Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

The other day I came home to find the boys watching a teen movie. These are not meant for the younger members of the family because the context of it is in that not quite adult while being in an adult range.

Bring it onThey were watching Bring It On from 2000 in which the new captain of a cheer leading squad learns that the former captain stole all of their routines from a poorer but more talented high school.

This is one of those movies that is fun to watch, with the exception of one or two scenes that are downright embarrassing. I love the rivalry and later understanding between the two captains. And I have fun with the love story in which Kirsten Dunst lays it out for Jesse Bradford.

But can it compare to the other more serious teen movies?

My first thought always goes to Rebel Without a Cause (1955) starring James Dean as the misunderstood middle class teen who wears a leather jacket and rides a motorcycle. He is the epitome of bad-boy cool, the lost soul that you want to save. And maybe that is the point of all of the characters – each one has a trait you want to change. Part delinquent movie, part romance with incompatible partners.

The OutsidersOne of those inspired teen movies could be The Outsiders (1983). Based on the S.E. Hinton novel of the same name, it is the story of love not bringing two groups together when Diane Lane of the socs and C.J. Howell of the greasers meet at a drive-in. They fall in heavy-duty like but their friends try to kill each other.

Every relationship has its obstacles.

Funny thing is years later when I read Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography I saw the same groups fighting each other in the streets and beaches of New Jersey, each knowing where they could and could not go.

But when you talk about teen movies, can you avoid the John Hughes movies of the 80s? The Brat Pack would come together in several of these movies, showing teen angst from the upper middle class bastions John Hughes Collageof the North Shore suburban communities. From rich kids taking a final day off in high school (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) to rich boy trying to date poor girl (Pretty in Pink) to middle class girl pining for a senior hunk while her family forgets her sixteenth birthday (Sixteen Candles) to a stereotypical group of kids being forced to attend all day detention (The Breakfast Club), Hughes explored it all.

The awful and funny things that happen in high school that no one believed could happen and we know did. The snobs, the jocks, the social layers that seemed impossible to fathom or pass through are all there. The practical jokes, the poor judgment, the unbelievable good things that can happen. Somehow, they survived and so did we. Looking back at those movies, I feel those feelings again.

Its great, its horrible. And I wonder when can we watch it all again?

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.