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February 03, 2006

"Shag" on Sale

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

I just noticed that Amazon is offering the 1989 comedy-drama "Shag" on sale for $8.97. That's a very nice price for a sweetheart of a movie.

Have you caught the film? It's a small-scale charmer with a lot of hard-to-resist fizz -- something light, girl-centric and touching, for the crowd that loved "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," "Mystic Pizza," "Dirty Dancing," "Valley Girl," and "Mermaids." It's set in the early 1960s and stars Phoebe Cates, Bridget Fonda, and Annabeth Gish as Southern college girls who head to Myrtle Beach for one last blow-out before settling down. Love, heartbreak, dance scenes (the film's title refers to a dance of the era), and showdowns ensue; the hairstyles, cars, and fashions are fabulous without being camp. All three actresses are in tiptop -- ie., eager and charmingly absurd -- form, and the direction, writing, and music provide a lot of buoyancy. It's one of those small-scale movies that lingers warmly in some people's memories. Small question? Why didn't Annabeth Gish become as big a star as Julia Roberts?

Here's a page of screencaps from the movie. Here's an Annabeth Gish fansite; here's one for Phoebe Cates; and here's one for Bridget Fonda.



posted by Michael at February 3, 2006


I have almost no memory of the specifics of "Shag"--I couldn't recall the plot to save my life--but it lingers in my memory like a charming soap-bubble. Doesn't Briget Fonda go around calling people "sweet potato" (as a term of approbation)?

Posted by: Friedrich von Blowhard on February 4, 2006 10:35 AM

Your question about Julia Roberts is a good one and I will ask the old guy on the top of the mountain when I get there. I've never been a fan of Ms. Roberts and the mystery for me has always been why she became a star at all.

Posted by: Sluggo on February 6, 2006 2:44 PM

Late last summer, I was standing in front of the Cooper-Hewitt with my wife, who's a big Kevin Kline (Mr. Phoebe Cates) fan. Noticing that Ms. Cates was standing right next to us as students came out of the school across the street, I quietly said to my wife, "Ms. Kline," with a slight nod of the head.

Not quiet enough, because Ms. Kline looked over and smiled. I must say she still appears to look 18, which shows what genes, money, surgeons, trainers and dieticians can do for you.

Since then, she's opened a store on Madison a couple of blocks south.

Posted by: john massengale on February 6, 2006 6:29 PM

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