It’s spring break in Austin, TX and you know what that means- millions of co-eds fleeing in search of sandy beaches, while millions of music, film, and internet movers-and-shakers descend on the city to fill up our restaurants and hotels during the SXSW Festival. If I still got a spring break, I would definitely be heading for the beach, but since I don’t, the next best thing is watching a movie about spring break at the beach. No, I’m not talking about Spring Breakers– yikes! Rather, I’m watching Where the Boys Are (DVD/Download), a delightful film from 1960 starring Connie Francis, Dolores Hart, and a very young George Hamilton. Yes, that George Hamilton of the tangelo tan. The movie may have been somewhat racy for the time, (Necking on the beach! Giving it up to a Yale-y in a seedy motor lodge! Underage drinking- oh my!) but now it’s just quaint and adorable.
Where the Boys Are follows four northern co-eds who head to Ft. Lauderdale for spring break. Of course they meet boys and each girl must decide it she’s a “good girl” or a “bad girl” when it comes to shacking up. Except Connie Francis, that is, who unfortunately gets saddled with a dialectic jazz musician who looks to be about 40 years old but is playing 20. A self-professed girl’s hockey team member, she’s definitely the Lady Edith of this movie. Dolores Hart fares a little better with rich playboy-with-a-heart George Hamilton, and Paula Prentiss is matched with her usual co-star Jim Hutton (presumably because they’re both about 6 ½ feet tall). Then there’s poor Yvette Mimieux. She plays the girl who’s desperate to hook an Ivy Leaguer so she can drop out of college and be a housewife. Feminists would probably have a field day with this movie, but I look at it as simply her choice. I chose to stay in college, have a career, and make a great life for myself, but to each her own.
My drink this week is tiki-inspired, sort of a rum version of the Cosmopolitan. Fruity and boozy, this cocktail is a great way to kick off a week away from school. Even if you’re not sipping it while laying by the beach or pool, it’s still like a vacation in a glass. When you’re watching Where the Boys Are, I highly recommend drinking a Beachcomber.
2 oz white rum
¾ oz Cointreau
¾ oz fresh lime juice
½ tsp of maraschino liqueur
½ tsp simple syrup (optional, to taste)
Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake well, then strain into a coup glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry and a tiny umbrella.
With its catchy Connie Francis tunes, cute 60’s bikinis, Modcloth-esque dresses, and candy-colored motel set, this movie is pure fun. Think of it as a pre-Sex and the City, long before Carrie Bradshaw ever strapped on her Manolos. In Where the Boys Are, female friendship trumps boys every time, and even the sordid melodramatic scenes are still relatively innocent. Really, underwater bar mermaid Lola Fandango is about as trashy as this film gets. If spring break in Florida was actually as fun as it appears to be in this movie, I might be tempted to go back to school. Cheers!