Saturday, 16 February 2013

Top Ten Underrated Teen Angst Movies

Sometimes I worry that I have not grown up properly because I still favour teen books, films, magazines and fashion. Surely some chemicals in my brain should have arrived by now to turn me into a 'real' adult? Anyway. There's a lot of great films out there which I think not enough people have seen, perhaps because they watch movies with adult characters or perhaps just because they missed them. So here they are: my top ten underrated but brilliant teen angst films. Not feel-good teen movies, nesessarily, but ones which say, Hey. Growing up is hard. It might get better someday.

10. Daydream Nation
This is a cool, complex film where all the women are strong and all the men are weak. It's really quiet and has a great soundtrack. Also there's lots of moody shots of Kat Dennings in short skirts and ankle socks. What's not to like?

9. The Art of Getting By
Have you ever done the barest minimum, feeling sort of passive-agressive about it? Maybe you found school too easy or maybe you just didn't see the point? That's what this film is about. It's not aspirational in the least, but you can sure identify with it.

8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
 I had to put this film on this list, because it belongs here. But please. Read the book. READ THE BOOK. Read the book and you'll have a better time than if you watched any of the movies on this list. It's short, and you'll come out of it as a better person. Please. Just read it.

7. Paper Heart
 About feeling ugly and awkward and not good enough. Funny and cute and real-seeming enough that you want them to be together in real life.

6. Thirteen
 I don't enjoy watching this film, and you might not either, but it's the angstiest, most self obsessed teen film and for that reason it deserves a place on this list. It's basically about two girls who want to grow up overnight and do everything they think adults do (and then some).

5. Wicked
 Hey, life's hard when your a teenager. Who happens to be in love with your father. In the middle of a thriller. Super-young Julia Stiles gives her most interesting performance to date.

4. The Craft
 Wondering what to do when you're a teenager and don't fit in? Don't get mad, get even. Become a sexy, dark teen witch and control your world, of course!

3. Mermaids

A fresh-faced Winona Ryder tries to escape her mother's overbearing sexiness. She wants to become a nun but is also crushing on a cute guy. She's neurotic, daydreaming, and totally angst-ridden.

2. Charlie Bartlett

Charlie is a super rich genius who decides to be a psychiatrist and deals pharmaceutical drugs to the students of a high school based on the psychological symptoms they describe. It's surprisingly funny and smart. Charlie is really likeable, sort of a child and an adult at the same time.

1. Ghost World
Two teenage female leads with character depth: not just teen girls, but also humans. Despite all her flaws, Enid is actually a great role model. Perhaps the best film I've ever seen in terms of giving the message, Hey. We are all just people. We're messed up but we're trying.

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