"As a song, it's awful. As a movie, it's almost painful."
Forgotten by millions of smart people is that fact that the late 1970's brought moviegoers about a half-dozen flicks based on trite country tunes. 'Convoy' is pretty bad; 'Take this Job and Shove It' is even worse; this one's the freakin' pits.See, here's why you should never base a 90-minute movie on a 3-minute song: a song ends after three minutes, while the movie just drones on and on endlessly ad nauseam. Add the fact that the comedy here is about half as intelligent as that found in an average Dukes of Hazzard episode, and that the goddam theme song plays every nine seconds - and you're looking at a film that deserves the womb of obscurity it currently resides in.
Looking at a 1978 Barbara Eden should prove to be an easy task, but there's no getting around how dizzyingly stupid this movie is. Eden seems less adorable with every passing scene. To those out there blissfully unaware of the novelty country hit, Harper Valley P.T.A. (the song) is about a free-spirited and mini-skirted Mama who verbally berates the entire P.T.A. while saluting her feminine individuality.
The movie is about vandalism, pink elephants, and moronic wah-wah-wahhhhhhh humor. Eden doesn't just take to yelling at people; she exacts all sorts of arcane revenge on the board members. Each episode ends with another humiliation, a freeze frame shot, and a jangly riff on the theme song. If all this sounds a but like Hee Haw, then you obviously know your stuff.
I'll confess that it's fun to see tough guy Ronny Cox A) with hair, and B) playing a lovestruck country bumpkin - but the novelty wears off pretty quick. Also worthy of a neck-breaking double take is the appearance of a young Clint Howard as a pre-pubescent and zit-covered delivery boy. Of tantamount entertainment value is, of course, Barbara Eden's massive chest. Alas, the babies don't get unleashed (in a PG comedy), though there is one bra moment (You just gotta admire the strength of that fabric) and a whole lot of jiggling throughout. She's still sexier in that silly old genie show.Worthwhile in an archival sort of way, in that it's fascinating to see what passed for comedy in the horrifically tacky era of the late 1970's. Not surprisingly, this movie based on a song spawned a sitcom spinoff, one that's also mercifully gone to the sands of time.