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August 28, 2010

The Lame but Uplifting Teen Movies

Before we grew up we reached teenager days and probably saw that ridicilous lame teen movies. Some were only selling dreams and beautiful casts as an eye candy. I've experienced the Scream and I-Know-What-You-Did period, and thank God it's over. Remember She's All That?

For movieholics, it's a taboo thing to admit we like shallow teen movies. When I was younger, I loved these teen movies. Back then I didn't care about awards and great message behind, I just see the movie and say, I like it or I hate it. Luckily I still remembered which movies that has uplifting spirit effect.

1. Bring It On (2000)

Cast : Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku, Jesse Bradford, Gabrielle Union

Plot : A champion high school cheerleading squad discovers its previous captain stole all their best routines from an inner-city school and must scramble to compete at this year's championships.

Why : Not only cheering for teams, the cheerleaders also compete with other cheerleaders and very committed to it. Kirsten Dunst shows integrity and big spirit as a captain to win the championship. Through the self-doubt, humiliation and break-up. She shows healthy competition with other captain team played by Gabrielle Union. Good role model for teens. Ofcourse, seeing the team fearlessly dance with the dangerous moves, throwing people in the air was amazing.

Trivia :
  • Kirsten Dunst and Gabrielle Union were both cheerleaders in school. 
  • All of the actors who were playing cheerleaders had to go to what they ended up calling "Cheerleader Boot Camp".  
  • Many of the stunts performed by the teams in the national competition, including all stunts more than two bodies high, the fly-overs, and the basket-tosses with head-over-heels rotation, are illegal at the high school level according to the National Federation Interscholastic Spirit Association.

2. She's The Man (2006)

Cast : Amanda Bynes, Channing Tatum, Laura Ramsey, Vinnie Jones

Plot : She's the Man is about Viola Hastings, a girl who's passion is Soccer. She then finds out that the Girl's Soccer Program gets canceled at her school. She then tries out for the guy's team, but they tell her that girls aren't good enough. So when Viola finds out that her fraternal twin brother, Sebastian is sneaking off to London for a music tour, instead of going to Illyria School, Viola decides that she can take his place, and pretend to be him, to be able to try out for their Soccer program. After a makeover and help from her friends, she gets to Illyria, but then finds that she likes her room mate, Duke. Things get messy when a girl who Duke likes falls for Sebastian, who is Viola in disguise. Everything falls apart when Sebastian goes home from London early, and things start to fall to pieces.

Why : Wanted to play soccer so much, and being admitted that girls can play, Amanda pretend to be a guy. She even dumps his boyfriend because he underestimate her. Sure, she's that lucky that people don't know she's a she.

Trivia :

- When they first started filming, Amanda Bynes couldn't play soccer at all. Nevertheless, Bynes does most of her own playing in the movie.

-  Based loosely on William Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night, or What You Will". However, in the play, Viola is not impersonating her brother in particular, just a man, and she calls herself Cesario

3. Legally Blonde (2001)

Cast : Reese Witherspoon, Luke Wilson, Selma Blair, Ali Larter

Plot : Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) has it all. She's the president of her sorority, a Hawaiian Tropic girl, Miss June in her campus calendar, and, above all, a natural blonde. She dates the cutest fraternity boy on campus and wants nothing more than to be Mrs. Warner Huntington III. But, there's just one thing stopping Warner (Matthew Davis) from popping the question: Elle is too blonde. Growing up across the street from Aaron Spelling might mean something in LA, but nothing to Warner's East-Coast blue blood family. So, when Warner packs up for Harvard Law and reunites with an old sweetheart from prep school, Elle rallies all her resources and gets into Harvard, determined to win him back. But law school is a far cry from the comforts of her poolside and the mall. Elle must wage the battle of her life, for her guy, for herself and for all the blondes who suffer endless indignities everyday.

Why : Seems a bit dreamy, since Elle is more suitable in Fashion Industry. But she did stand up for herself and proud being what she is among serious students in Harvard. Most people just end up being smart ass and try to be as intimidating as they can in that kind of community. Even before that she's not giving up with the break-up and have good confidence to apply to Harvard (although I don't know if she's got the chance in real life :) ).

