I just saw the film Ladybird [Give it a watch, it's great] and I just realized there are next to no great teen movies anymore. The best one before Ladybird was Me, Earl and The Dying Girl and that was a full three years ago. And then three years before that, we got the heartwrenching Perks of Being a Wallflower and then three years before that we got Easy A which has the makings of a frigging John Hughes classic. Is that it now? Are we going to only get one great teen movie every three years now?
Because just a few years ago this wasn't the case, Sure teen movies were going down the crapper with stuff like American Pie [ugh] but we got some future teen classics such as Mean Girls, Juno, and Superbad The genre was winding down but we didn't realize because we thought the same thing in the 90's when we got crap teen films back then we also still got classics that we watch today and don't get me started on the 80's we all know that was paradise for teen movies, strengthening the trend that had been growing in the 70's and probably started in the 60's with the fantastic Rebel Without A Cause
I think that was the film that really set off teen cinema, that gave it a place. Because of this, the following decade started to release films more aimed at teenagers, perhaps most memorably American Graffiti [or maybe I just recall that one the best because it's Dad's favorite movie to watch when he wants to complain about how much cooler life used to be] or the successful movie musical Grease or one of the first mixtures of teens and horror, Carrie.
Then the 80's. A golden era for pop culture and a golden era for teen movies, This was the time of the Brat Pack, the time where Molly Ringwald ruled, the time we first heard the name 'Tom Cruise', The time where John Hughes was in his prime, It's been over
3 decades since The Breakfast Club first hit theaters and yet it's the go-to coming of age film still, We got real charmers like Ferris Bueller's Day Off and real dramas like The Outsiders and really strange creations like Weird Science. We got dangerous with Risky Business, We got stoned with Fast Times at Ridgemont High, We danced along to Footloose, We binged on Heathers-like it was chocolate because it was the dark comedy we desperately needed after dealing with the scars of public education.
The trend continued in the 90s with classics such as Clueless, 10 Things I Hate About You, The Craft, Pump Up The Volume and Dazed and Confused [The latter two are frigging masterpieces btw] but throughout the late 90's and the early 2000's started to become simpler and wind down as attention for teenagers turned to tv rather than to the movies. So maybe it's no surprise that truly great teen movies are hard to come by. I just hope that maybe we'll be on an upswing in a couple of years and the next great time of teen movies will nab us in the ass.