Hello once again blogosphere! I know, I am a super terrible human. I have been majorly slack with updating as of late, but have no fear, I'm still alive. I've just completed my first term of Year 12, which means the past few months for me have been spent stressing, completing assignments and studying like a maniac. Of course, there are three more terms to come in 2016 which will be even worse, but for the next 6 or 7 weeks, I can be fully dedicated to Teenage Fanatic. To help get though the stresses of their senior year, there's always one place any adolescent can turn - the neatly packaged life lessons contained within a satisfying teen movie. Come on, let's be honest, we all love them. They're 90 minutes of cheesy, predictable high school drama and they definitely shouldn't be anything more. The problem is, after watching each of the teen classics for the 20th time, it takes a little more than Judd Nelson's victorious air punch or Ferris Bueller's sporadic musical stylings to keep you motivated, however all hope is not lost. Once you've powered through the super popular flicks, there are always more obscure movies to binge watch right around the corner. So without further ado, I present to you the best underrated teen movies you've probably never heard of . . .
1. Don't Tell Mum the Babysitter's Dead (1991)
As the title certainly suggests, high school student Sue Ellen is forced to join the work force and earn money for her family in this 90's film when their elderly babysitter drops dead, and instead of alerting their parents (who are on an extended vacation in Australia), the kids take matters into their own hands. It's not exactly super obscure, but in terms of my generation, it's not exactly well known. The plot is of course totally predictable, but that just adds to the fun. There's comedy, romance, and some pretty funky fashion, what else could one wish for?
2. Bart Got A Room (2008)
This film, pretty much no one has heard of, so if you're lucky enough to get your hands on a copy (in any way you can, I don't judge), I suggest you take the time to watch it. Basically, the plot revolves around high school senior Danny who needs a date for the upcoming prom. The pressure's on when he discovers that even Bart, the most unpopular guy in school, has managed to not only find a girl to go with him, but has even booked a room for them to spend the night in (and I'll let you fill in the blanks as to what ensues from there). It's super quirky and doesn't take itself too seriously (especially for an indie film), and is sure to totally satisfy your teen movie needs.
3. The Rocker (2008)
This flick, which is surprisingly underrated, is very 'School of Rock'-esque. It's about Robert 'Fish' Fisherman, a drummer for the 80's band 'Vesuvius', who upon being kicked out by his fellow band members, joins his nephew's band and hits the road with a bunch of high school students. Once again, the plot is definitely predictable, but it shouldn't be any other way. The movie is super entertaining, and frankly, I'm surprised it isn't more popular, but nevertheless you should give it a shot.
4. Lucas (1986)
Considering the 80's was jam packed with classic teen flicks, I guess 'Lucas' just got a bit lost in the bunch, and therefore wasn't overwhelmingly popular. However, it totally should've been. The movie focusses on nerdy 14 year old Lucas Bly who attempts to woo Maggie, an older girl who moves in to town. Obviously, they don't get together because that would be creepy, but the movie's super sweet and funny, and is 100% worth a watch.
5. Submarine (2010)
This movie is the absolute epitome of quirkiness. It almost feels like a foreign film, but its surprisingly distributed by US and UK companies, and you know, is of course in English. It's kind of hard to explain, but it basically follows high school student Oliver through random events in his life, including the beginning of his first, super weird relationship, and the marital issues of his parents. Of course I'm making it sound super dramatic, but trust me when I say it's not. It's just odd, in the best way. I don't think it was ever intended to appeal to a super large audience, hence the fact that it's underrated, but you should definitely give it a go.
6. Teen Witch (1989)
I actually cannot stress how much I love this movie. Is it lame? Absolutely. But that's what makes it so wonderfully entertaining. It's about Louise, a nerdy high school student who learns from her psychic that she has magical abilities that will begin to appear on her 16th birthday. I mean, how can this movie not be amazing? It really is the ultimate teen flick, and I highly suggest you check it out when you get the chance.
7. The To Do List (2013)
This movie is amazing, that's all there is to it. Set in 1993 (because why not?), the flick is all about high school valedictorian Brandy, who upon graduating decides that she needs to shed her uptight image, deciding to create a list of things she never did in school that she wants to achieve before college starts. Already, the premise is great, but the actual film is so much better. It's super, super funny and does not take itself seriously at all. I dare you not to like this movie.
8. Detention (2011)
Not gonna lie, this film is pretty weird. The plot is crazy, the transitions between scenes is super abrupt, and the humour is pretty dark, but I am definitely a fan. I watched this when it first came out in 2011 (although not at the movies because it wasn't even released here in Australia). At the young age of 13, I was pretty scared prior to watching this film considering it's in the horror comedy genre, but I'm pretty sure this is when I started to appreciate black comedy. The movie revolves around outcast Shanley Caswell and hipster Clapton Davis at Grizzly Lake High School, in which the students are being hunted down by serial killer Cinderhella. As if you're not already lured? The film gets pretty weird, and delves in to all sorts of alternate universes, but as long as you're paying attention, this movie is definitely a winner.
