I decided to watch Gidget Goes to Rome simply because I’d read somewhere that stuck in the middle of the film was a fashion show by the Sorelle Fontana, one of the great Roman fashion houses of the mid 20th century. And I’ve got to say that the fashion show was a delight, with the sophisticated designs of the sisters being shown in a traditional fashion showroom presentation.
But was it worth sitting through the rest of it for five minutes of superb 1963 fashion? Probably not.
This is the typical early 1960s teen movie: Girl loves Boy, Girl and Boy fight and break up, Girl and Boy find other loves, Girl and Boy get back together. It was all totally predictable, but the beautiful backdrop of Rome did give it an air of la dolce vita.
In the first part of the movie, actor Eddie Foy, Jr. is wearing the shirt of my dreams:
You can tell that shirt is printed with various cocktails, right? Just knowing that shirt has existed makes me happy, and I’d be over the moon (to quote Gidget) if I ever found one. And Gidget’s straw handbag is pretty nifty too!
Before returning the disc to Netflix, I decided to check out the flip-side, which was Gidget Goes Hawaiian. The Gidget and the scenery were different, but the plot was exactly the same. Again, Eddie Foy, Jr. was in the movie, and quite remarkably, he once again wore that shirt.
Movie poster and screenshots copyright Columbia Pictures. I found the first screenshot here, and the second one is a photo I took of my TV.