Little Darlings -- AMC Academy 6, AMC Skyline 6, Jenifer, Landover 6, Springfield Cinema, Roth's Parkway, Roth's Silver Spring West.
With an R rating, "Little Darlings," a movie about 15-year-old girls, is not supposed to be attended by children under 17 unless thay are accompanied by their parents.
Then who, do you suppose, is the audience for which it is intended?
Well -- who would enjoy seeing the camera slowly panning over budding bosoms as a row of little girls salutes the flag? And who would think it funny to see minors bet away their virginity, but would consider it the height of filthy immorality for a girl to get an adult man in trouble with the authorities?
Yet this movie can't really be recommended for dirty old men, with or without their parents. For them, as for girls over 17, it's going to be too dumb to watch the little gigglers egg one another on to what they call "womanhood."
Younger ones, ones who claim that Judy Blume books represent the crudity of the pubescent world, may take it for realism. Even before the credits, a teen-aged girl, under the pretext of flirtation, has kicked a teen-aged boy in the groin. Shortly afterwards, the two leading ladies, Tatum O'Neal as a rich smart aleck and Kristy McNichol as a street-smart kid, are in a fist fight. Everybody talks dirty except the adults, who never catch on.
But there's an adult mentality throughout the film, and not a nice one. It gets all the smirking fun it can, then tacks on some quick sermonizing at the end. One minute sex is like a camp food-fight -- against the rules but everybody has a good time-- and the next it's the grown-up activity that leads directly to that other favorite grown-up activity -- depression. The accompanying adult had better be prepared to explain not sex, but "Do as we say, don't do as we show."