MOVIE REVIEW : INHIBITIONS ARE SHED IN 'BIKINI SHOP'

Some movies are beyond criticism. Take "Malibu Bikini Shop" (citywide) . . . please! How can you blast a movie that has Malibu in the title--but was clearly shot on the Venice boardwalk? How can you dislike a film which seems designed as a primer for bikini stripteases? These girls shed their bikinis everywhere--at the beach, on the boardwalk, at home, in the hot tub . . . but let's move on to the story line.

Just graduated from a Midwestern college, Alan (Michael David Wright) is engaged to a rich, obnoxious princess who has spent all her waking hours planning out the rest of their life. The couple will have a split-level home in the suburbs, with two kids and . . . but you don't really want to know that, do you? Before Alan can go to work for his fiancee's father, he is summoned to Los Angeles. His dotty Aunt Ida has died, leaving her failing bikini shop to Alan and his brother, Todd (Bruce Greenwood), the bleached-blond black sheep of the family. (A cheery, slow-witted lad, Todd's latest scheme involves a solar-powered hot dog stand.)

The bikini shop is managed by a trio of young lovelies who seem to have rushed in from the Sports Illustrated swimsuit-issue wrap party. Two of them aspire to be gourmet cooks (wait till you sample their tuna-salad casserole, made with Wonder Bread). The other--Ronni, a bright, vivacious girl who is everything Alan's spoiled fiancee is not--has her eye on Alan. So, what do you think happens?

1--Alan sells the bikini shop and rushes back to his cranky fiancee.

2--Todd becomes a brain surgeon.

3--The girls at the shop become master chefs.

4--Alan gets a taste of the frothy beach life, falls for Ronni and dumps his fiancee.

If you guessed No. 4, you can skip the last hour of the movie. It features a Sexiest Tan Contest and a rock video-style "Rambo" dance sequence performed by girls wearing bikinis made out of surgical dressing gowns. (Would we lie to you?) It's hard to pay any compliments to the actors in this witless romp. But then we'd bet that the people who made "Malibu Bikini Shop" (rated-R for considerable nudity) were concentrating a lot more on curvy profiles than performances.

'MALIBU BIKINI SHOP' An International Film Marketing Release of a Wescom Production. Producers Gary Mehlman and J. Kenneth Rotcop. Director David Wechter. Writer Wechter. Music Don Perry. With Michael David Wright, Bruce Greenwood, Barbra Horan, Debra Blee and Jay Robinson.

Running time: 1 hour, 44 minutes.

MPAA rating: R (under 17 requires an accompanying parent or adult guardian).

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World
59°