There should, by now, be some kind of moratorium on sensitive coming-of-age road movies set in the ’60s. To Canadian writer-director Sandy Wilson’s credit, however, her low-budget genre essay, American Boyfriends, at least has a minor gimmick — it’s about teenage girls. The movie is sort of a cross between Easy Rider and The Women. There’s not much to the plot: Two college girls head out to California for a wedding, meet various surfer boys and protohippies, and eventually reach Important Turning Points in their lives.
In this follow-up to My American Cousin, Wilson can’t make up her mind whether she’s aiming for a teen exploitation flick or something more serious. On the plus side, the period trappings are gratifyingly authentic and Lisa Repo-Martell, resplendent in blond bangs and black leather, is a genuine hoot as the kind of beatnik chick who smokes Gitanes and writes ”how true!” in the margins of books of bad poetry.
It’s minor filmmaking, to be sure, but if you lived through the period, you may find yourself responding to it favorably against your better judgment. B-