Teenage movies reflect popular culture of each generation

From the orgin of cinema, movies that are created have reflected the ideas of the present culture. In particularly, teenage films draw attention to all aspects of high school including its stereotypes. From generation to generation a film has been iconic toward the present ideas and actions of the teenagers that reflect it.

The Breakfast Club (1985)

Directed by John Hughes, five stereotypical students spend a Saturday detention together in their high school library. After conversations expressing judgmental views on one another, one barrier beings to break after another. By the end of the eight hour “silent” punishment, they each pour their hearts out. Each character relates to one another, expressing their similar unhappy views on their teenage years forming a group bond nick-naming themselves “The Breakfast Club.”

MPAA Rating: R

Stereotype: the high school Jock, the Brain, the Criminal, the Princess, and the Basket-case

Famous Actors: Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Molly Ringwald

Quote: “We’re all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it, that’s all.”

Soundtrack: “Don’t You” by Simple Minds

Teens and the World:“The Breakfast Club” was one of the most influential teenage films of all times. Each character was relateable in a unique way reaching out to teenagers of all stereotypes. Although it fails to explore more positive aspects of being a teen, it shows the trials and tribulations that most high school students go through.


Clueless (1995)

“Clueless” explores the life of Cher, a blond, wealthy girl living in Beverly Hills. From makeovers to matchmaking to fundraising, Cher appears to be a superficial airhead but ends up using her intelligence for more than just a good fashion sense.

Stereotype: west coast “valley girl”

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Famous Actors: Alicia Silverstone, Brittany Murphy, Paul Rudd

Quotes: “As if” “Whatever” “Hellooo”


to give ‘snaps:’ praise

outie: out of here

totally buggin’: unable to cope

way: very

dope: clever, a good idea

Teens and the World: “Clueless” is a mocking portrayal of wealthy high school students living in California, in particular Beverly Hills. It explores their fashion style, interests, and even their own language. This iconic teen movie for the time may have entertained, but did not allow a broad enough teenage audience to relate as normal, high school students.

American Pie (1999)

In a vulgar comedy about high school seniors, four friends make a pact to lose their virginity before they graduate. Each boy finds it more difficult than expected and hope to receive their last chance after the highly anticipated senior prom.

MPAA Rating: R

Stereotype: sex craved high school boys

Famous Actors: Jason Biggs, Chris Klein, Tara Reid

Quotes: “We’ll just tell your mother that… we ate it all.”

“You realize we’re all going to go to college as virgins. They probably have special dorms for people like us.”

Teens and the World: “American Pie” shocked many with its blatant sexual connotations, which crossed boundaries that had previously not been crossed by any other film created for teens. It was one of the first films to not just imply teenage sexually but vividly display it. “American Pie” gives the idea that all high school students, especially males, have a desire to lose their virginity as soon as they can and are willing to go to extreme measures to do it.

Mean Girls (2004)

Cady Heron, a 16-year old home-schooled student, moves from Africa to suburban America and enters a public high school for the first time. Finding her place between art freaks and mathletes, Cady crosses paths with the most fashionable clique, the “Plastics,” and its “Queen Bee,” Regina George.

Stereotype: teenage social “caste” system

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Famous Actors: Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Tina Fey

Quotes: “I’m sorry that people are so jealous of me… but I can’t help it that I’m so popular.”

“Get in loser, we’re going shopping.”

“So, you have your cousins, and then you have your first cousins, and then you have your second cousins… ”

Teens and the World: Cady represents most typical high school girls. Once she becomes a part of the popular crowd she does whatever she can to stay in, no matter how much it changes her. She symbolizes the stereotypical teenager who finds themself gossiping and talking bad about others, even if they are considered friends. Cady finally recognizes the flaws in herself and tries to look over the limiting clique system that has taken over high schools everywhere.

Juno (2007)

Juno is a 16-year-old high-school junior who discovers she’s pregnant after having sex in a chair with her best friend, Paulie Bleeker. In the waiting room of an abortion clinic, Juno changes her mind and decides to put her baby up for adoption. With quick wit and independent spirit, Juno learns that even the appearance of a perfect life can never mask hidden problems beyond the surface.

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Famous Actors: Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Jennifer Garner

Stereotype: teenage pregnancy

Quotes: “Don’t I just have the thing? Squeeze it on out and hand it over?”

“I’m already pregnant, so what other kind of shenanigans could I get into?”

“As far as boyfriends go, Paulie Bleeker is totally boss. He is the cheese to my macar

oni. And, I know that people are supposed to fall in love before they reproduce, but… I guess normalcy isn’t really our style.”

Soundtrack: “Anyone Else But You” by The Moldy Peaches

Teens and the World: Despite the increasing teenage pregnancy problem the in United States, the purpose of “Juno” is not to look down up pregnant teens, but to show respect for them. Juno experiences adult situations far beyond her young mind was ready and even represents the changing trends in teen pregnancy. The abortion rate among teenage mothers has been 50 percent lower than in the late 1980’s. Juno takes the more difficult road, as are many teens today, choosing adoption over abortion.

Superbad (2007)

Inseparable best friends Seth and Evan are getting through their last weeks of high school together. They finally receive an invitation to a party in return for supplying the alcohol. Seth and Evan go from one obstacle to another, including a pair of inept cops, in the hopes of getting the girls along with the achievement of going off to college with the full high school experience.

MPAA Rating: R

Famous Actors: Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Seth Rogen

Stereotypes: the “unpopular” crowd

Quotes: “Chicka chicka yeah fake ID, fake ID”

“McLovin? What kind of a stupid name is that, Fogell? What, are you trying to be an Irish R&B singer?”

Teens and the World: Teenagers today have pressure to drink; teenagers today have pressure to have sex. These issues are all openly evident in this film from the reality of teens getting fake ID’s to having sex for the first time. The main characters are all openly casual about their sexual desires talking “dirty” almost every other line. In today’s society, teenage sex and alcohol use has become a much more surfaced and common issue in the film industry, especially in comparison to teen movies of the 1980’s. It has been keeping most viewers watching with more laughs and more ticket sales because society has shown, the dirtier the better.


Source: imdb.com