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Film review: Calendar Girl

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 14 1993 12:00 a.m. MDT

If it weren't so salacious, "Calendar Girl" might simply be an innocuous bit of teen silliness that would pass through local theaters largely unnoticed.

But the filmmakers, bound and determined to bring back the "horny teenager" genre of the early '80s, offer something offensive at every turn, from crass portrayals of women as exclusively bimbos and nincompoops to a trip to a nude beach, during which everyone is covered just enough to slip by with a PG-13 rating. (Though this still looks like R-rated territory to me.)

The story is the kind of thing you can almost hear being pitched in a Hollywood boardroom: It's 1962 and three small-town teenage boys head for Hollywood, where they try to meet Marilyn Monroe — they camp outside her house, they tie up a cow in her front yard and they even follow her to a nude beach.

In its early stages, the trio is shown as young boys, meeting at a "Howdy Doody" look-alike contest, then sharing a common fascination with Monroe. One of them even puts together a scrapbook of Monroe articles and photos, which he labels "The Bible." They go to all of her movies, dream about her and even get together to write her a letter.

Later, after graduating from high school, the boys take the aforementioned trip to Hollywood to meet Monroe, though one of the trio has more in mind than simply "meeting" her. There, they stay with an uncle, harass Monroe continually and in the end, for some inexplicable reason, Monroe actually does go out with one of them. (There's also a subplot about inept hoods chasing the boys because one of them has stolen $1,000 in mob money.)

In some ways, this is a similar concept to "Heartbreak Hotel," in which a young teen kidnapped Elvis for his mom. Yet, somehow, "Calendar Girl" seems even less credible and more stupid.

Among other things, this is also a vehicle for Jason Priestley, of TV's "Beverly Hills, 90210," who is more or less the ringleader of the bunch. He has some charm — but it's apparent he needs a new agent.

"Calendar Girl" is rated PG-13 for nudity, sex, profanity, vulgarity and marijuana smoking.

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