Can a case be made for the Curse of the Hawaiian Movie? Not films shot in Hawaii (although these sorta kinda count) as much as ones that take place there. If you remove From Here to Eternity, Blue Crush and Punch Drunk Love from the equation, you’re looking at one problematic, mediocre or flat-out bad movie after another for the last 50 or 60 years. With perhaps a few other exceptions, the general rule is “Hawaii movies = watch out!”
When I saw those hot hula girls in grass skirts handing out leis before a critics’ screening of Forgetting Sarah Marshall, I knew it was going to be a problem. (And it was — it’s a lazy comedy about a witty but basically morose man with a big chubby ass and fleshy-milky man-boobs.) The word is that Ben Stiller‘s Tropic Thunder, shot on Kaua’i and the Big Island, may join Eternity and Crush in the exception column. Here’s hoping.
There’s something about the laid-back island vibe that gets into the blood of filmmakers and makes them lazy or unfocused or whatever. Obviously it hasn’t happened each and every time (Point Break and the first two Jurassic Park films make the grade), but dozens of good people have fallen victim.
Moving backwards from Forgetting Sarah Silverman, HE’s list of Bad or Fairly Bad Hawaiian Movies: (1) 50 First Dates, (2) Along Came Polly, (3) The Big Bounce, (4) Lilo and Stitch, (5) The Time Machine, (6) Dragonfly, (7) Jurassic Park III, (8) Windtalkers, (9) Pearl Harbor, (10) Six Days, Seven Nights, (11) Godzilla, (12) Sphere, (13) Mighty Joe Young, (14) Waterworld, (15) North, (16) Exit to Eden, (17) Surf Ninjas of the South China Sea, (18) North Shore, (19) Farewell to the King, (20) Karate Kid II, (21) Black Widow, (22) The Day the World Ended, (23) Final Countdown, (24) The Deep, (25) Islands in the Stream, (26) Midway, (27) The Hawaiians, (28) Tora Tora Tora, (29) Bikinis in Paradise, (30) Paradise, Hawaiian Style, (31) None But the Brave, (32) In Harm’s Way, (33) Ride the Wild Surf, (34) Diamond Head, (35) Donovan’s Reef, (36) Girls Girls Girls, (37) Gidget Goes Hawaiian, (38) Blue Hawaii, (30) The Devil at Four O’Clock, (31) The Wackiest Ship in the Army, (32) Big Jim McLain and (33) Bird of Paradise.
Turtle Bay Inn on Oahu’s North Shore — a resort that’s been permanently maligned by Forgetting Sarah Marshall