For today’s 30 Day Movie Challenge, I’m here to talk about my “favourite teen movie”. Before I begin, don’t forget to check out Rhey of Sunshine’s blog for her side of the challenge. She definitely has very different choices from me and it’s always interesting to see what she chooses, especially for these few days where we talk about our favourites in each category.
So for today’s challenge I thought I’d do something different. I’ll still be revealing my favourite teen movie, but I will also reveal a few of my other favourite teen movies. Consider it a sort of teen marathon that you could have with some of your girlfriends, sitting on the couch on maybe a rainy day, eating chips and popcorn and ice-cream.
I have a few staple favourites in this list of favourite teen movies. And the very last will be my favourite of them all. So let’s begin with …
1. John Hughes’ The Breakfast Club (97 mins)
I believe any great teen marathon should first pay homage to John Hughes as an 80s coming-of-age legendary director. My personal favourite is The Breakfast Club but Ferris Bueller’s Day Off or Sixteen Candles is great too. The five detention misfits in this movie have all types of personalities to be relatable to any kid. You sympathise with Brian and you want to be Claire. And the final anthem “Don’t You Forget About Me” resonates with you for days.
2. Charlie Bartlett (97 mins)
I feel like this movie is a great transition to the movies I’m going to later introduce. It’s about a rich kid who gets kicked out of private school and decides to appoint himself the psychiatrist of his student body by distributing pills according to what the students tell him about how he feels. This is the movie where I first fell in love with Anton Yelchin’s acting and where I learnt to appreciate Kat Dennings as an actress more. Dennings plays the principal’s daughter with whom Charlie Bartlett falls in love with.
3. It’s Kind of a Funny Story (101 mins)
From one self-appointed psychiatrist, to a psychiatric ward, It’s Kind of a Funny Story tells the tale of Craig who checks himself into the ward when he believes he is suicidal. There he meets Bobby (played by Zach Galifianakis) and Noelle (played by Emma Roberts) who change is perspective and gives him a new lease on life.
4. The Perks of Being A Wallflower (102 mins)
And isn’t it inevitable that the themes of mental illness continues with teen movies? Perks, based on Stephen Chbosky’s novel with the same name, features a talented cast which includes Logan Lerman, Emma Watson and the ever charismatic Ezra Miller as Charlie, Sam and Patrick respectively. The story is about Charlie who starts his first days as a freshman and befriends unlikely seniors and half-siblings, Sam and Patrick. From them he learns the meaning of friendship, takes part of the many rituals of teenagehood and confronts some deeper issues that refuse to take surface in his life.
5. Fanboys (90 mins)
From here I move on to Fanboys, a story of how a group of nerds go on a road trip to George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch so that they may let their dying friend catch a(n illegal) screening of the new Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace before it screens. This film has all the incredible moments of friendship that Perks does, with a bit more lighthearted spin to it. Plus, Kristen Bell is just awesome as Zoe here.
6. Center Stage (115 mins)
Moving a little further back to when I was ten, but not getting rid of the friendship involved. Center Stage has just been a staple in my list of favourite teen movies. You don’t need to be obsessed with dance and ballet to fall in love with some of the characters and their struggles in this movie. Jody is the main character, whose body type makes her a less than befitting candidate as a ballerina, Eva (played by Zoe Saldana) struggles with being a black ballerina in a field of athletics overrun by pretty white girls, while Maureen forces herself to throw up and just does not have the passion for dancing – even though she has all the right stuff and a mother who backs her up 100% of the way.
7. Stick It (103 mins)
This film sticks (get it?) with the same thread of teen sports, this time one of my favourites, gymnastics. I chose this one over your typical cheerleading films like Bring It On, ’cause face it, no one needs a cheerleading movie in a teen marathon. Missy Peregrym plays Haley Graham, a girl forced to return to her gymnastic roots but faces attitude problems along the way and is forced to find a balance between the refined and restrictive routines and her own new style.
8. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (112 mins)
And now for the Michael Cera mini-marathon! Michael Cera is like the current staple for every teen movie out there. Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is a quirky movie based on the graphic novel by the same name. Scott, in an attempt to get with Ramona Flowers, must battled and defeat her seven evil exes so as to win her heart. It is no surprise that this movie came out as a video game for the Xbox and PS3 as the movie plays out like various levels in a Street Fighter-esque game.
9. Juno (96 mins)
The penultimate movie! It is pretty much inevitable for Juno to end up on the list. Ellen Page’s iconic role as Juno MacGuff, dealing with an unexpected teen pregnancy is another quirky teen movie. This teen marathon is not complete without Juno’s hamburger phone and the cute duet “Anyone Else But You” – one of the first songs I learnt on guitar.
10. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (90 mins)
Yup! This is definitely my favourite teen movie of all time. I was forced to watch this three times in a row on my plane journey to Brisbane when I was sixteen. And thanks to that trip, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist has been firmly ingrained as the teen anthem film of my life. The story is of how Nick and Norah first meet and she asks him to pose as her boyfriend for five minutes. They then spend the rest of the night looking for Norah’s extremely drunk best friend, Caroline. Through this crazy adventure they slowly find themselves falling in love with each other, even when Nick is still infatuated with his ex, Tris. The music is awesome and the lines are unforgettable.
Yup. That is my ideal teen movie marathon right there, ending with my favourite teen movie. It’s perfect ’cause it starts in the morning with The Breakfast Club and ends with Nick and Norah in the early mornings heading back home. It literally is 16 hours and 43 minutes (yes, I did the math) worth of concentrated teen angst and emotion. You can start at seven or eight in the morning and end (without any breaks) at twelve midnight or one in the morning. Feel free to leave out certain movies if it’s to intense for you!
Return to this blog tomorrow to know my favourite quote from a movie!