Sunday, December 12, 2010
I'm not the right market for this movie, which I assume would appeal to females in their teens or early 20s. I can only assume, since I have no idea what that demographic really likes. Also, having a movie titled Shag set in Myrtle Beach and made by a bunch of outsiders to "beach" culture starts off on a bad foot with me. Despite all the above mentioned, I still actually halfway enjoyed the movie, mainly due to the facts that it captured some footage of old Myrtle Beach (before the huge commercialization of the last few years) and the soundtrack had some great music. And what the heck, might as well throw in the fact that Bridget Fonda is a real cutie pie.
The plot of Shag is about 4 friends (Phoebe Cates, Bridget Fonda, Annabeth Gish, and Page Hannah), all proper girls from Spartanburg, SC, and their last fling before marriage and college separates them. I will only touch on two of the improbables in the plot (there are more, but these two are seared into my brain): You don't leave Spartanburg to go to Myrtle Beach and come to an intersection where a directional sign would point to Myrtle Beach one way or Fort Sumter the other way. In order to get to Fort Sumter, you would go to Charleston since Fort Sumter is A FORT off the coast of that city. The makers of Shag also think Fort Sumter is a town, which is incorrect, I'm assuming they got it confused with the town of Sumter. The other REALLY bad plot point - you don't learn to dance The Shag at the beginning of a long weekend and win a major Shag Contest in the next few days.
Shag features one live band called Big Dan and The Sand Dollars (the band is actually played by The Voltage Brothers, featuring Larry Whitaker) in a couple of scenes. The Voltage Brothers/Big Dan and The Sand Dollars really put on a good performance as a typical show band from the era the movie is set in (1963) and both of their songs "Stay" and "Sixty Minute Man" will make you wish you were in a club seeing them live.
To my knowledge there has only been one movie that really captured the essence of being a teen/young adult and going Myrtle Beach (and Shag definitely ain't it) and that movie was titled Ocean Drive Weekend. It was made on a shoestring budget and released through Troma Pictures (YES, you read that correct - Troma). If you want to read a review of that movie I would recommend clicking on over to The Lightning Bug's Lair. If you're interested in seeing Shag and still have a VCR, check your local thrift store (I haven't been in a thrift store yet that didn't have at least one copy of Shag). The thrift store will probably charge you $1.00 and I feel that's about the right price for Shag. Any higher and you might feel like you got "ripped off".