The late ‘70s / early ‘80s were a heady time for teen “exposé” films. It was the glorious era of FOXES, LITTLE DARLINGS, OVER THE EDGE, FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH and THE LAST AMERICAN VIRGIN.
Adapted from the popular YA novel, PUBERTY BLUES is Australia’s FOXES, its definitive coming-of-age saga from the era. It takes place on sunny beaches Down Under rather than Hollywood’s mean streets -- and is awash in early ‘80s Aussie power pop.
Posting up on a beach just outside Sydney, outsider teenagers Sue and Debbie long to join the “surfy chicks”: a group of girls who don’t surf, instead tending to the beloved, bratty surfer boys who rule the shores. They prove their worth by getting in fights, smoking ciggies, cheating in school and ignoring their lunkhead parents. But once they’re in -- they realize the girls are basically servants, and even worse, the sex is just awful.
With its frank depiction of teenagers -- and boys that come across as vile monsters -- PUBERTY BLUES is a great portrayal of what it’s like for a young woman to come into her own, and realize what once seemed cool just isn’t. This stuff is humorously and poignantly real. Plus, it’s got a catchy theme song!