Little Darlings

I’m having a Gen X 80’s flashback morning. Found the movie Little Darlings on youtube and have been watching it in bits and chunks.  Of course, despite enumerations in the title listsing for each clip it does not seem to be posted in chronological order. One clip does not always pick up exactly where the other left off.  Or so it seems, anwyay. And there are bits from other TV shows preceding the clips. Still, it’s easy enough to piece it together, I guess.

In any case, Kristy McNichol for me is like a new piece of technology to a Millenial/Gen Yer — OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG I love Kristy. I fell in puppy love with her from the moment I saw her on the TV show Family. Damn she was cute. And then when I saw her in Little Darlings, well… it still makes my wittle heart go pitter pat. No young actor can cry like she could. So sweet. Too bad her bipolar (I think) has kept her from acting, but hey, man, you got to respect her ability step away from the limelight, to not force herself to do it because of public demand or ego or narcissim or whatever. She’s a true Gen Xer. Much love to that sweet woman.

I have a story idea that involves KM. It’s about this guy who, at 40 (which oddly enough is the age that I am now. Hmm Coincidenc? You decide), goes on a trek to find KM. Strangly enough at that time KM decides to make an unusual appearance at a teen star autograph-signing show or whatever. This actually happened in 2007. But finally in a position to talk to her, he doesn’t know what to say, other than the typical, hi, I love your work, blah blah blah kind of stuff. Anyway, I can’t decide if the guy should be a single slacker stuck in his old college town, unable to write the novel he planned to whip off after graduation. Or, if he should be a guy married/invloved with kids. It’s been kicking around in my head for a number of years, ever since my daughter was an infant. Every time I see Little Darlings again, I think of it. But I doubt I’ll ever get around to writing it. I have too many ideas like that.

It’s strange. How strong my nostalgia is for this movie. I admit it, I still feel that old crush on KM, and I get weepy-eyed when she gets hurt. I get mad at Matt Dillion for being such a lunkhead. Some part of me wants to step into the film and push him out of the way and comfort Kristy. How fucked up is that? How creepy would that come across to KM if she read that? I mean it gives me the hibby geebies. Yikes!

Why does it affect (or effect?) me so?

Sometimes I think it has something to do with an ex-girlfriend of mine (who shall remain namelss here, but not because of any bitter feelings or anything like. No. Seriously.). My ex had a simliar sweetness and bright smile, and big brown eyes that broke my heart when they teared up. She was my first real serious girlfriend. I haven’t heard from her or even of her in years. Last time I had contact, via email, she had just had her first child. That was awhile ago. Anyhoo…

See how watching Little Darlings drags me back into a pit of nostalgia. Blech! Yech! I feel like some solopsistic Boomer pining for fucking Woodstock or some shit like that. It also makes me angsty and wistful.

But I don’t think that my nostalgia is for KM herself. After all I don’t know her. I only know this idea of her, this image or persona or whatever. And that is not her. It’s funny, though, how your mind and emotions and everything can trick you into thinking that you do “know” a person that you’ve never met.

Quick note: I just checked for the DVD of Little Darlings and it is currently unavailble. It is available on VHS, used, starting at $27.99. Yikes!

I wonder if anyone has ever attempted or even though to try and remake Little Darlings. Could you make it today? How would it be different? Who would be cast in it? Miley Cyrus and fuck if I know. Yeah, would probably never happen.

I can never seem to decide if Little Darlings it just a fun, sweet movie about young girls coming of age or secretly some kind of perverted voyeurism masking as a populoar movie. I mean, come on. The scene where Tatum O’Neal’s character, Ferris, dumps milk onto KM’s character’s lap. There’s a fucking close up shot of KM’s (although it could be a body double) tightly denimed crotch getting doused with milk. And the food fight the ensues afterwards, involving all the girls in the came. Don’t get me started. It seems to toggle back and forth between very sweet, innocent images and a tone that belies a darker perversion of sorts. I don’t know. Take look and decide for yourself:

(I couldn’t get the video to embed for some reason. Sorry)

What I do know is that seeing this movie again now, I viewed it through a different lense. I’m 40 now, but 14, but more importantly I have a daughter. She is 7. And watching Little Darlings of course I can’t help but imagine my daughter caught up in such a circumstance, which only increases my heart ache and anger when Kristy McNichol (Angel is the character name) says, whit the Matt Dillion charaacter inepty trying to comfort her, “I feel so lonesome.”


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