Trivia :

  • To prepare for her role as Elle, Reese Witherspoon spent two weeks studying the behavior of sorority girls, as she did not wish to portray a stereotypical airhead sorority image. She states on the DVD commentary that they were all very kind and polite, and she enjoyed her time with them. She also observed women shopping from the café at Neiman Marcus, and attended law school for a day. 
  • The Broadway musical based on the movie opened at the Palace Theater on April 29, 2007 and has ran for 595 performances closing on October 19, 2008.
  •  This movie was nominated in Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy and Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy - Reese Witherspoon

4. 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

Cast : Julia Stiles, Heath Ledger, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Larisa Oleynik, Gabrielle Union

Plot : Updated version of William Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew," set at the fictional Padua High School in Tacoma where a new transfer student, Cameron, is interested in the popular sophomore Bianca Stratford. But Bianca's overprotective and domineering father forbids Bianca to date unless her older sister Katerina, an unpopular and hostile senior, does. In a bid to get Katerina a boyfriend, Cameron sets up a plan to have the school stud, Joey Donnar, bribe Patrick Verona, an outcast senior with a rumor-filled past, to take the volatile Katerina out on dates so he can go to the school's homecoming dance with Bianca. However, neither Pat or Kat expect their 'going steady' to lead where nobody expects it too.

Why : In high school, almost everyone is determined to be popular. But in some ways, Kat proved that is much cooler to be unpopular and achieve higher goals. I've loved Kat because she's my hero, with angry grunge music and cool laid back outfits. Then Kat met Cameron, who is weird in his own way. They both didn't care what people think and be what they want to be, is the opposite of what teenagers would think. They have that rare similarities.

Trivia :
  • Julia Stiles originally auditioned for the role of Bianca Stratford. 
  •  The original script was much darker to the one in the final film. In the original, Mandella (Kat's best friend) referred openly and frequently to several suicide attempts, which were for her to join with William Shakespeare. 
  •  The song lyric "cruel to be kind" is a reference to a line from the play Hamlet; another of William Shakespeare's works. 
  •  The scene in which Kat reads the "10 Things" poem was the first and only take, according to the DVD extras. Kat's tears towards the end of the poem were not planned. 
  • Heath Ledger improvised the moment where Patrick starts playing with the fire.  
  • Heath Ledger beat out Josh Hartnett and Ashton Kutcher for the role of Patrick.
  • Won MTV Movie Award for Breakthrough Female Performance by Julia Stiles and nominated for Best Musical Performance - Heath Ledger.

5. Center Stage (2000)

Cast : Amanda Schull, Zoe Saldana, Susan May Pratt, Peter Gallagher

Plot : A group of 12 teenagers from various backgrounds enroll at the American Ballet Academy in New York to make it as ballet dancers and each one deals with the problems and stress of training and getting ahead in the world of dance.

Why : I have a thing with dance routine in movies. Maybe because they more like athletes but beautiful in motion. So there maybe a guilty pleasure in seeing a newbie student dates a senior star, but some of the characters do what they can to survive in a strict A-list ballet academy, like Jody who has a weak ankles. Or Maureen, the best student, never wanted to be a ballet dancer but forced by his mother. Conflicts in reaching goals lead them to their deepest passion.

Trivia :
  • Susan May Pratt, who plays the best dancer in the school, Maureen Cummings, had no ballet training before being cast. 
  • Of the main characters who are dancers, five are professional ballet dancers or have had ballet training (Amanda Schull, Zoe Saldana, Ethan Stiefel, Sascha Radetsky, Julie Kent), one is a professional figure skater (Ilia Kulik), and two were actors (Susan May Pratt and Shakiem Evans). Body doubles were used for many of the major dance sequences. 
  • The American Ballet Company does not exist. There is, however, the American Ballet Theater (ABT), where Ethan Stiefel (Cooper Nielson) is a principal dancer.
  • Won American Choreography Award for Outstanding Achievement in Feature Film

Other picks :

Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
Bend It Like Beckham (2002)
Sisterhood of Travelling Pants (2005)
Save The Last Dance (2001)
Reality Bites (1994)


Anonymous said...

I'm a movieholics and I do love teen movies. And I've just said it with proud and loud.

The Breakfast Club (1985)is definitely my favorite teen movie. Probably the best high school theme movie I've ever seen. It's funny, witty, tasteful, emotional, and it sends out a good message.

three lilly said...

Hi, anonymous. the movie sounds great, I'll look it up :)