Teen movies are my not-so-guilty pleasure. I kneel at the alter of John Hughes. John Cusack has a permanent place on my freebie five list. Of the 83 DVDs in our family’s permanent collection that I can claim as just for me, fifty-seven (I counted) are YA. Big-budget or indie, doesn’t matter. Comedies, romances, dramas, I love them all.
Give me a geeky teen protagonist, a locker-lined setting and a kick-ass soundtrack, preferably with a Peter Gabriel penned anthem and I’ll happily hand over my $10 for a ticket. Throw in a cute guy with a mushy love story full of adolescent longing and I’ll call in sick to work for the first showing.
Favorite classic? Gorgeous Natalie Wood going crazy, literally, over hunky Warren Beatty, in Splendor in the Grass.
Favorite drama? The young buddy weeper Stand By Me (River! Gone too soon.)
My first love? Jake Ryan, Sixteen Candles. I was twelve, he was hot. I’d never wanted to be a freckled, flat-chested redhead more than when he leaned over that birthday cake and kissed Molly Ringwald. Bitch.
The scene that most made me wish I could go back in time and be in high school again (though this time with clear skin and better fashion sense)? Heath Ledger stalking Julia Stiles through the bookstore accompanied by Joan Armatrading’s gloriously moody The Weakness in Me: I'm not the sort of person who falls in and quickly out of love; But to you, I give my affection, right from the start. Oh. God.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Pretty in Pink. Some Kind of Wonderful. One Crazy Summer. Heathers. Romeo & Juliet. Cruel Intentions. American Pie. God forgive me: Twilight, New Moon & Eclipse—all regularly in the rotation.
There is, however, one glaring exception from my vast film library of high school angst. Anyone guess?
That’s right. I’ve never seen The Breakfast Club. Arguably the best teen movie ever made.
A brain, a beauty, a jock, a rebel and a recluse. They only met once, but it changed their lives forever. I’ve seen bit and pieces of it. Them running down the hall. Ally Sheedy as the proto-goth. But, for whatever reason, I just…I’ve never sat down and watched it all the way through.
It’s wrong, I know. How can I have sat through RPatz sparkling in the sun and never seen Judd Nelson in the greatest role of his life (he’s 51 now, by the way! How did this happen?).
I’ve promised myself that this is the year I will rectify the situation. I swear. I mean, I paid to see Red Riding Hood for God’s sake. Surely, watching The Breakfast Club will purge that cinematic sin from my soul.
How ‘bout you? What’s your favorite teen film? Any biggies you’ve missed over the years?