Thursday, January 12, 2012

What I Learned From Teen Movies

In being a well-rounded journalist, it is of course important to be fluent in pop culture. Movies play a large role in this. So again, it's not like I spend hours on the weekends watching teen movies for enjoyment. No, no, I do it for scientific purposes. In studying how social interactions are perceived then reenacted on the big screen and then our reaction to said reenactments. I used the synonym editor so much in that last sentence I completely lost meaning.

Anyway, I'm a big supporter of ridiculously cheesy teen movies. Here's what I learned from some of my faves: (again, a list, someone get me medication)

1. If you're "ugly," taking off your glasses and meeting Freddie Prinze, Jr. will make you pretty.

I know you've all seen the highly-praised, five-time Oscar winner, "She's All That." So basically Rachel Leigh Cook is an "ugly" art geek who's totally over high school and blah blah blah. This movie taught me that glasses are like an ugly curtain -- when you wear them, you are a repulsive ogre, foaming at the mouth. BUT, when Sookie from True Blood comes along and does a "makeover," you INSTANTLY become beautiful. Then "Kiss Me" plays in the background and Freddie Prinze, Jr. falls in love with you. These were the first impressions of love I had. Solid foundation for future relationships. Essentially, never wear glasses.

2. If someone makes a bet on you, or is paid to date you, they will actually end up falling in love with you.

Now, this actually applies to "She's All That" too, but I'm referencing the worldwide phenomenon "10 Things I Hate About You." Joseph Gordon-Leavitt, and his fine ass, gets now irrelevant Andrew Keegan to pay Heath Ledger to take out "feminist" Julia Stiles so that JGL can date Alex Mack (but A.Keegan thinks its for his benefit). This movie first taught me that being a "feminist" means wearing flowy cargo pants, driving a "vintage" car, and using sentences that string along a bunch of words from Microsoft Word's synonym editor. So, check. Then, Heath starts to fall in love with Julia, but she of course finds out about said money and gets all feminist pissed, which apparently causes you to write a poem and then cry in front of your English class. So, in conclusion, this movie taught me two vital things: (1) Get a hot guy to bet money or get paid to take you out because he'll sing to you during soccer practice and in the end he'll buy you a guitar. (2) Cargo pants make you a feminist.

3. If you want people to change themselves for the better, just ensure the popular girl gets hit by a bus.

In the most critically acclaimed dramatic scene of "Mean Girls," Cocaine Lohan and Allie from The Notebook are arguing because Allie has gotten all fat and Cocaine is getting all popular. Then Allie gets hit by a bus and so begins the sequence of scenes where everyone begins bettering themselves. Aside from the aforementioned epiphany, Mean Girls, in all its infinite wisdom and quotable dialogue, taught me three very important things: (1) Buses change lives. (2) If you get hit by a bus, you will eventually meet Ryan Gosling and begin an endless romance. (3) Cocaine makes your boobs shrink (what happened Lindsay?).

4. White girls cheat.
In four-time Golden Globe winner "Bring It On," we learn that the Toro's, led by Kristen Snaggletooth Dunst, have been stealing their championship cheers from the Clovers, led by Gabrielle Union. There's of course this whole "Gee golly, I can't believe our cheers were stolen!" and then a sequence of them making up their own cheers and becoming better people and blah blah blah. Essentially what I took away from this was that white girls cheat. And it may have been the reason why I always covered by math tests from Amanda Smith in 8th grade. Which oddly enough made no sense, because again I'm horrible at math. So really, I was helping her. I need to rethink my decisions in life.

5. If you're from California, your parents occupation will be unknown, but you will be rich, and they will let you do whatever you want.

This realization actually applies to almost every teen movie I've ever seen. Where is everyone's parents? Anyway, I'm referencing the American classic "Easy A." First off, let me debunk another "ugly girl" misconception. Emma Stone would never have been unknown nor unpopular in high school. Come on producers, you did nothing to down play her looks; no oddly cut, frizzy hair, no jeans worn with running shoes, not even fellow ugly friends. No no, apparently, being "ugly" in a California high school means that you're thin, you wear designer heels, and your best friend is a pop singer with big boobs (whatever happened to Aly &AJ?). What do pretty people look like in these schools? I don't even want to know. I'm sure it's blinding. Anyway, the big point of the movie is that Emma Stone lets all these ugly guys tell their friends that she slept with them or they touched her boob or something PG-13 rated like that. Her parents are all cool when she tells them about it, like it's no big deal. Let me just say, had this ever happened to me in high school, I would have first been sent to a nunnery. Actually, that's it. Nunnery and done. Or Nun and Dun if you will. Anyway, the two big takeaways from "Easy A": (1) Living in California makes you rich (2) Dan from Gossip Girl will sweep you off your feet in the end and you'll ride into the sunset on a lawnmower.

I hope these five life lessons were as meaningful to you as they were to me. Let us not forget the biggest lesson from teen movies: Your life needs the right soundtrack for significant events to be deemed significant. Otherwise, how will you know?

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