Trying to stick with a theme within a theme this week as well. Even though things seemed bleak a bit there in the middle, I eventually pulled through. Here are three movies where the juvenile main character, gets in a bit of trouble, but still gets the girl. So you could say, these are movies with law breaking beginnings but with happier endings! Because turns out, I haven’t seen many movies with troubled teens, so I thought I’d spin this week’s theme into something much nicer.

1. STEP UP (2006)

It’s a bitter sweet recommendation this week as the couple, who emerged from this film recently decided to divorce. But still, looking back, it was a match made in heaven both on and off screen for Jenna Dewan (Tatum) and Channing Tatum. As most of you probably know, Tatum’s character Tyler is sentenced to 200 hours of community service after trashing a performing arts school. Though he is introduced as a troubled teen, we soon learn that his passion for dance just might be his way out and his way in… to a girl’s heart. Step Up is definitely one of those sweet romance movies, and it’s a must for all dance lovers.

2. DISTURBIA (2007)

I might have disliked this one after seeing it, but over the years, looking back, I’ve started to appreciate what Disturbia actually is. This, without a doubt, is an entertaining film. Not necessarily a good one, but at least you will have some fun watching it. Our main character, also Tyler (Shia LeBeouf), is placed under house arrest after attacking his teacher. With his lack of geographical freedom, he starts up quite a weird hobby – observing his neighbours. When he notices the man next door doing some crazy illegal shit, he starts to obsess and the thrill begins. Oh, and there is a girl in the picture too, because.. love is always needed.


This one came to me after a few hours of freaking out that I didn’t have a third recommendation. A Walk to Remember in my mind, is a much sweeter movie than what it starts off with. Landon (Shane West) and his buddies are underage drinking when one of the teens get seriously injured. Landon is forced to do community service, and through that, he notices a girl. She seems immune to his charm, which interests him a lot, and he starts to pursue her. Little does he know that her reason for rejecting him is quite sad and serious. While this movie is more of a tear fest, and more romance, it still shows how a bad boys like Landon can find redemption. We all do stupid things as teenagers, but it’s important to learn from them.




  • I certainly heard of the first two but haven’t taken the time to see either but I have seen Walk to Remember. It was a decent enough view…once but I can’t imagine wanting to return to it.

    I prefer my juvie drama on the tame and sensationalist side so popular mid-century, I would have loved to include one of the ne plus ultra entries in that lot “Kitten With a Whip” but I’ve used it already, so I dredged up my first three and added a more serious film on the subject as an extra for balance.

    Youth Runs Wild (1944)-While Mom and Dad are busy at the production plants making the tools to win WWII the kids are home and being neglected and the first thing you know “Youth Runs Wild!!!!” Horror meister Val Lewton (Cat People, I Walked with a Zombie) produced, though disavowed this studio reworked version, this mild teen rebellion film where the biggest sins are tire swiping and other minor infractions until a rather violent conclusion. Still somewhat surprising to see this type of film in the 40’s where young people were almost always presented as sweet, compliant angels.

    High School Hellcats (1958)-Joyce (Yvonne Lime) is the new girl in school and on her first day she is confronted by Connie (Jana Lund) the leader of the Hellcat gang. Connie tells her she can join the gang or be ostracized and we’re off on a round of shoplifting, kissing parties and murder! Starts off as a mild little cautionary tale but considering there’s a body count it goes on a wilder ride than expected. The kind of film to be found at the local drive-in in the 50’s.

    Look in Any Window (1961)-Teen idol Paul Anka plays “The Masked Prowler” a teen Peeping Tom who scales the fences of town residents wearing a frightening mask while his parents and their neighbors drink and carouse amongst themselves ignoring their children. Sensationalist with mostly over the top performances (though Ruth Roman is good as Anka’s mother) but Anka’s compulsion to voyeurism feels disturbingly prescient of an incipient serial killer or rapist.

    The Young Stranger (1957)-Rebellious well to do teenager Hal (James MacArthur), a decent boy at heart, is arrested for punching a theatre manager at a movie theater which he truthfully claims was self-defense. The problems begin when Hal’s father (James Daly), an inattentive parent at best, doesn’t believe him leading to an even further estrangement and Hal acting out. Tom’s mother (Kim Hunter) tries to forge some sort of understanding between them before their hostility leads to worse issues. John Frankenheimer’s (The Manchurian Candidate) first theatrical film is an even handed account of the isolation and antipathy that often leads to juvenile delinquency.

    • I loved A Walk to Remember as a teenager but then again, I think was its audience so I’m not surprised I enjoyed it.

      Haven’t heard about the movies you mention, but then again, it’s no surprise to me either. But the second one peaked my interest..

  • I haven’t seen the first two, but I’m always up for a movie about a guy named Tyler. Hopefully each is as good as Fight Club. Hopefully.

    I actually think I’ve seen the last flick, but for a second I had it confused with A Walk in the Clouds with Keanu Reeves. Speaking of Keanu, I’m thinking if I did these picks, I’d include Keanu in Rush Rush. No idea what I’m talking about? Me neither. But here’s the link:

    I should just apologize now.

  • It was purely a coincidence that both guys were named Tyler. Unfortunately I didn’t find a third film with Tyler as the lead that fit the theme. Otherwise it would have been a theme within a theme for Tyler – which would have been awesome!
    That link is blocked in my country – rude! 😀

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