As I type this out I’ve just pressed play on my teen movies soundtrack playlist on Spotify so I can get into the mind-set of the American high-schoolers we know and love. Now playing: Kiss Me – Sixpence None the Richer from She’s All That
Our generation have grown up surrounded by the clichés of cliques from teen movies. For me, it all began with receiving the gift of Mean Girls on DVD when I was roughly 9 or 10. At that age I was clueless of what most of the jokes were and I’m 80% sure my parents were amused at my innocence but still I was hooked and I fell in love with the genre. It’s safe to say that most of you were the same.
How could we not enjoy it, it was so relatable what with the nerdy girl’s and popular guy’s true love eventually overcoming the evil popular girl’s plans and the big prom kiss at the end as everyone looks in awe at the nerdy girl’s makeover from a previous montage to the tune of an American punk band.
Okay so not all of them followed this storyline but they all had teens in a school that had happy ending lives and the films were predictable all the same. But did that stop me watching every single one of them? Hell no. The universe of the teen movie is one that will always turn out okay. You watch them because you know that no matter what happens, no matter how many arguments and tears our darling main character experiences, there will always be that kiss at the prom, on the football pitch, in the hallway, at the party and so on. They are the modern fairy tales, just watch A Cinderella Story or Sydney White, you can get much closer to a modern fairy tale, literally.
Each decade has it’s own rulers of the teen movie. And this is the bit I’ve been looking forward to the most because I’m now gonna go through, what I think are the best teen movies of the 80s, 90s, 00s. We will be discussing the teen movies of this decade later. Now Playing: Dirty Little Secret – The All-American Rejects from John Tucker Must Die. I swear if the post doesn’t make you want to watch all these films and walk to uni listening to The All-American Rejects and Simple Plan we can’t be friends because I’m spending the rest of enhancement week watching all of them after this and god damn I will be blasting these songs for the rest of the month.
The 80s: Dominated by the Brat-Pack and John Hughes’ films, you can’t resist pumping your fist in the air the second Simple Minds’ Don’t You Forget About Me comes on. The teen films of the 80s were still mainly set in school but the more memorable of the era didn’t necessarily follow the storyline of what I’d set out earlier. Which is probably what makes them so great.
- The Breakfast Club (1985)
With a collection of the decades favourite actors it’s hard to resist this iconic film being the top teen movie of the 80s. It’s as emotional as it is entertaining. Don’t lie, you can’t help but well up when Bender reveals his home life and they all sit around discussing how they ended up in detention that day. Then there’s the dance scene. God I love that dance scene.
- Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
The ultimate teenage rebellion film. Following Ferris, Sloane and Cameron as they skip school and escape the clutches of Rooney is just pure happiness through and through. It’s every kid’s dream day and it’s easy to understand why everyone loves Ferris so much. And you can’t fault the best scene ever from The Sausage King of Chicago as he crashes a parade and mimes Twist and Shout in a perfectly timed musical number.
- Weird Science (1985)
Kelly Le Brock back when she was hot. Two geeky guys that are bullied by Robert Downey, Jr. and another guy make a beautiful woman come to life from a doll. Fun and chaos ensues. It’s just such a mad concept and it comes out perfectly. Plus how cute is young RDJ. This is a completely unbiased choice of course.
The 90s: This is where the clichés stated before begin to emerge and the pop-punk makes it way into almost every film. It’s gonna be so difficult to cut this down to just three because I could literally go on forever with these. I may have to just list all of them in brackets once I’ve picked my three favourites. I’m just warning you. Now playing: Semi-Charmed Life – Third Eye Blind from American Pie.
- Clueless (1995)
Okay so maybe my favourite ever one wasn’t so hard to pick due to the numerous amount times I’ve watched this film. It’s like the 90s Mean girls it’s that much of a classic. It’s just as quoted as Mean Girls and Cher is just one of my heroes I’m not gonna lie. Also young Paul Rudd is just adorable. All of the characters are so individual and so well portrayed and this film is the kinda film you watch with wine and popcorn with your girls and recite “Ugh, as if” all in unison.
- She’s All That (1999)
The film that really started the legendary storyline to begin with, in my eyes at least. Like when Freddie Prinze, Jr. see’s her come down the stairs after the makeover is just so cute. I heard roughly this time last year that there might be a remake in the works. This is not allowed. They can’t ruin a perfectly good teen movie like this, like at least be like all the others and call it something different. I’ll probably still go and see it if it does happen, I won’t be happy though.
Now playing: Lovefool – The Cardigans from Romeo + Juliet
- American Pie (1999)
I’d probably get slain if I didn’t put this in my top three. It’s American Pie. It doesn’t need explanation. I mean if you’re a part of this generation and haven’t watched this film, where the hell have you been? What have you been doing with your life? It’s American Pie.
(10 Things I Hate About You, Drive Me Crazy, Can’t Hardly Wait, Never Been Kissed, Jawbreaker, Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Romeo + Juliet, The Craft, The Faculty, Don’t tell Mum the Babysitter’s Dead etc.)
The 00s: The era of Mean Girls. Between the 00s and the 90s it’s very difficult to pick with decade was favourite. This was the decade of Lindsay Lohan, Hilary Duff and Amanda Bynes. 2/3s of which had a breakdown. #Idols. Also Disney Channel movies took over our lives and we accepted it. Now playing: Are You Gonna Be My Girl – Jet from Eurotrip.
- Mean Girls (2004)
It’s Mean Girls. It’s so fetch. It’s the most popular teen movie ever made. It defined cliques and coined so many quotes used today. We celebrate October 3rd like it was a national holiday. It was the peak of Lindsay Lohan’s career. Of her life. It’s how we all want her to be again, we’ll forget about the bad times if we can have Cady back.
- The Princess Diaries (2001)
Anne Hathaway as Princess Mia. My favourite makeover montage. Plus Julie Andrews is literally a Queen. Best. Casting. Ever. Also Chris Pine in the sequel is so much better than movie Michael. Good choice Mia.
- Bring It On (2000)
The film that begun the craze. All about cheerleading with some kick-ass routines and Kirstin Dunst is a hero. I do have to say that All or Nothing is my favourite Bring it On film though because Hayden Panettiere kills it. Also the possible reason for many of the cheerleading programmes and films that followed. Like Hellcats with Aly from Aly & AJ and Ashely Tisdale in it. I wish there was more than one season of that show. I loved that show.
(13 Going on 30, Superbad, High School Musical, Freaky Friday, She’s the Man, The Lizzie McGuire Movie, Step Up, Pixel Perfect, Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior, Donnie Darko, Cadet Kelly, Crossroads, John Tucker Must Die, Eurotrip, Just My Luck, Save the Last Dance etc.)
Okay so about this decade’s teen films. There’s a lot less high school ones, there’s Easy A and The Duff sure but the teens today are more into watching their favourite books being made into films. This all began really with Twilight. We’ve since received Hunger Games, Divergent, Maze Runner, John Green’s books, Perks of Being a Wallflower, Percy Jackson, even the Duff was a book before and there’s probably a bunch more I can’t remember. I’m not saying this is the first time ever a teen movie has ever been made from a book but there sure as hell has been a huge surge in them in recent years. I myself can’t put an exact finger on why but it’s now putting pressure on everyone to read all the YA books so we can boast that we read the book first. Plus it helps with the emotional trauma when you know what to expect – I’m looking at you Hunger Games.
Okay, I think I’ve covered as much as I can in one blog post. Do comment about your favourite teen movies. Tell me I’m wrong or praise how right on the money I am. I won’t stop you.