Details

Added by on March 30, 2013

This classic 1949 film instructs teenagers on the dos and don’ts of dating.

Storyline:

The film follows a young adolescent boy, Woody, who receives tickets for “one couple” to the Hi Teen Carnival. At different stages in the film, it offers options on how Woody might respond to various situations:

  1. What kind of girl should he date?
  2. How should he ask her out?
  3. How should he say good night after the date is over?

The film then shows three options, for each opportunity, ending with what it deems the most successful. This allows the filmmakers to create an idealized scenario for a perfect first date. Woody is cautioned not to ask a girl out based on her looks as she could be aloof or boring. Instead he should ask a girl who is “fun.” He is similarly told to be straightforward and not to insist that his potential date give up some other activity for him. Finally, the film depicts the perceived danger of immediately kissing the girl good night, or of just leaving her at her door, and instead urges the viewers to say a friendly goodbye, ending with a promise to call next week.

As Woody prepares for his date with Anne, he receives hints from his older brother, who is already an expert at dating; for instance, Woody’s brother tells Woody to act like his “natural, talkative self” while on the phone, and says that Woody does not have to bring Anne flowers on her first date. He also convinces their mother to allow Woody to go on his first date even though he is young, with her adding that it would be acceptable provided that Woody only dates on weekends and comes home at a reasonable hour. As Woody prepares for his date, his mother and father reflect on their own first dates to remind Woody how important it is for him to show up on time. His mother adds that any girl who is not ready for him on time is not worthy of going out with “my boy.”

The film ends with Woody leaving the door outside Anne’s home, whistling happily as he contemplates his next date.

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