Gidget (1959)

Genres - Comedy, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Beach Film, Romantic Comedy  |   Release Date - Apr 10, 1959 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 95 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

Although the very title prompts snorts of derision from many, Gidget is actually not a bad little teenaged flick from the '50s. Great art it definitely isn't, but as frivolous, lighthearted entertainment, it more than fits the bill. Those who know it only by reputation will probably be surprised to find that it does attempt to deal with the problems of life as seen by a teenager -- and that, while some of those attempts are silly, many of them come off quite well. It also paints a very convincing picture of the beach-bum lifestyle, much more so than the Frankie Avalon-Annette Funicello beach party movies. Yes, there's plenty to laugh at (including some surf sequences that barely attempt to hide the fact that rear projections are being used), and the character of Gidget herself is likely to seem a bit too dated for many modern viewers, but for the most part, the film is pleasant and fun. And if Sandra Dee sometimes comes across as too cute and perky, that's really due more to the way the part is written than the way in which it is played. Approached with the right attitude, Gidget is actually a lot of fun.