How Teen Movies Now Are Different To The Ones We Loved When We Were Teenagers

Look we'd never diss Clueless but...


by Jess Commons |
Published on

Do you know what the absolute best thing about going to a screening of the Hunger Games last week was? Nope, not the wicked film, or even the sweaty hotdog and jumbo diet coke I spent my last £37 on. No, it was watching the teenage girls in the audience lose their shit and being totally out-of-this-world excited before the film had even started.

Because, you see, when I was was a teenager (it wasn’t that long ago, alright) the films I’d lose my shit over were very* *different. Big releases that I got excited over were new slasher films, high school romcoms and, erm, Lord Of The Rings. Although, perhaps that was just me.

Here’s the differences between the films for teens then and now:

They didn’t tend to pass the Bechdel Test

Goddammit we loved The Notebook. We loved that film so hard we watched it until the DVD stopped working. But you know what? It did not pass the Bechdel Test. Sure, there’s one scene where Ally and her Mum argue about whether she should leave or not, but it’s all to do with Noah. Take a little look at *Mockingjay, *though. Sure, there’s plenty of conversations about whether Katniss is going to end up with Peeta or Gale, but she also has plenty of chats with Prim, her mum, Effie, Alma and Johanna about slightly more important things than boys, like taking down a dictatorship and, y’know, saving the human race.

READ MORE: Unrealistic Expectations The Notebook Gave Us

Looks were super important

God forbid anyone got to the dizzying heights of hanging with the Popular Crew in movie land without adjusting their looks. Think Rachel Leigh Cook in She’s All That, Brittany Murphy in Clueless, Anne Hathaway in The Princess Diaries and The Devil Wears Prada**…. Sigh. You know who doesn’t have time for a makeover? Shailene Woodley in The Fault In Her Stars, that’s who. Turns out when you’ve got cancer, make-up and hair aren’t exactly high on your agenda. Instead, she focusses on staying alive until she meets her literary hero.

There was always a guy

WHO IS GOING TO TAKE ME TO THE PROM? A terrifying concept that haunted my teen years, which stemmed directly from years of watching girls in films get swept off their feet at the improbably over-budgeted end of year dance. Ironically, proms in England don’t require a date, but arriving dateless was still certainly a worry, thanks 10 Things I Hate About You,* She’s All That*, and Never Been Kissed! This year in teen movie land, though, Teresa in The Maze Runner is entirely without a romantic plot line. Instead, she was fast figuring out how to fight monsters called Grievers and busy trying to find a route out of the murdery maze prison she’d found herself in.

READ MORE: Mirrors Aren't Your Friend. You No Longer Need Shampoo. And Other Beauty Lessons You Learn Going Through Chemotherapy

**Girls weren’t very good at sports

Shailene Woodley (her again) has been pretty darn great this year. As Tris in Divergent she proved her mettle against the boys athletically and as a warrior. Think back to Clueless, though... Remember that scene with the tennis and how disinterested all the girls were? Sure it was funny, but did it make me want to go to school and join the football team? Not so much.


**The older dude with fantasies about teenage girls was totally NBD

**From Never Been Kissed to Bend It Like Beckham, hot male teachers lusting over teenage girls (or what they thought was a teenage girl in Never Been Kissed's case) was treated less like a imprisonable offence and more like a hilarious part of growing up. Fast forward to this year, though, and Palo Alto took things in a very different direction. Say what you like about James Franco IRL, but his creepy soccer coach character in this film about dysfuntional teenagers comes away looking anything but charming and Emma Roberts’ mixed up teenage girl comes out of the relationship looking less like a grown-up dealing with a normal break-up and more like a victim of a pedophilic act.

Ah, to be a teenager in 2014. Anyone know any teenage girls we can go to the cinema with?

**Like this? Then you might also be interested in: **

Hunger Games Bragging Rights: The Bits To Watch Out For When You Go And See It

You Need To Have An Opinion On The Fifty Shades Of Grey Trailer

Caitlin Moran's How To Be A Girl Is Becoming A Film, Here's Our Predictions**


Follow Jess on Twitter @Jess_Commons

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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