Author Topic: The "Teen" Movie  (Read 623 times)

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Reelist

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The "Teen" Movie
« on: February 17, 2017, 04:48:52 PM »
+4
Lately, I've had a strong urge to revisit the teen movies of the 80's and 90's that I either grew up with or missed out on.

Some examples:

The Breakfast Club
Pretty In Pink*
Weird Science*
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Fast Times At Ridgemont High
Risky Business*
Can't Hardly Wait
She's All That
Cruel Intentions*
Disturbing Behavior

*- One's I missed out on

I think this renewed interest has to do with the fact that I'm now approaching 30 and remember kids in these movies having more "adult" fun than I've ever experienced. I'd watch a movie like "She's All That" when I was 12 and think "Man, I can't wait to go to highschool. Look at all the freedom these kids have!" completely oblivious that what was being portrayed is basically the excesses of the 1% of teens in America. So, in hindsight, my high school experience was very disappointing in how it measured up to these movies. I never got the girl, or the car, or threw a 'legendary' party. I smoked pot, got beat up, went through a plethora of sexual letdowns and developed a depression/social anxiety I'd need medication for. I didn't even graduate with my senior class or go to prom. I had a series of mental breakdowns in 12th grade that caused me to flunk out of most classes and basically stop hanging out with anyone. So, I was standing on this precipice that year where I could either drop out and see what College and the workforce had to offer, or just tough it out and finish so I wouldn't have to bear that scarlet letter of the "G.E.D."

I saw "Little Miss Sunshine" that summer, and Steve Carrel telling Paul Dano "High School- those are your prime suffering years. You don't get much better suffering than that." Directly influenced my decision to go back and see what was in store for me. As it turned out, the knife was just dug in deeper and twisted more than it ever had been before. I fell for a girl who I sent all the wrong signals to and ended up humiliating myself so much that it still affects me to this day. I wish I could go into details, but my skin crawls just thinking about it. Looking back, I guess it's exactly the thing Carrel's character was talking about. I uncovered a new kind of suffering that year I'd never experienced before or since, even with all of my breakdowns. Now that my life is in the best place it's ever been, 10 years later, I'm thankful that I didn't just have a mediocre time in high school. It was perfectly awful and fraught with panic, the worst years of my life.

I'll always remember the Kevin Brennan joke, where his guidance counselor tells him "These are the best years of your life" and later in his 20's, he's driving into Colorado, seeing the Rocky Mountains on the horizon and just then his girlfriend starts blowing him. He says to himself "This is better than high school."

So, join me as I revisit these old movies, comparing and contrasting them to my own life as I laugh or cry along.

Reelist

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Re: The "Teen" Movie
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2017, 11:16:16 PM »
+3

The Breakfast Club

I love it. Really fun group of characters, a lot of hilarious and memorable dialogue, and something always captured my imagination about them sneaking around causing mischief in that big empty school. Being a John Hughes film, there's also a ton of stuff that's really farfetched. I've noticed after watching a few of his movies recently that they'll be funny for the most part, but always have a few gags that completely fall flat or don't make any sense. Like Emilio screaming so loud after he smokes pot that he breaks a window, or Judd Nelson burning the sole of his boot to light a cigarette, all of the dancing. The bonding session at the end makes it seem more like they're stuck in rehab together than detention. Everyone gets to take their turn to break down, get all weepy, and yell at each other. Was there some sort of truth serum in that weed? Emilio's confession plays like pure comedy. Watching this reminded me of how spot on the parody in 'Not Another Teen Movie' was. There's so much that hasn't aged well, but you get to see all of the archetypal high school players interact in their early stages, before they became a cliche' we grew tired of seeing.

Trivia Fact: Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez, and Ally Sheedy were all 22 at the time of filming. Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall were 17.



Pretty In Pink

This, I did not enjoy. It wasn't made for me, though. You shouldn't watch a teen movie and relate the most to the Dad. Harry Dean Stanton saved the whole experience for me. Jon Cryer ruined it. What bothers me so much about his performance is how far he's reaching to seem cool and not pulling it off whatsoever. Anthony Michael Hall looked like a geek, but embodied a cool persona. This Ducky guy is just intolerable. He's a stalker/sociopath. You know that oh so memorable dance scene in the record store? I always assumed he put the song on because he'd practiced that whole routine already. The way it plays out, the girls randomly put on that song and he barges in and does that whole horrendous sequence. Why are they never like "Ducky, GTFO of here. Couldn't you see we were having a moment?" He's mentally unhinged. I was audibly groaning throughout. Some of the worst dancing I've ever seen. Of course, I can see the reason for a character like that and even reluctantly notice a lot of myself in him, but just really didn't like Jon Cryer playing it.



Can't Hardly Wait

This movie Rocks! It was everything I remembered it to be: Fast, Funny, and cleverly written. I LOL'ed harder than anything else I've seen in recent memory and cried at the end, too. It feels like more of a spoof than a straight on comedy, but they cap it off with the heartfelt ending to wrangle some emotion out of us. I used to root for Preston really hard, but this time found him kind of pathetic.  It's nice to see his persistence pay off in the end but in my experience, women aren't exactly brought to their knees over the written word. This is apparently a letter he's been endlessly revising so there's that slight chance he's perfectly encapsulated how he feels about her that it has to win her over. It never really rang true for her to go all the way to the train station to catch him but it's a movie sentiment I can appreciate, like how girls must feel seeing Molly Ringwald get the guy in 'Pretty In Pink'.

 Not a single person in this movie looks like a teenager except Jennifer Love Hewitt. My favorite character is and always has been the guy who can't stop reminiscing, and the best performance goes to Jerry O' Connell as a wasted frat dude, ( "College chicks are way different, bro. They're all serious and shit." )  I was surprised to see Jason Segel and Selma Blair in very small parts. The director team went on to do 'Josie and The Pussycats' which was their only other film and I know has gotten a lot of acclaim from JB here. I'll definitely have to check it out now because I love their sense of humor. In the commentary, it was interesting to hear them pick apart everything that was wrong with each setup and pat themselves on the back for practically nothing.



Reelist

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Re: The "Teen" Movie
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2017, 05:04:05 PM »
0
What are some other movies in the vein of:

The Goonies
Stand By Me
Stranger Things
Super 8
IT
 

..about a bunch of kids in way over their heads on a mission that they don't want their parents to learn about AT ANY COST. One I recently discovered that I'll probably watch annually from now on is "The Monster Squad"

polkablues

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Re: The "Teen" Movie
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2017, 07:10:02 PM »
+1
Kings of Summer is a bit lower-key version of that trope, but it's great.
Adventures in Babysitting
The Wizard
Lost Boys
The Gate
Explorers
Now you're in the *spoiler* place.

jenkins

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Re: The "Teen" Movie
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2017, 10:43:13 PM »
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Adventures in Babysitting

between polka and i you know some vast reaches of land have been covered, and Adventures in Babysitting is legit one of the best options within this cycle.

a thing i don't like about Monster Squad is i prefer Night of the Creeps, and Monster Squad overshadows Night of the Creeps. the following clip is really quite a spoiler, but only in terms of emotional scope, and of course the movie isn't really about an emotional scope, but i simply don't think there's a monologue this good in Monster Squad, but only within one hundred miles, and in fact Monster Squad is Shane Black and the one-liner thing which we think defines movies now, ughck, i miss this, there's more than how good it sounds --



Risky Business is mentioned in your first post and i want to make sure you know you're on the right path there

"I must whisper it to you—not because Im ashamed but because it is so Dear to me that I must keep it close to me by whispering—"

 

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