Hardbodies (1984)

Where’s Richard Simmons in all this?

Scotty is a popular beach bum who takes a gig teaching a trio of older men how to pick up younger women. But while the midlife crisis gents find their groove, Scotty starts thinking it might be time for him to settle down.

The comedic value of this film is in watching the older men’s cringeworthy attempts and failures to win over the opposite sex. It drifts pretty aimless for the first hour and doesn’t seem to have a discernible plot. But the final act stirs all the character developments together and highlights an elephant in the room you may have already laughed off.

Hardbodies features PG-13 sex coupled with R rated humor. The movie is surprisingly socially conscious even if the crude, sexualized humor wouldn’t find its audience today. It’s a broad coming of age story where everyone must figure out what life changes will lead them to real happiness when the superficial pursuits do not. And for a film that centers around female objectification, there’s a very clear message tied up neat with a bow at the end: Anything you want is fine as long as everyone is willing and having fun. But when someone says no, it means no.

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