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Film / Back to the Beach

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A 1987 Affectionate Parody of the 1960s beach party movies with Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello... starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello.

Frankie is now a stressed out car salesman from Ohio, Annette is a housewife, and their son Bobby is a punk. They go on a vacation, but never make it past their layover in Los Angeles, where they find out their grown daughter, Sandi, is shacking up with a surfer named Michael. Frankie runs into his old flame Connie, which leads to a tiff between him and Annette. Hilarity, musical numbers, and many celebrity cameos ensue.


Back to the Beach contains examples of:

  • Foreshadowing:
  • Fridge Logic: Invoked Trope by the bartender, played by Bob Denver, who gripes that he knew "a guy who could build a nuclear reactor out of coconuts but couldn't fix a two-foot hole in a boat."
  • Funny Background Event: A verbal one. When The Big Kahuna challenges the punks to the surfing contest he suggest they settle it like they did in the old days. You hear a random background voice say "A pajama party?"
  • Good Bad Girl: Annette's rival Connie. She spends a good chunk of time trying to steal Frankie—but has no real interest in Frankie. Why? Because she's supposed to, and it's a way for Annette to re-realize how good she has it with Frankie.
    Annette: I've always sort of wanted to be the bad girl...
    Connie: Impossible. But I'll tell you something. You sure have wasted an incredible pair of hooters.
  • Hideous Hangover Cure: "Keith Richards lives on these things."
    • Doubly funny as Frankie needs a minute to remember who Keith Richards is. Then again, he is outrageously hung over.
  • Insistent Terminology: The Humanga Cowabunga from Downunder. Appropriate given it's kind of a memorable name.
  • Irony: Frankie sings "California Sun", but it was Annette who covered it in 1963.
  • Magical Realism: The film deliberately invokes the feeling of a bedtime story or a Fairy Tale, such as when Pee Wee somehow blasts off into space on a surfboard.
  • Medium Awareness: Annette, which is why she's never too upset. She knows the formula by heart, even if almost everyone has forgotten it.
  • Motorcycle Dominoes: Or surf board dominoes, in this case.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: The bartender (AKA Gilligan) when his buddy (AKA The Skipper) turns up at the bar and cheerfully announces it's time for them to go on a trip...
  • Operation: Jealousy: Toyed with by Annette.
  • Pun: "Somebody get me a net... well I didn't mean that kind of Annette."
  • Redemption Quest: Frankie in the surfing contest.
  • Reverse Psychology: Annette uses this on Bobby at one point.
  • Running Gag: Everyone gets Frankie's nickname "Big Kahuna" wrong.
  • Slumber Party: A pajama party set up by Annette as part of her formuliac plan to get Frankie back.
  • Smug Snake: Bobbie. He's trying desperately to be hardcore and... isn't. Mostly because he's twelve.
  • Special Effects Failure: Invoked with the Big Kahuna surfing in front of an obvious rear screen projection, as a reference to the old surfer movies.