Almost Summer (1978)

PG   |    |  Comedy


Almost Summer (1978) Poster

A high-school election gets nasty.


6.1/10
197

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  • Ty Page and Bryan Beardsley in Almost Summer (1978)
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12 August 2017 | moonspinner55
5
| If it's "back to class, crack the books", it wouldn't be almost summer--it would be the end of summer
"Almost Summer" was worked on by four screenwriters (Judith and Sandra Berg, Martin Davidson--who also directed--and Marc Reid Rubel), yet it opens with the oldest visual cliché in the teen-movie manual: anonymous girl in a red bikini lying on a beach towel next to her suntan oil and radio. Who is she? It doesn't matter. For a film that wants to examine cutthroat high school politics with a somewhat serious face, this opening shot--more than any other--tips the writers' hand: what they really wanted to make was a girl-ogling flick on the level of "Beach Blanket Bingo". When his candidate for student body president is suspended, wheeler-dealer Bruno Kirby has to come up with a last minute replacement to challenge Lee Purcell, the class brain. Most of the actors look old enough to be in college (one of the reasons, I think, the movie didn't catch on with its target audience), although Didi Conn does her oddball outsider thing to good effect (even if the sight gag with her braces is overdone). One tires quickly of wise guy Kirby, who swears like a seasoned sailor and gambles on the side like a streetwise hustler. "Grease" beat this into theaters by three months and, while that film also featured kids too old for class, it had a real feel for classrooms and teachers and puppy love. "Almost Summer" wants to be hard-shelled and yet sentimental--the underdog as teen idol--but the dialogue is too smart and worldly and cynical. Where's the fun of being a teenager? ** from ****

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