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THE SHAG, 1989
Movie Review

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THE SHAG MOVIE POSTER
THE SHAG, 1989
Movie Reviews

Directed by Zelda Barron
Starring: Phoebe Cates, Annabeth Gish, Bridget Fonda, Scott Coffey,
Review by Brent Randall



SYNOPSIS:

With a wedding quickly approaching for one of them, four best friends take a surprise beach trip to Myrtle Beach, for a last gasp before heading off into adulthood, where they find love, laughs, and lifetime memories.

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REVIEW:

Set in the summer of 1963, Carson (Phoebe Cates), is about to get married to a nice rich man named Harley (Tyrone Power Jr.) whom she is really not in love with. Her friends, Pudge (Annabeth Gish), Luanne (Page Hannah), and Melaina (Bridget Fonda) seem to be more aware of this than Carson, and want to take her on a last minute trip before she gets married. Carson agrees to the trip because they have led her to believe they are going to Fort Sumter. However, Pudge, Luanne, and Melaina surprise her (much to Carson's shagrin) by skipping Fort Sumter and heading to Myrtle Beach, where Luanne's father owns a beach house.

Upon arriving at Myrtle Beach, the girls decide to go out for a night on the town. While sitting around at the Pavillion (a local Myrtle Beach hot spot), watching people perform the Shag, a classic beach dance that was (and still is) popular at Myrtle Beach, two guys approach them, Buzz (Robert Rusler) and Chip (Scott Coffey). Buzz is interested in Carson and asks her to dance, which she quickly reminds him that she is engaged, although she is fighting her attraction to him. Chip and Pudge hit it off quickly, and the movie takes off from there.

As the weekend progresses, each girl seems to learn more about themselves, more about each other, and more about where their future lies. This is a classic, coming of age story, set in a fun-filled beach atmosphere. While The Shag is not Oscar-worthy, it does do a fabulous job of illustrating how the transition from adolescence to adult-hood can be trying, painful, and scary, yet exciting all at the same time.

Being set in Myrtle Beach, this film holds a special place in my heart, for I grew up vacationing at Myrtle Beach, and it brings back some very special memories. I bring it up because I think this film does that for all of us. It brings us back to that trying time between high school graduation and adult-hood, and my mind fills with a rush of wonderful memories every time I watch this film. It takes us back to a simpler time, and I think everyone, when watching this film, can recall a special vacation memory. Personally, this is one of my favorite films although it is relatively unknown. It is a fun and entertaining film, and although, as mentioned before, I do not believe it is award worthy, it is very enjoyable and in my opinion, another must see!

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