Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Van Nuys Blvd. (1979)

Bobby loves his van. He has big dreams of leaving his boring small town and racing that van on Van Nuys Boulevard, dreams that probably indicate this is a 70s movie, since nowadays it’s mostly middle-aged moms who love their vans. The small-town kid with big city dreams is also a staple of 70s films, although in this case, Bobby is hoping to ditch a hot blonde who gets naked and wants to have sex with him when he’d rather drink beer and watch television news reports about cars. Bobby is kind of a douche.

The Van Nuys Boulevard strip was known for the customized car enthusiasts who would cruise on weekends and this film is a tribute to them in the style of American Graffiti. Actually, very much in the style of American Graffiti; the car-nut character “the Chooch” in this one seems straight out of that film. Then you have the young redheaded boy pining for a cute girl he saw in a dream, who seems like a low-rent Ron Howard (well, other than Clint Howard). Finally, you have Wanda the carhop who is really cute and has casual foodie smosh sex with Bobby when he orders a burger just because she can. I really like her moxie. Bobby quickly loses interest in Wanda in order to compete angrily with Moon, a blonde who maybe he really loves, but can’t get over his competitive streak. Moon is, I think, supposed to be a 70s feminist. Bobby, again, is kind of a douche.

Van Nuys Blvd is a teenage farce that suffers from not being particularly funny. It features two interesting characters- Wanda and the Chooch- and four less-interesting ones doing fun teenager activities, like go-karts, rollercoasters, discos, drag racing, table hockey and fucking. It is not a good film, per se, but it does serve to remind old timers like myself that things like hamburgers, California beaches, hot rods, dancing and sexually liberated women are unquestionably good things. So, for that, let’s be thankful.


  1. IIf I ever start a band, I'm calling it Wanda and the Cooch.

  2. I would definitely go see that band.