The Blue Lagoon

Year: 1980
Studio: Columbia Pictures
Director: Randal Kleiser
Producer: Randal Kleiser
Cast: Brooke Shields, Christopher Atkins, Leo McKern
I passed on seeing this film at the cinema as a ten year old kid to go and see The Wild Geese instead, so it was a bit trippy to finally catch up with it a quarter century later.

I expected a lot more of a kid's movie with a lot more schmaltz and a lot more ham-fisted execution, but it was actually surprisingly beautiful. Stories about how Brooke Shields used a body double and the strategic taping down of her hair so as not to expose her breasts must have fermented and finally convinced me it would be as chaste as a regency romance novel.

It's not quite The English Patient, but more tender than I thought it would be when it could have been anywhere on the spectrum up to and including all out porn.

Most of us know the legend even if we haven't see the films - of 19th century castaways Richard (Atkins) and Emmeline (Shields) who find themselves lost on a desert island as little kids after an accident at sea on the boat their uncle's using to take them across the world.

Given a rudimentary upbringing for a few months by crusty ship's hand Leo McKern, they find themselves alone when he passes on and are left with no idea what's happening to their growing bodies or the strange feelings they have about each other.

Some of the markers for the onset of the kids' puberty are a bit cack-handed, like Atkins' Hayden Christensen-like fake outbursts of temper at his mate when it's his hormones making him crazy.

There's also the split level holiday house they make out of twigs and palm leaves - best parodied in the Zucker Brothers Top Secret when Hillary and Nigel enjoy their palm-leaf condo with the electric garage door.

But it's sweet if you're in the right mood. If the same movie was made nowadays it'd be for kids. And you see Brooke's boobs.

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