This month is focusing around school and college, and teen angst is well connected to both those topics. But since angst itself is a something that can happen outside education, I’ve selected movies that have more to do with teenagers and less to do with school.

1. THE SPECTACULAR NOW, 2013

After fitting in, after being the popular kid, Sutter wakes up in Amy’s yard. Now, angst here is about fitting in, and about trying to be somebody that they’re not, and the fear of actually liking somebody who is completely different. Which in a way, is always part of the struggle of groing up.

2. THE KINGS OF SUMMER, 2013

I didn’t realise two of my choices were from 2013, but turns out that was a great year for teen movies. And the reason I picked it, though the movie itself is uplifting in a way, is that it features teenagers who are anxious to grow up. They are fed up with their parents, so they decide to build a house in the woods – it is fun, energetic and features great performances!

3. THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER, 2012

Not far from 2013, comes a different kind of teen story that is still one of my favorite book adaptions (next to Harry Potter movies). It tells a story of Charlie, who finds himself in a new group of friends, but is struggling with himself due to his past. The movie is elevated by some great performances, and a fantastic script.

* ONE TREE HILL, 2003-2007

Now, this show ran until 2012, but I’m excluding the later seasons because a) they weren’t teenagers anymore, and b) they were bad, so I don’t really talk about them. But I wanted to include One Tree Hill for many reasons, and the reasons are all hidden in the first four seasons. There is the typical fitting in, there is struggle to be the best, there is the first love, there is the hidden talents, there is an unplanned child, there is first times and all together there is so much angst and love and drama and barvery in this show, that I could not include it!


THIS SERIES IS CREATED BY WANDERING THROUGH THE SHELVES

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  • I like the idea of looking at angst not directed related to school. Wish I could say I’m a fan of the films you picked but unfortunately I can’t. I finally watched Perks yesterday after meaning to for some time. It was alright, maybe my expectation was too high after hearing all the praise lavished on it, but though the acting was good it was a one timer for me.

    I D-E-T-E-S-T-E-D The Spectacular Now so very much. Hated the character of Sutter and Shailene Woodley may be my least favorite of the new crop of actresses working today.

    Haven’t heard of The Kings of Summer until now but it sounds worth checking out. Thanks for the tip. I was never a One Tree Hill viewer.

    I went with a mix of lighter and darker films, and one that while meant to be serious when made is fantastically campy now.

    Kitten with a Whip (1964)-After shivving a guard and trying to torch juvie hall, delinquent hellcat Jody (Ann-Margret) takes it on the lam roosting at the coop of rising politico David Patton (John Forsythe). Mad for a pad to lay low she puts the shine on him while throwing off lingo like “Why do you think you’re such a smoky somethin’ when you’re nothin’ painted blue?” Cool to her ridicule he gives her the gate. She splits but flies back to his igloo with two other hooligans and forces Dave to burn rubber down Tijuana way, it’s a bad scene though and they’re all slated for crashville. The tagline for this far-out opus? “She’s all out for Kicks…and every inch of her spells EXCITEMENT! She’s a real smoky kitten!” Its mad hipster crazy cool, baby!

    The Doom Generation (1995)-Two disconnected teenagers pick up sexy drifter Xavier, who radiates a savage vibe and who leads them down a path loaded with sex and violence. As they travel through a series of small towns a cloud of doom hangs over them which no matter how they try clings to them.

    Teen Wolf (1985)-Scott (Michael J. Fox) is a normal mopey teen mooning over a girl who doesn’t know he exists and playing on a losing basketball team. Then he begins to notice when he gets upset he starts to feel different. He father pulls him aside and shares something he’s kept from him. Surprise! He’s part werewolf. By letting his inner beast out he becomes popular, the girl notices him and the team starts winning but he has to control his anger or the wolf will take over. Silly but fun comedy is helped immeasurably by Fox’s charm in the lead.

    Honorable Mention-To Sir, with Love (1967)-Unable to find a job in his chosen profession American Mark Thackeray (Sidney Poitier) accepts a position teaching a group of angry rebellious teens in Eastern London. Using somewhat unorthodox methods he confronts their initial jibes and defiance ultimately garnering their respect and helping them work through their angst.

    • mettelray

      I liked The Spectacular Now because the main characters were flawed. Like, there are so many movies where they make the leading character oh so appealing and perfect, that it doesn’t really reflect the youth. And not in a way where the movie goes from romance to drama, and the main character does something illegal. I don’t know. I disliked him in the beginning, but he had a point, and I liked that point.

      Shailene was not my favorite either, I don’t follow her career at all now but I still liked her shy performance in THN.

      I think I need to see Teen Wolf. I mean, I’ve seen the TV show so I guess I need to see the source material soon.

    • mettelray

      I think it is either loved or just tolerated. I loved it because I adored the book, and I thought it was a brilliant translation to the screen. I don’t know if I prefer the book… I think now after I’ve imagined the cast as the characters in the book, I would love it more too. The casting was just spot on!

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