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Potential in American Teen

Published July 25, 2008 in Movie Reviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of respective holders
American Teen American Teen
It's nice to know that real life is every bit as clichéd as '80s movies. It's not that I'm surprised that life imitates art, but it sure is disappointing that nobody's learned from anything and they're happy to be living clichés.

Review: American Teen

I'm not denying that it's me. I was totally Jake, bringing flowers to a girl and acting nervous. I relate, I just wish that a generation after me could see that there is a world outside your little town and your nuclear family. I feel for them, but I don't want to linger with them.

I also understand how production works. The producers are feeding these kids the soundbites that fit in with the drama they want to explore, so I don't blame the teens as much as the filmmakers without the vision to see any deeper than the popular bitch, the band geek, the art chick, etc.

Also, let me also say I feel for the kids. It really sucks to be living in a nowhere town where high school is your whole world. It sucks when you sleep with a guy and he breaks up with you. It sucks when your mom has a mental disorder and your dad is absent.

The answer to all these situations is get out there. The world is bigger than you, your high school, your hometown, your family.

More than the teen angst, the film perhaps holds up an important mirror to the lack of guidance most of them face. The parents in the film are so single-minded about what that want, the kids are on their own to figure it out. At least they have the common sense to see that maybe a manic depressive or an Elvis impersonator aren't the best sources of advice.

I was very lucky to turn out the way I did. I found stuff to do so it wasn't all about my school. My parents provided for my higher education. If they hadn't, my whole world would have been different.

Let me be bold though and say that any parents who haven't planned to pay for their kids' college are dicks. Don't have kids without planning for that. It's so necessary in today's society, but then deadbeats shouldn’t be having kids anyway.

At least it speaks to the potential for the kids to surpass their environment. Jake actually gets more action than I did, but that's okay because now I date strippers. I didn't have a Labyrinth poster until now, but I used to be negative. That was before I learned The Secret.

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Fred Topel
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