Saturday, July 12, 2008

Teen Movies: Pretty in Pink

Pretty in PinkImage via WikipediaPretty in Pink is the movie for you if you ever felt left out as a teenager. You might even find it therapeutic.

Quirky but savvy Andie Walsh is played by Molly Ringwald, who was the perfect choice for the part. Even though she's smarter and has more integrity than most of her fellow high school students, people can't see past Andie's sense of individuality and her father's lack of income. This makes it impossible for everyone to get to know the true her. Everyone, that is, except wealthy Blaine, played by the gorgeous Andrew McCarthy, who sees her for the gem she really is.

I don't know how realistic it is that people would reject her based on income, because it wasn't my experience in high school that people did that. But being rejected because of being different I'm familiar with. God help you if don't run with the herd, as Andie refused to do. Her insistence on not being like everyone else puts her at odds with just about everyone. But Andie will not be swayed. It's that show of integrity that makes this movie worth the time to see it. I don't see that many adults displaying that kind of integrity and spunk, so it's particularly refreshing to have it come from a teenager.

I wont' give away the ending, but let's suffice it to say, integrity wins. You have to see this classic teen movie to experience how satisfying that can actually be.

Here's the trailer for
Pretty in Pink:

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Teen Movies: Mean Girls

Mean GirlsImage via WikipediaOne of my favorite teen movies is Mean Girls. I love this movie because it works on so many levels at once.

If you're a teenager, you'll relate to the characters and the all-too-prevalent dysfunctional behavior some of them display. You'll probably also love the clothes and the spot-on teenage lingo.

If you're a parent, you'll appreciate that the movie was based on the book Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and Other Realities of Adolescence, which delves into how teenage girls worship celebrity beauty and use pecking order as an excuse to beat each other up. If you're also any sort of discriminating film viewer, you'll appreciate that even though the movie has a good message it never feels preachy.

If you're a Lindsay Lohan fan, you should love Mean Girls too. Not only does Lindsay look beautiful, but she proves that she's a great actress. She brings a subtlety to the part a lot of other actresses her age couldn't.

And, last but not least, if you're someone who just likes to laugh, you'll love Mean Girls. It was written by Tina Fey of Saturday Night Live, who knows a thing or two about comedy. So you never have to go too long without a chuckle.

Here's the Mean Girls trailer:

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Teen Movies: Drop Dead Gorgeous

Drop Dead Gorgeous (film)Image via Wikipedia* Contains spoilers *

I don't remember if Drop Dead Gorgeous was popular when it came out in 1999, but it has become one of my favorite teen movies. It doesn't try to be a morality play that teaches teenagers about the world; its just a mocumentary filled with one wickedly funny scene after another. The fact that those scenes are strung together with a clever story and great acting makes the film a success in my eyes.

The movie focuses on a small town in Minnesota, situated far away from the "sin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul." Teenage girls queue up to participate in the local beauty pageant -- until one of the contestants drops dead. Our heroine, Amber Atkins (played by Kirsten Dunst), fears she's next. In spite of her desire have the pageant give her the impetus to be "the next Diane Sawyer," she wants to quit. And when the boy she likes -- and for whom she's competing with evil contestant Becky Leeman, played by Denise Richards -- is shot in the head in a supposed hunting accident, she becomes really alarmed.

She sticks around anyway to please her former-contestant mother, but her run for the crown isn't without obstacles. During and after the pageant, an assortment of tragedies befall many of the contestants. One becomes deaf when a stage light meant for Amber hits her on the head instead. But, hey, she wanted to work with the deaf anyway! Then, the anorexic reigning pageant queen begins to lose her hair due to malnutrition, while a mentally challenged young man (brilliantly played by Will Sasso) crashes into a plate glass window. And when the trailer where Amber lives gets blown up, her mother (EllenBarkin) goes flying through the air clutching a beer can that was melted to her hand due to the blast's effect on her Lee Press-on Nails. All the while, the character of Loretta, played by Allison Janney, makes wry observations and tries to pick up male members of the camera crew that's shooting the "documentary" footage. Although Janney doesn't have a lot of screen time, she's one of the best things in the movie -- and that's saying a lot.

Another great aspect of the movie is Denise Richard's performance in the pageant talent show. Even if you don't think Drop Dead Gorgeous would be your cup of tea, you have to see that scene, which is featured below:

And here's the trailer:

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Teen Movie Reviews

Although I'm well past my teens, I've never stopped liking teen movies. I don't know if it's a case of arrested adolescence or if I just like being reminded of a simpler time, but a lot of my favorites are from the teen movie genre.

This blog gives me a chance to share some of the movies I've been watching for years. I call them "my old reliables" because they're the type of movies you can watch over and over. Most of them are funny, which makes them even better.

Whenever possible, I'll include a video trailer with my review, so you can see why I think the movie is so good. And if a teen movie isn't good but worth watching anyway because of the quality of its awfulness, I'll tell you that too.

I hope you enjoy my reviews; I know I'm going to enjoy writing them!

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