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Vintage Videos: Film about ‘Boys’ one-note wonder

POSTED: June 26, 2014 1:00 a.m.

For girls who care about boys, boys and, well, boys, ‘Where the Boys Are’ is the perfect summer-time movie.

Starring Dolores Hart, Paula Prentiss, Connie Francis, George Hamilton, Yvette Mimieux and Jim Hutton, this 1960 film follows four very different girlfriends who travel to Fort Lauderdale from the frigid Northeast for spring break.

But before they leave, Merritt Andrews (Hart) gives a speech stating her belief women should explore sex before marriage. This speech ultimately leads each college coed to explore her own thoughts about the subject of sex before marriage.

For Melanie (Mimieux), she took Andrews’ spiel to heart, losing her virginity to a boy just days after arriving in Florida.

Angie (Francis) seems to be complete clueless on love, while Tuggle (Prentiss) proudly declares her primary goal in life is to be a “baby-making factory.”

This was the part where I wanted to throw up and shake my computer screen and scream, “Are you serious?!”

The film continues following each of the girls on their various adventures with the boys they meet along the way and the consequences of their actions. And ... that’s it. Ta da!

Though Merritt’s speech about premarital sex was a radical notion during the ’60s, all of her forward-thinking had little affect to anyone aside from the most insecure and starved for love Melanie. Merritt herself even strayed from her thinking as you see she mentions marriage after spending only a few days with a rich Ivy leaguer she met while on the trip. So even the most progressive character in the movie succumbs to society’s norms, which leaves the notion of this being a modern movie in the dark.

Nothing of note even happens until the final 10 minutes when the boy-talk-filled screenplay randomly takes a melancholy turn. Talk about a bummer ending.

Aside from the sporadic moments of cute jokes and witty one-liners, this movie almost put me to sleep. And when it wasn’t boring me, it really made me thankful times have changed from the days when women expected a proposal and wedding ring after two dates.

All that aside, I can see how this movie won a Laurel award for best comedy of the year back in the day, because it has its entertaining moments. And don’t get me wrong, I totally understand times were different 54 years ago.

I mean, it’s cute. But that’s pretty much all it is.

Chelsea Tench is a columnist for The Times.


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