Saturday, February 28, 2009

2/19/09: Forever Young, Forever Free (1976)

With my Disney vacation fast approaching—and a week's worth of Disney films on my schedule for this blog—I picked out this (non-Disney) G-rated movie to get me in the mood for family entertainment. This was exactly the kind of squeaky-clean stuff I would have seen in the '70s; in fact, it has precisely the same outdoorsy flavor of the similarly titled Challenge to Be Free, a movie I'd massively enjoyed from the previous year. So I can't quite explain how I not only missed this one in the theaters, but in fact had never even heard of it before this year. I came across it while searching IMDB for Karen Valentine—one of my first TV crushes, from Room 222—and the recollections from numerous viewers who had enjoyed it as children convinced me to order a copy. It's the story of two young boys in South Africa who bond despite their racial differences, and how a scary accident changes their lives, but not their friendship. The idea is a nice one, but it's so painfully produced on a shoestring that it almost demands to be viewed as a child, when you're young enough to forgive elements like a nonexistent budget and a flimsy script. Rating: 2/5.

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