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  Ski Party There's No Business Like Snow Business
Year: 1965
Director: Alan Rafkin
Stars: Frankie Avalon, Dwayne Hickman, Deborah Walley, Yvonne Craig, Robert Q. Lewis, Aron Kincaid, Bobbi Shaw, Patti Chandler, Mary Hughes, Steve Rogers, Michael Nader, James Brown, Lesley Gore, Dick Miller, Annette Funicello
Genre: Musical, ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Todd (Frankie Avalon) and Craig (Dwayne Hickman) are having no luck with the opposite sex while at college, yet Freddie (Aron Kincaid) has the ladies at his beck and call. They take Linda (Deborah Walley) and Barbara (Yvonne Craig) out on a date to see an Italian movie at the drive-in, but the girls just laugh all the way through it and reject the boys' advances. Then Todd and Craig hit upon an idea: they'll go on a skiing holiday with their fellow students, and see if they can learn how to win the girls from Freddie.

It's yet another Beach Party movie, but on this occasion not much time is spent on the beach, because scriptwriter Robert Kaufman places the action on the snowy slopes of a top class resort. Not only that, but you get to see what Some Like It Hot would have looked like if Frankie Avalon had starred in it, because Todd and Craig's next bright idea is to get closer to the girls by dressing as them. Don't worry, it's still as innocent as ever, our heroes decide to pose as two English girls to find out the secrets of successful dating.

Women are just one big puzzle to Todd and Craig, so by becoming double agents they get to have the girls confide in them, and even join their pajama party. Unfortunately, all this effort results in very little insight, and even at the pajama party they get bored listening to the girls' anecdotes. As this is a light sex farce, they also get locked in the girls' bedrooms, but remembering that the average age of their audience is fifteen, they opt to climb out the window to save on any censorship problems.

The template of the Beach Party movies is adhered to, and there are those musical numbers - this time, the special guests are pretty good. Lesley Gore shows up to sing the sparkling "Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows" on the bus while heading out on the holiday, but we never see her again. Did she go back home? Then there's James Brown and the Famous Flames, performing "I Feel Good", all dressed in fetching cardigans while the Godfather of Soul struts his stuff.

Wringing every possible joke out of the situation sometimes hits the funny bone, but things can get rather strange, as when Todd tries to win a ski jump competition by inflating his suit with helium and floating high above the ground, whereupon Craig helpfully shoots him down with a starter pistol. Strangest of all is when Freddie falls in love with Craig's female alter ego, leading to the uncomfortable thought of what they actually did together when Craig visited Freddie's room while in drag, seeing as how Freddie is besotted thereafter.

It's as if they were so wrapped up in padding the film out to ninety minutes that they threw everything in they could think of, never mind the lack of logic - the cast even don bathing suits while in the snow at one point, just so you know it's a genuine beach movie. While too much of the action smacks of desperation, a lot of the film is infectiously silly, with a polar bear, an open-minded Swedish girl and a cameo from Annette Funicello all included. The energy hadn't quite flagged at this point... not quite. Music by Gary Usher.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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