(Bob Clark, 1983)
Is it really so hard to see this movie as the atonement and improvement it is? Winning my heart up front is a scene in which Kaki Hunter finally gives voice to a female perspective on teen sex, insisting that she does it because she enjoys it and describing the painful experience of being labeled a slut. Sure, there's something a little, oh, self-serving about Clark comparing his brand of smut to Shakespeare and/or the Bible. But the juxtaposition gives the franchise a goose, creating comic opportunities (many of which are of course flogged to within an inch of their lives) even as it startlingly displaces much of the sexual humour in favour of the social commentary that is obviously Clark's more pressing concern. Here's a movie where a bunch of frat boys team up with the Seminoles to defeat a hypocritically puritanical coalition of government, the religious right and the KKK! The preacher is a Billy Graham lookalike, the politician is named "Gebhardt". And this time it's handled with a touch so much lighter and friendlier than the original that it actually does make irresponsibility seem responsible. In other words, this is the long-sought missing link between the original film and Clark's classic "A Christmas Story" - there's even a cameo appearance from what I'll swear is the exact same mannequin leg that shows up in Darren McGavin's lamp.