Titter-worthy tosh contending we’d all have had a much more enlightened puberty if we’d been left to fend for ourselves on a desert island. Let nature have its way implores the dotty narrative as prettified quislings Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins learn about the exciting side of bodily function, inspired by the strange sproutings each other is suddenly sporting. The constant asides to take in the lush tropical locations a nod to the instinctual processes God intended all along.
At least, director Randal Kleiser, late of Grease fame, had the good sense to employ the highly talented Nestor Alemendros as his cinematographer, who provides a gorgeous sense of tranquillity amongst the heady jungle greens and crystal clear ocean blues provided by their Fiji locations. The two stars, with body doubles on-hand for the naughtier moments (sorry, perfect expressions of human love), flit about their idyll with perpetually dumbfounded expressions. The idea is a glorious awakening untrammelled by outside influence, but it comes across like a Bacardi advert populated by special needs kids.
Another problem, beyond the handling of biological tug, is the entire lack of threat. We are shown a nearby tribe into human sacrifice, a hint toward some ghastly peril in store for our acne-free lovebirds. But Klesier declines to break the placid surface of his homily to gorgeousness and nowt happens. Everything is idealised, their island survival a matter of building a natty hut and Shields getting through childbirth without mussing up her lovely hair.
It’s based on a 1903 novel by the grandly monikered Henry De Vere Stacpoole, and Jean Simmons availed herself for a 1949 version. She, at least, wasn’t stuck with such deranged dialogue as Emmeline’s excruciatingly silly: “You’re always staring at my buppies!” Welcome to the real world, love.