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Paradise

Year: 1982
Production Co: AVCO Embassy Pictures
Director: Stuart Gillard
Writer: Stuart Gillard
Cast: Phoebe Cates, Willie Aames

I had a vague idea this film existed as a sort of cultural companion piece to The Blue Lagoon – it's very much the same idea, only Willie Aames as hero David is such a whiny little bitch next to Christopher Atkins was opposite Brooke Shields just a few years before (and that's saying something if you remember Atkins' performance as a lesser whiny little bitch).

In fact, even if you don't remember the history you can put two and two together and see that Paradise is the True Blood in response to The Blue Lagoon's Twilight, a cash-in of the most blatant kind.

And I'll freely admit the only reason I wanted to see it was the Metacafe clip of Phoebe Cates – who I've been in love with ever since Gremlins – standing naked in a waterfall.

Essentially the same story as The Blue Lagoon, it deals with two young and attractive people who are thrown together by fate in the Middle East, alone and having to take care of themselves and stay one step ahead of a fearsome local warlord who had his eye on Sarah (Cates) and will stop at nothing to claim her.

They gradually find their way to an idyllic beach somewhere near Damascus where they fall gradually in love and discover the birds and the bees. It's a lot sexier than Lagoon was – if you remember the scene in Top Secret where the camera pans across a ridiculous tangle of limbs as Nigel and Hilary make love, it's parodying the sex scenes in Paradise.

But the slave trader villain has to make his appearance for the sake of the thrilling climax and David has to be the hero and save Sarah's virtue and both their lives before they can walk off into the sunset.

The film mostly takes itself seriously and the acting is adequate, but the stupid monkey they make friends with while living at the beach is not only irritating in the extreme but on the wrong continent.

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