is really none of that in this film. This is how a teen film should be like. It's got a story and characters that people can relate too. It has a real feel good mood to it thrown in with some touching, dramatic moments as if the film is almost a 15 year old kid itself.
So there you have it guys. I could say more and go in to detail but what would the point be? Why ruin the experience? All you need to know is that this is a must see. A story that deals with a lot of quite serious topics even if some are small plot points and film that really shows the meaning of true friendship. Even with it's 15 rated certificate, I do think that this film can be enjoyed by young and old a like. So if you want to laugh, cry and even be taken back to when you where fifteen or even if you want to relate to a character, this is a film for you. A great cast, great story and well directed. I could watch this film over and over again. This really does need a DVD release right NOW!


1 comment:

  1. Good review. Love to see this film talked about. It deserves it!