Three Ohio women of a certain age return to Florida’s Paradise Beach, where 20 years earlier they spent spring break dancing, cavorting on the beach with hunks and splashing about in the water. Shelley Long’s the leader of the fling, enticing the other ladies to the water’s edge; they and the vidpic all take a belly flop.
Anne (Long), needing a holiday from family life, urges business exec Claire (Mel Harris) and just-divorced Denise (DeLane Matthews) to go along with her. Denise bumps into a lifeguard (Michael McGrady) with whom she had a romance two decades before, and the poised Claire finds her defenses weakening around a French model (Francois-Eric Gendorn).
Happily married Anne attracts a youthful hunk, the hotel desk manager (Ian Ziering), and she sort of leads him on. He likes older women, and she’s gratifying her ego. The role played by Long is never clearly defined, and the actress is left with a dimwitted, sometimes irritating character who wouldn’t be able to convince the other two women to go to a kaffee klatsch, much less down the sandy path to their past.
Telefilm comedies have seldom made it, all the way back to ABC’s original Movie of the Week series, and “Spring Break” is no exception. Matthews, displaying a wry comic touch, and the lovely Harris, who projects a becoming aloofness, make a valiant try, but their roles are undemanding. On the male side , McGrady offers a refreshingly sensible characterization, and Ziering could have a good career developing.
Producer/writer Bart Baker’s production looks on the seedy side, and director Bill Norton showcases little flair for humorous insight. Reed Smoot’s camerawork doesn’t flatter the three leads, but editing by Hibah Sherif Frisina is good. Production designer Elayne Ceder sure catches the ambience of a downscale beach motel, and Larry Brown’s score is appropriate.