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‘Return to the Blue Lagoon’ (PG-13)

By Hal Hinson
Washington Post Staff Writer
August 03, 1991

Up until now, I thought it was pretty near impossible to feel nostalgia for "The Blue Lagoon." But darned if life isn't full of surprises. "Return to the Blue Lagoon," which doesn't star Brooke Shields or that blond guy, makes the original "Blue Lagoon" look like "Citizen Kane."

The formula is virtually the same. Both films are soft-core PG-13 films of the "Mommy, where do babies come from?" variety. Both films feature unrelated tykes, a boy and a girl, who grow up as innocent playmates on an island paradise without much in the way of parental supervision or the polluting finger of civilization. Basically, it's travelogue Rousseau that's being peddled here. That is, until these scantily clad Edenic children grow into puberty and the ugly specter of sex rears its head.

Suddenly nothing is the same. The girl, played this time by Milla Jovovich of Vogue, Elle etc., moves her bed to another part of the house; the boy (another blond guy, Brian Krause), when his playmate abruptly awakens him, covers himself nervously with the bedsheets. Why can't things be like they used to be? they both lament.

For a while, the two uneasy friends are mournful and confused over the loss of their childhood bond, and the audience has to just sit there, waiting for them to realize that there might be an upside to this coming-of-age thing after all. It seems to take forever for the sexual light bulb to switch on over their heads. When it finally does, though, and the friends become lovers, there's a lot of rolling around in the sand, frolicking in waterfalls and passionate kissing in the surf.

Glad that's out of the way, is all we can think.

Though initiated, the pair remain innocent. In a crude ceremony in which rings made of vines are exchanged, they pledge themselves to each other and continue on as before, except that now sex is a part of their perpetual play period. All this is moderately bearable; the kids are gorgeous and so is the scenery (it was shot on one of the islands in the Fiji archipelago). Then, as they had always hoped, a ship appears on the horizon and a lot of nasty "civilized" people descend on their paradise, tainting it with their lustful, greedy ways.

From this point on, the movie tanks. The kids, who for the first time have to think about covering themselves, get a good taste of what life is like back in polite society and decide they want no part of it, choosing instead to remain behind in their unspoiled, uncivilized world. The ship leaves and their sensuous idyll continues on as before, with one minor change -- they decide to have a baby. Soon, all three are frolicking in the surf. Oh, bundle of joy. Oh, brother.

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