Teen movies definitely
aren't my bag, which I've slowly come to realize this year. It's not that I'm hostile to the genre, but even the best examples I can think of have never struck me as being particularly profound or affecting. They're mostly light fare that have little to do with anything that resembles reality. There's certainly personal bias in play, of course. When I speak of the "reality" of high school I'm mainly referring to my personal experiences there, and I've simply never found on-screen depictions of high school that captured the excruciating boredom I experienced. I'm more than five years out from my last day of high school and the absolute mind-numbing nature of it is still cemented in my mind, but hardly ever shown on screen. Movies like Fast Times at Ridgemont High
depict a world where the characters never crack open a textbook or actually do homework (though characters often invoke homework to excuse themselves from awkward social situations).
I suppose if there's a teen movie that I enjoy, it would probably be Ferris Bueller's Day Off
, but that's a film that drops any trappings of reality in favor of outright fantasy. I'm also pretty partial to Not Another Teen Movie
, but it's not a teen movie so much as it is a movie that lampoons the genre.
211. The Hoax [B+]
This little seen Richard Gere movie isn't bad at all. In fact, it might feature one of the actor's better performances of his career, portraying Clifford Irving, real life author, charlatan, and con-man. The tone is light and whimsical, until, of course, the bottom falls out of Irving's scheme (which happened in real life, though it is embellished here--the links drawn to Watergate seem tenuous at best, and are overemphasized for lazy viewers who would otherwise miss the reference). Still, as a vehicle for comedic performances that occasionally turn dramatic (Alfred Molina is good as a foolish side-kick, Marcia Gay Harden is suprisingly passable with a Swedish accent, and both Stanley Tucci and Eli Wallach do well with small roles) you won't do much better. In many ways, it reminds me of the tone and pace of Spielberg's version of Catch Me If You Can
, which isn't a bad thing, if you're in the mood for that sort of thing.