The Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon is about a pair of young children that get shipwrecked on a tropical island and then have to raise themselves. Now, that's a plot that naturally lends itself to several genres. It could be a coming of age story - those kids are going to have to grow up quickly if they are going to survive. It could also be an adventure story - there's a lot of potential danger on an uninhabited island. But the Blue Lagoon doesn't really go down those routes. No, it decided that it wanted to be a horror film.

Make no mistake: this film is a fucking nightmare. I spent more time screaming at my screen "no, don't do that!" than I did at the last ten slasher movies I've seen combined. It's not because of violence - (although there is one unnecessary beheading in the movie) - it's because the Blue Lagoon is obsessed with the sexual lives of these pre-teens in a way that is very, very unnerving. And not just any pre-teens - pre-teens that are supposed to be brother and sister. Even worse: Emeline, the female of the pair, is played by Brooke Shields who was fifteen the year this was released, so you can't even tell yourself "oh, it's just a movie." No, this is a two hour movie that is very, very interested in depicting underage incestuous sex using actually underage people and I am not on board with that.

I understand that if two people were stranded on an island by themselves they would eventually develop a sexual relationship with each other, especially if they had never had an adult around them to give them proper guidance about how to deal with their urges. That isn't my problem. My problem is the tone deaf way that the Blue Lagoon presents their union. This film has no interest in any of the asexual parts of their island existence. It's apparently always summer there, and they never have to worry about heat or cold. Even though they are on the island on their own for at least a decade they never once want for food, shelter or clothing. There's one medical scare - Emeline cuts her foot accidentally - but that is resolved in one short scene where her brother Richard prays for her and then she immediately gets better.

No, this film doesn't want to spend any time on any subject that could be interesting when it could be playing a game of will-they or won't-they with two people who definitely shouldn't. There are long scenes of this prepubescent pair flirting, and then there are long scenes of them being intimate, and then there's more of them flirting. Blue Lagoon's priorities are so far off base that it spends more time on a scene where Emeline watches Richard jerk off into the ocean than it does on any scene where they struggle with their basic survival needs. Even if you fixed a few of the variables - say, you made them older and friends instead of relatives - the film would still be unbearable because it's scope is so limited and so frustrating.



The one possible defense this film might be able to muster up is that it's just trying to be "realistic". I don't really know what life is like for orphans in a tropical jungle; maybe it really is this idyllic and sexual. But I do know that you calling this movie realistic is an affront to the concept of reality. Emeline looks thirteen when she discovers sex, she's thirteen the entire time she is having sex, she's thirteen when she gets pregnant, she's thirteen when she gives birth, and she's thirteen when her toddler is old enough to start talking. Her birth scene might be the least plausible birthing scene I've ever seen - and that's saying something, because I definitely remember Tom Green delivering a baby in Freddy Got Fingered and I vaguely remember Blade the Vampire Hunter being born while his mother was in the middle of a vampire attack.

Emeline's tiny stomach remains completely flat the entire time she's pregnant and then one afternoon while Richard is on the other side of the island (which is apparently populated with headhunters that we only get to see once?) she goes into labor. He shows up a little bit later, she grunts while sitting directly on top of a tree root, then there's a wet sound and a baby starts crying. Apparently, there was very little trauma or pain before nature took care of itself. (I'm betting that she'll be shocked when she hears that most women labor for hours if not days and that many of them do not survive the ordeal.) Then Richard and Emeline just magically manage to raise this baby to toddlerhood even though they are so clueless about children they don't know you feed them - the baby has to find her boob on his own when she's grasping it to her breast trying to figure out what it will take to shut it up. It's a good thing the baby never got a fever because otherwise it would have been a goner. (Or maybe Richard could have saved it with another prayer - which, I don't even... I mean, I can't.)

There was one scene I liked - Richard and Emeline are playing with their son and a turtle on the beach, and then Richard puts the kid on the turtle, and you totally see this buck ass naked kid is dangling his dong all on top of a shell, and that made me laugh. But then I was also immediately like: what the fuck, that's a wild animal, you don't know where that's been. Don't encourage that behavior! Your kid needs to know that he can't just put his tinklebox on top of everything that comes near him. But then I had to remind myself: well, if these two grope-happy morons are his parents of course they are going to let him molest everything he sees. So even the one scene I like immediately went to a sexually dark place in zero seconds flat. In conclusion: the Blue Lagoon is the worst and I hope that several members of it's creative team went to creep jail for being creeps.


The Blue Lagoon on IMDB