Gidget Grows Up (1969 TV Movie)
User ReviewsReview this title
It was my favorite of all the Gidget movies.
It was a switch from the Gidget surfing to Gidget getting out on her own and experiencing life.
I wish they'd bring it out on DVD so I could get the movie for my youngest daughter because I know she'd like it.
I'd even sit and watch it with her.
I would enjoy seeing it again.
It's a good movie for young girls to watch, I wish they'd still make movies like this.
Karen Valentine did a great job as Gidget and Paul Peterson as Moon Doggie.
Good movie in my opinion.
A blender mix of "That Girl" and "Love American Style," "Gidget Grows Up" finds the former beach-bunny, father-fixated Gidget Lawrence (Karen Valentine- all wide eyes and Cinemascope grin) moving to New York to make the world a better place and recover from her tiresome on-again-off-again romance with steady beau Moondoggie (Paul Petersen) not necessarily in that order.
Befitting the timbre of the times, the heretofore famously self-interested teen is now a bleeding-heart tree hugger type complete with roommates that are a virtual Benetton ad of diversity (unfortunately, all are stricken with a serious case of the cutes).
The plot, such as it is swerves on its predictable path with hints thrown that little Gidget actually gets deflowered by an older gentlemen (there is much talk about "reaching out" and so many montages that one can do what one will with the inferences and fade outs. To my jaundiced eye, this was 60s TV's way of saying that Gidget REALLY grew up).
Desperately in need of a laugh track, "Gidget Grows Up" only really comes alive for the brief moments that Paul Lynde (as the "eccentric" bachelor landlord) is on screen. To pad out time to the inevitable final clinch, we have to watch like a million scenes of Valentine walking thoughtfully through Manhattan while listening to endless variations on a really awful theme song ("Growing up and falling down a lot " Oh, brother!).
A must for Karen Valentine fans (who developed into quite an actress later) and those who like to relive their pasts, but otherwise not much here beyond camp value.
No mention is made of Gidget's mother or sister, perhaps in an attempt to fudge continuity with both the Hollywood movies (no sister Anne) and the 60's sitcom (mother deceased).
Gidget fans will enjoy "Gidget Grows Up", but for anyone else it is a slightly above average MOW.
When the film begins, Gidget has returned home from a long trip to Europe. During this time, she stupidly send letters to Moondoggie (Paul Peterson) saying she was being wined and dined by a lot of men. He is, not surprisingly, cold towards her and soon announces he's heading off to Greenland...as he's joined the Air Force!
Soon Gidget sees the US ambassador to the UN on TV talking about a need for young folks to volunteer to work as 'Peace Heroes'. Well, in typical Gidget fashion, she rushes into this role--with very little forethought...but lots of energy! She eventually finds herself in a training program and seems to fall into the routine rather well (other than practically causing a major incident involving Mobutu). But there is a hitch...she really does love Moondoggie and vice-versa but neither is willing to take the first step. So, in the meantime, she begins dating a man much, much older (Edward Mulhare, who was 46). Can she ever get down to business with Moondoggie or is she destined to marry this nice Aussie (who actually was played by an Irishman)?
This is mildly enjoyable BUT with one major warning--the music is often god-awful! There are many musical montages which would make most viewers today ill...very ill. Even for the standards of the day, the music sucked and was very invasive. Apart from that, enjoyable and slight--exactly what you'd expect from a Gidget outing.