Archives for posts with tag: 1980s teen movies

I went into “Valley Girl” (1983) thinking it was going to be a broader comedy about, well, San Fernando Valley girls (actually, “Clueless” comes closer to that space 12 years later). This is more of a by-the-book teen romance featuring class conflict between Hollywood punk hunk Nicolas Cage and suburban sweetheart Deborah Foreman (who, at 21, looked too old to be playing a high school junior). That doesn’t make it a bad movie, but the better part is its visual love letter to the neon, music and fashion of early 1980s Los Angeles. Looking back, it’s a pretty-in-pink time capsule.

There are people for whom “The Outsiders” (1983) is in their top 10 all-time films. Some rank it No. 1. Like some others are with “The Breakfast Club,” this film about teenage outcasts spoke to them. I saw it when I was 52, not 15, so the impact wasn’t the same. But I can see director Francis Ford Coppola was trying to translate the deep thoughts S.E. Hinton was working through in her novel. Messages about class, about teenage angst – the kinds of things that might resonate deeply with someone. So even thought I didn’t get it, I get it.

Meet the new kids. Same as the old kids. Having been a teen during the Golden Age of Teen Movies, I consider myself a connoisseur of teen movies. John Hughes would be proud of “Booksmart” (2019). Two nerdish girls who abstained from fun for the sake of high school achievement find out the day before graduation they could have had just as much gain without all the pain. BTW, there’s a big, unsupervised graduation party that night. Cue the hijinks. Director Olivia Wilde creates perfect cinematic stasis, bringing in sudden comic weirdness every time things get serious, and vice versa.