May 23, 2006
Toomorrow (1970) (part 9 of 10)
But zoinks! Amy is at the door! Vic hastily steps out of the room in his robe. Amy embraces him, wanting a sit-down heart to heart, so I guess the stolen plant thing worked for Olivia as well as it did with Benny and Doris Bell. Benny providentially shows up at that moment. Vic, needing a place to talk to Amy that doesn’t have an alien harlot in it, lambastes Benny for leaving his stuff lying around in Vic’s room and asks him to “clean up” in there while he and Amy use Benny’s room. Benny steps into Vic’s room, sees Dink on her back tricycling in the air [?], and immediately moves in for the kill. Of course, Dink thinks he’s Vic Cooper, because we all look alike to her (tee hee!). Benny admits he’s not Vic, but moves in on her anyway. I guess we won’t be seeing Dink for the next 20 minutes!
Except Fran now shows up and marches upstairs to see Benny. Doesn’t-Love-Big-Beat Amy is telling Vic he should play the Festival, since he’s only doing it to make money (uh oh), but they’re interrupted by the sound of dishes shattering upstairs—Fran caught Benny with Dink and is throwing all the crockery in the kitchen at him. “How many girls do you have?” she screams. Sorry, Fran, you’re a girl in this movie, which means you probably can’t count that high.
Benny pulls Fran out into the hall to talk, but now Karl shows up and Dink pulls him onto the bed and says, “Why do you keep leaving me, Vic Cooper?” But Zombie Sylvana shows up right behind him and pulls Karl away, saying, “I’m all for integration, baby, but not with my cat!” Huh, so that means the only member of the band Dink hasn’t hit on yet is Olivia! And look, here she comes! Oh boy oh boy oh boy.
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It’s pandemonium on the landing with Benny and Fran, Karl and Zombie Sylvana, and Vic and Amy all shouting at each other. Now that Olivia’s here, the only one missing is Otis B. Driftwood. But Olivia isn’t here to lay the mack on Dink—there’s a real crisis. The administration has locked down the school, and their instruments and equipment are inside. Hey, everybody, the “B” plot is back! And there was much rejoicing.
Zany music sets in as the band runs downstairs and piles into Olivia’s car. (Vic realizes on the street that he’s still in his bathrobe, but Benny shoves him in the car anyway.) At the school Benny and Karl decide to slip over the fence, bathrobe-clad Vic being understandably, and thankfully, disqualified from such activities, but they need Olivia to distract a cop that’s loitering in the vicinity. “I’ve never chatted up a policeman before!” Olivia says philosophically. She gets the cop to look at her engine (now now, her car engine), giving the guys a chance to jump the fence. Once on the grounds, though, they can’t find a way into the locked building—until they spot Smart Girl heading toward her office. Score! I’ve used her before!
Smart Girl reluctantly lets Benny inside, but refuses to risk her job helping him recover his equipment. Benny suddenly discovers the concept of consideration, and agrees it’s not fair to involve her. Whoa—who are you, dude? You know, it’s really not good to introduce new characters this late in the movie.
Benny sneaks out to the main hall and unlocks the front doors for the other three. But just then Smart Girl comes out looking for Benny. He yanks her into Doris Bell’s booth and makes out with her long enough for Olivia, Vic, and Karl to rush their instruments out—except Olivia drops a cymbal, so Benny’s efforts to ensure Smart Girl’s plausible deniability are in vain.
Benny rushes out and the band piles into the car again, along with Amy, who’s just shown up for some reason, leaving Smart Girl to stew out on the sidewalk. I guess she’s doubting whether Benny really likes her, or if she’s just a means to an end, as it were. But Observer shows up and tells her she’s just as beautiful as Benny said she was. She may be Smart Girl, see, but she’s still a girl, so all that matters in the end is whether the boy she fancies thinks she’s pretty.
This second-hand compliment inspires Smart Girl to get in her own car and head out after Benny. All I can say about Benny is, he must be one amazing lay for all these women to be running after him. Why does Observer care about Smart Girl, though? Search me. I do love Smart Girl’s adorable little car. I honestly had no idea that the British were so short on steel back then that they had to make their cars out of marzipan.
Observer magicks himself to the Festival, where’s he’s joined by Dink. Dink, continuing the running gag, runs squealing after some random dude in one of those bands where they dress up like Mozart. Observer has to literally pull her off him.
Smart Girl drives up and heads into the Festival stage door, but first aims a look at Observer and Dink. I have no idea what that’s about. I guess she’s just doing a double-take that the stranger she just saw at school is here as well, only it’s really hard to do a double-take in long shot when you’re wearing Steve Allen glasses. Or maybe, being Smart Girl, she’s figured out the he’s an alien and deciding she’s cool with it. Once she’s done with the look, she bustles backstage, primly telling the stage door guy she’s the road manager for Toomorrow. Oh no! How will Observer get in now?
The band shows up, greeted by Observer and Dink. Dink is confused: “I know you can’t all be Vic Cooper!” No, but keep dreaming that dream, Dink. The band runs in the stage door, with seconds to spare before their slot. Amy, Observer, and Dink trail after them, all claiming to be the band’s assistant road managers. I am Road Manager! No, I am Road Manager!
The group before them, called Sam Apple Pie (amazingly enough, a real group that according to the All Music Guide was known for their “basic competence,” and sorry, I’m refusing to make the obvious joke here, so you’ll just have to do it yourselves), is just finishing up. The boys changed into their hideous yellow costumes in the car, but of course Olivia couldn’t as she was driving, so she ducks behind a gypsy peddler’s cart and starts tossing clothes around. Overlaid on this are the cheers and whistles of the Festival audience as if they were enthusiastically applauding Olivia Newton-John getting naked, which is not without drollness.
Meanwhile we see the emcee, real-life radio deejay Stuart Henry, and, holy cow, he looks like he was caught in a groovy explosion. He’s got a bushy Prince Valiant, a poofy black shirt with a Nehru collar, a fringe vest, a big necklace, and size zero jeans. The ‘70s? You’re soaking in it!
The emcee explains that “Ricky of Compos Mentis” is ill. (Boooo! moans the crowd.) But that means they’ll get to see the first professional performance of a new group with a “sound for tomorrow—called Toomorrow!” (Booooo!! moans the recapper.) Meanwhile, Zombie Sylvana shows up at the stage door, claiming to be with Karl from Toomorrow. “I suppose you’re their road manager!” huffs the stage door guy. “No,” she says, displaying all the elocution of a braised salmon, “I’m his number one chick!”
The emcee introduces Toomorrow as “three guys and one beautiful dolly all the gentlemen are going to want for Christmas!” Just for the record, this is supposed to be taking place in August, but really, as the toy stores all know, you have to order your Olivia Newton-Johns early if you expect to satisfy the holiday rush. Meanwhile, Observer stares at the ceiling. I think he’s anticipating the moment when Uptight Superior beams the whole Festival up to the S.S. Spirograph. Either that, or he’s rolled his eyes so much trying to get through the movie that now they’re stuck. I know how he feels.