100 Word Review – Juno (2007)

Best Original Screenplay Oscar winner, this brilliant comedy about teenage pregnancy is dry, sweet and full of heart.

An unplanned pregnancy leaves mature-beyond-her-years teen Juno (Ellen Page), facing a tough decision, and trying to figure out what’s right for her and the baby.

Written by Diablo Cody (Jennifer’s Body, United States of Tara), and directed by Jason Reitman (Thank You For Smoking, Up In The Air), this quirky comedy has a cast to match.

Michael Cera (Superbad), Jason Bateman (Bad Words) and Jennifer Garner (Dallas Buyers Club) are all wonderful in what is so much more than a teen comedy.

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100 Word Review – Sixteen Candles (1984)

Written/directed by John Hughes (Pretty In Pink, The Breakfast Club), like many of his other films, this is a staple of main stream 80s Hollywood, and partly credited with the rise of the teen comedy/romance.

Being a teenager is already hard, but Samantha (Molly Ringwald) suffers humiliation after humiliation on her sixteenth birthday.

Funny, stupid, romantic and with the kind of outfits that were only popular in the 80s, this is a great, fun film that doesn’t ask to be taken too seriously.

Look out for a very young John Cusack and a wonderful part for his sister Joan Cusack.

100 Word Review – The Breakfast Club (1985)

THE BREAKFAST CLUB, Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez, Ally Sheedy, Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, 1985. ©Universal Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

“These children that you spit on as they try to change their worlds,

Are immune to your consultations. They’re quite aware of what they’re going through.” – David Bowie, opening titles

 

Five high school students bond over a shared Saturday detention as they rebel against the stereotypes they inhabit.

Written and directed by the one and only John Hughes (Home Alone, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Pretty In Pink), this is one of the great teen comedies of the 1980s. 

Emilio Estevez, Molly Ringwald, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy and Anthony Michael Hall are truly wonderful, each standing out in their own right.

100 Word Review – 21 Jump Street (2012)

I should start by saying I never watched the original TV show, but this is fantastic film stands alone.

Jenko (Channing Tatum) and Schmidt (Jonah Hill) work for undercover police department, Jump Street. Their assignment? To infiltrate a high school and bring down a drug ring.

Although this may at first glance appear to be full of obvious humour, it also does an excellent job of playing off these expectations. This is not your average teen comedy with a drug bust thrown in.

Directed by Christopher Miller and Phil Lord, the team behind The Lego Movie, it is just brilliant.

100 Word Review – The Lost Boys (1987)

Long before they glittered, they hung around seaside amusements and tormented teenagers. 

Michael (Jason Patrick) moves with his mother (Dianne Wiest) and brother (Corey Haim) to a small coastal town in California which is plagued by biker gangs and mysterious deaths.

Kiefer Sutherland is mesmerising as David, leader of the gang, Edward Herrmann’s on top form, as usual, and what 80s film would be complete without Corey Feldman? Directed by Joel Schumacher (Batman Forever, Phone Booth), what’s not to love?

This film is huge amounts of fun, with a bit of gore, romance and horror thrown in for good measure.

100 Word Review – 10 Things I Hate About You

The best modern day retelling of Shakespeare’s The Taming Of The Shrew, without a doubt.

Kat (Julia Stiles) Is a strong-minded teenager who refuses to conform to societal norms. When her father decrees that her younger sister cannot date unless she does, Kat is thrown back in to the dating world.

Heath Ledger, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Allison Janney and Larisa Oleynik all co-star in screenwriting team Kirsten Smith and Karen McCullah’s (Legally Blonde, She’s The Man) excellent film.

Despite being based on an arguably misogynist text about “taming” women, this adaptation is upbeat, empowering and down right hilarious. WATCH IT NOW!

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100 Word Review – Pretty In Pink (1986)

John Hughes is, of course, the king of the teen film; this is the jewel in his crown. 

High school student Andie (Molly Ringwald, who else?!) finds herself infatuated with “richy” Blane (Andrew McCarthy) as her childhood friend Duckie (Jon Cryer) vies for her affection.

Silly names aside, all of these characters are endearing in their own way. If on first viewing you find the plot predictable I would remind you that this is the film all other teen flicks are based on.

It has the punchy soundtrack you would expect of the 1980s as well as the fashion sense.

100 Word Review – Insurgent (2015)

So, I probably should have seen Divergent (2014) first, but this film definitely holds up as a stand alone film as well as part of a trilogy (albeit in four parts).

In a dystopian future, a community is split in to groups based on personality types. But Tris (Shailene Woodley) is different. Together with Four (Theo James) and co., they must fight against the tyranny of Jeanine’s (Kate Winslet) regime.

Although this does sound like every other teen Sci Fi, it stands out for its 3D characters, emotional gravitas (they have sex and it’s not a big deal!) and genuine suspense.

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