OMG! I watched all I could stomach of this movie thinking that most of its audience wouldn’t learn the words sexism or objectification for years, if ever. Now, every one of those brainless boys and bodacious babes is on Social Security or dead, including Annette Funicello. I’d heard that Disney wouldn’t allow her navel to show in beach movies, but here she’s dressed in a pants suit as she reads a book on a blanket. Why is feckless Frankie worried enough that she, of all people, will cheat on him, that he would seek the help of Buster Keaton (!), playing a witch doctor named Bwana. (Yes, a witch doctor ostensibly in Tahiti, filmed in a hut later used on Gilligan’s Island.)
To call those simpler times would be a whitewash (very white). Although the conjured stuffing of the title bikini is a pulchritudinous redhead, the title song defines beauty as a 36-22-36 blue-eyed blonde: cue the montage of bikini’d torsos — an actual scene from the movie — but mute the nauseating beach song that accompanies the scene.
And, yet, better ten remakes of this awful flick than more slasher gore porn that tragically defines the nadir of modern cinema. Oh, for more innocent times.
Perhaps there is a hint of the sexual revolution here, but not of anyone’s liberation. How did we go from there to Woodstock in just 4 years. (It took a lot of weed.) Even as Hollywood depicted our older siblings as fools frolicking on the beach, they were getting ready to take to the streets and change America for the better. I’m so glad we’re not in that universe anymore.