9. Saved! (2004)
What could possibly be better than a religious satire set in an uptight, super Christian high school? Literally nothing. This movie is about Mary, a rather religious teenager who does the deed with her boyfriend in order to prevent him from being gay, thinking it's a part of Jesus' plan, however as a result, ends up pregnant. The premise pretty much sells itself, and seeing Mandy Moore play a psycho religious nutter is not something to be missed. Plus, it just so happens to be on Netflix in the indie section, so check it out ASAP!
10. The Spectacular Now (2013)
Not gonna lie, this movie isn't exactly a comedy. Sure, there are light-hearted moments, but this film is more of an exposé revealing the inner workings of the teen psyche. The movie focuses on Sutter and Amy, two high school seniors with completely different views on life after school, who decide to enter in to a relationship. It's not actually that predictable, and is very much an indie film. Basically, what I'm trying to say is I highly suggest you give it a go.
11. Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael (1990)
I'm actually surprised that this film isn't mainstream considering its pretty stellar cast, but today, that's all about to change. It revolves around a small town in Ohio, and how everyone is preparing to welcome home movie star Roxy Carmichael, focussing specifically on her old flame Denton and troubled teen Dinky, who believes that Roxy is her birth mother. It's a little bit strange, not gonna lie, but since when has that been a problem? It's entertaining, a little bit angsty, and has a fun makeover scene - that is literally the formula for a great teen movie right there!
12. Project X (2012)
This movie isn't exactly unheard of, but it certainly isn't prolific either. 'Project X' is about high school student Thomas, who upon turning 17, decides to throw a massive party while his parents are away in an attempt to eradicate his anonymity. It's a bit like 'Superbad' and '21 and Over' being that all of the events of this crazy party take place in one night, but the film kind of takes a slightly more subtle approach. One of Thomas's friends is documenting the whole party on camera, which is what the audience is pretending they are watching as opposed to an actual feature film. The lack of a soundtrack kind of highlights some of the awkwardness that actually does ensue at these ragers, and the film itself is definitely worth checking out.
13. Get Over It (2001)
I've come across one or two people in my travels who have seen this movie, but considering it has the makings of being a super popular teen flick, I'm surprised it hasn't become a household name. The movie is about high school student Berke, who upon being dumped by his girlfriend Allison joins the school play, a musical version of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', in order to win back her heart. Of course the film itself is actually based on the renowned Shakespearean comedy, giving a little self-reflexive nod to its premise. It's pretty wacky, but it's also super entertaining and worth your time.
14. Jawbreaker (1999)
If you've hopped on to Teenage Fanatic in the past, you may be able to recall that I've spoken about this movie before, however aside from me, weirdly, not that many people have heard of it. So of course, I've included it on this list to hopefully rectify that. The film is about a group of mean high school girls who are accidentally responsible for murdering their friend on her 17th birthday by making her choke on a jawbreaker. It's obviously a black comedy, and may seem a tad callous to the faint of heart, but don't worry, the main perpetrator predictably gets her comeuppance in the end, so all is good. It's funny, satisfying, and not too taxing on the brain - a perfect teen movie combination!
15. Ghost World (2001)
This isn't exactly I guess what everyone would classify as a 'teen movie', but is rather a really good film that just so happens to be about teenagers. Nevertheless, it is totally underrated and 100% worth watching. It's about two neo-cool high school girls named Enid and Rebecca, whose friendship totally changes just before they graduate high school. I have to admit, I did a terrible job of summarising the plot, but it's really good I swear. Like good enough to garner a bunch of Academy Award nominations. It was highly praised by critics (as it should be), however was never particularly popular with the public. So I suggest you try and fix that and watch this movie ASAP!
16. It's a Boy Girl Thing (2006)
If you love 'Freaky Friday', this movie is certainly right up your alley. It's all about next door neighbours and adversaries Nell and Woody, who whilst bickering at a field trip, are cursed by an ancient Incan spell and awake the next day to find that they've switched bodies. Of course it's super horrible because they absolutely hate each other, and are at opposite ends of the high school food chain, but as with any romantic teen movie, I think we can all take a guess at how it ends. Yes, it's totally predictable, but once again, how disappointing would it be if it weren't? It's super entertaining, corny enough to be fun, and absolutely worthy of watching.
So that pretty much concludes this rather extensive post. Hopefully my large list will help make up for the fact that I've been a bit MIA lately, and help you find some new and exciting teen movies to binge watch over the Christmas break. I suggest you all get to work right now, and enjoy every second of the cliche awesomeness you're about to have the pleasure of viewing. Til' next time . . .