Author(s): Nell Schofield
Fish-faced moll', rooting machine', melting our tits off': with its raw, in-your-face dialogue, Bruce Beresford's film 'Puberty Blues' has become a cult classic. Based on the autobiographical novel by the outrageous Salami Sisters Kathy Lette and Gabrielle Carey, 'Puberty Blues' is a coming-of-age chick-flick with bite. Set in the 1970s, it follows the misadventures of Debbie and Sue, two Cronulla girls angling to break out of dickheadland' into the coolest surfie gang. But when they finally muscle their way in, Debbie and Sue come to realise the whole scene sucks: who are they to say, Chicks don't surf!'? In this lively and honest account, writer and broadcaster Nell Schofield recalls how she won the role of Debbie and what it was like on the set. She looks at the parallels between the film, the book and her own surfside teenage years, and at the extraordinary responses to the film, both on its release and since. It's a story as idiosyncratically Australian as the film that showed everyone who ever had any doubt that chicks can surf.