Five movies about teenagers

By chance, I watched five movies in the past few weeks about teenagers, four of them girls. I can’t say I have any new insights into the teenage mind (for that, I suggest you at least read this), but here are my very brief reviews:

World’s Greatest Dad” stars Robin Williams and is R rated, for good reason.  It is an unexpectedly dark comedy and will no doubt offend some (e.g., those who don’t want to laugh when a teenager accidentally hangs himself during sexual stimulation).  I liked it a lot, though, and recommend it.

Hard Candy” is not a comedy, but is extremely dark.  Ellen Page and Patrick Wilson play the main characters, a 14-year-old and a much older “friend” she met online.  Both are outstanding in their roles and the low budget movie is very well made.  It earns its R rating for keeping you on the edge of your seat (if not under it) as the two play a cat and mouse game around the subject of pedophilia. Page in this role reminds me of Kathy Bates in “Misery” and Noomi Rapace in “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”.  I recommend it.

True Grit” is a remake of a classic, and also classic Coen brothers.  As in “Hard Candy” the main character is a 14-year-old girl who has an unusual amount of grit.  The dark comedy is definitely here, if you can find it in the bleak surroundings.

The teenage girl in “Winter’s Bone” is as gritty as any of the above.  The movie takes you to a geographical place and sub-culture you very likely have not visited before.  This is also an excellent R rated movie.

The fifth teenager-themed movie I saw was “Easy A” which has a good cast and has received positive reviews; I expected to like it.  The best I can say is it was mildly entertaining, if  you like silly and campy. I didn’t this time; thumbs down.

A sixth movie, “Precious” , also features a tough teenager.  I blogged about it earlier (here), so won’t count it in this group.


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