October 22, 1942 – April 8, 2013
I'm finding real difficulty writing this post. I have so many things I want to say about the brilliance of Annette and why she is so important to me, but I just don't have the words.
For me, Annette is the essence of a feeling, an emotion, of a time in my life.
I LOVED Annette.
There is still legitimately nothing better than Annette fronting The Beach Boys and singing the title song.
When I was 13, I watched Bikini Beach. And then I watched every Beach Party movie ever made. I cannot even describe my love for these movies. I will defend them against all critics -- and especially the "dismissers." Those are the people who condescend to call the films "harmless fun" or "light-weight camp." Whatever.
There's just something about those movies. They almost define my teenage years (as I look back, now, at the elderly age of 19). These aren't about teenagers without cares. They have worries and fears, but they just all seem to be delayed. Annette is forever getting on Frankie to think about the future and grow up. But, Frankie's response is always, "Tomorrow."
There is something about that so deliciously appealing to a fifteen-year-old. I had my worries; I was thinking about the future. But, it was delayed. At sixteen, I started attending college full-time -- but when I was done with class/assignments, I just came home and watched movies or worked on art projects or hung out with friends. Everything was always in the future.
I'm not saying that now I'm a haggard, responsibility-laden nineteen-year-old. BUT, I do have commitments and a job and I have to figure out how to pay for college (it isn't free anymore when you're out of high school, apparently). So, the beach party movies are still deliciously appealing. It isn't so much about watching a little comedy, as it is about entering an absolutely absurdist world full or happiness and joy and loveliness.
And yes, it was an absurdist world. But, there's a reason why the Frankie + Annette movies are some of the best of the genre: Annette anchors them. And she anchors them with realism. It's just that her realism happened to be genuine happiness and joy and loveliness.
A tribute I made to the Beach Party movies:
It's impossible to watch Annette in anything (and believe me, I have watched her in almost everything) and not be happy seeing her. She wasn't annoyingly cheerful or perky, she was just Annette.
This Time It's Love
When You Get What You Want:
I'll always love Annette. She was gorgeous, talented, kind, sweet, wonderful, and full of courage.
I'm glad that now she's at peace and at rest.