Boat Trouble, Girl Trouble and Song Trouble
There are some Elvis movies where he shines; he shows a glimpse of his acting ability whilst also delighting with various musical numbers. Unfortunately there are plenty of Elvis movies where he doesn't get the chance to act. "Girls Girls Girls" happens to be a prime example of an Elvis movie where he doesn't get to act, just sing a lot and if you don't believe me "Girls Girls Girls" lasts around 95 minutes and there are 18 musical moments, 14 of which feature Elvis singing some frankly unmemorable ditties. As such "Girls Girls Girls" is disappointing and frankly unmemorable.
Years ago Ross Carpenter (Elvis Presley - Loving You) was forced to sell the boat which he and his father built together; thankfully he works as a Captain for the person, Papa Stavros (Frank Puglia), who now owns it. That is until Papa Stavros has to sell his boating business meaning that Ross may also lose the boat he still loves. If that wasn't bad enough he's also got girl trouble thanks to his eye for the ladies leading him to Laurel Dodge (Laurel Goodwin).
So as was more often or not the case "Girls Girls Girls" features a relatively simple romantic storyline built around a series of songs. There is no complexity to it as we watch Elvis as Ross Carpenter firstly have boat trouble thanks to his bosses needing to sell up and then women trouble having fallen for the lovely Laurel. That is basically it, we watch Ross try to earn the money to buy the boat which he and his dad built before he had to sell it and we also watch him romance Laurel which as you would expect the course of love never runs completely smoothly.
But as is too often the case "Girls Girls Girls" feels like the storyline is there to fill in the gaps in between all the numerous musical scenes allowing Elvis to woo us with his voice and entertain with his dancing. It usually works but in "Girls Girls Girls" most of these musical moments are pretty forgettable as Elvis sings a ditty about shrimping, ears have walls and various other almost cheesy ideas for a song. The only truly memorable musical number is a rendition of "Return to Sender" which is probably down to it being the most well known song in the movie. Don't get me wrong, Elvis could sing the telephone book and it would sound good but it doesn't make it memorable.
Unfortunately Elvis's performance is also less than memorable which is down to such a weak storyline and the various corny musical moments. It almost feels like he was been directed to pose in each scene, recite the dialogue and not worry about trying to find the emotion in his character. So when Ross should be really angry there is nothing, when he should be charming there is nothing. This has the knock on effect of making other performances equally unmemorable including that of Laurel Goodwin who plays love interest Laurel Dodge. Laurel Goodwin is not alone as the same can be said of Stella Stevens who plays Robin Gantner and Jeremy Slate as Wesley Johnson.
What this all boils down to is that "Girls Girls Girls" is one of Elvis's least memorable movies as it trades predominantly on him singing rather than anything close to being an interesting storyline. It wouldn't be so bad if the various songs which Elvis sings were more memorable but they end up for the most forgettable, just like the weak and unimportant storyline.