The phrase “For Those Who Think Young” brings to mind a Mad Men episode and a Pepsi ad campaign before it brings to mind one of the plethora of beachy comedies from the 1960s, but sure enough, such a film exists. (A film connected to the soda campaign, funnily enough.)

The film follows a surf-loving group of college students. They all like to hang out at a comedy club where “Uncle Woody” (Woody Woodbury) performs.

(Image: Pamela Tiffin Tribute)
(Image: Pamela Tiffin Tribute)

The group keeps it PG when they hang out, drinking soda and performing synchronized musical numbers when they aren’t watching Woody’s grand comedic shows.

Among the group is a rich surf hunk known as “Ding” (James Darren) who inadvertently brings trouble to the group’s fun when his grandfather decides he shouldn’t be hanging out at the comedy club and tries to have it shut down.

Meanwhile, Ding tries to win over the loveliest beach-going girl, Sandy Palmer (Pamela Tiffin).

Leslie H. Martinson directs the film, which also stars Nancy Sinatra, Tina Louise and Ellen Burstyn in supporting roles.

The great opening song of the film won me over a little bit. (“Sha-la-la-la-la-ley! Life’s a holiday!”) I love James Darren and could listen to his voice forever. All of the music in the film is pretty good, with the “beach” songs being the best of the bunch, and some of the musical performances are quite funny.

But songs aren’t enough to make me love a film (unless it’s a film like Surf Party, which completely acknowledges its lack of solid plot and puts the focus on the tunes), and this one turned out to be quite a dud. The “crazy college kids vs. the elders” premise is nothing new, and there is not even an ounce of a unique spin on it here. In the beginning this is still fun to watch, and it’s quite comical that everyone’s up in a frenzy over a comedy club that serves pepsi rather than liquor.

However, the film loses what little steam it had by the time it reaches the half-way point. It started off fairly well with a whole lot of fluff and a few enjoyable songs, but it quickly becomes tedious and never really finds its momentum again. I started out liking it well enough, but by the end I had stopped caring and wished that I had turned it off rather than finishing it.

That being said, the film does have a decent cast. I love both James Darren and Nancy Sinatra, so they were obvious  highlights for me and I’m glad I watched the film if for no other reason that to tick another box off of each of their filmographies. Most of the performances are forgettable, though. Ellen Burstyn is the exception — she’s the only real shining element of the film aside from James Darren’s lovely voice.

I wanted to like it, but For Those Who Think Young is a completely dull piece of work that makes most of the other “beach party”-type films I’ve seen look Oscar-worthy. Skip this one. The score: 1/5