Thursday, April 2, 2015

Thursday Movie Picks: Teen Comedies


Another week, another entry in Wandering through the Shelves' Thursday Movie Picks Meme. This is a good one...The Teen Comedy.

This category lends itself to bad movies. There are just so many that miss the mark. Thankfully, there has already been one this year that totally works on all the levels we teen comedy fans desire. That being "The Duff," starring Mae Whitman. (Read my review of that one here.)

I went with three of the best. Two of which were movies I actually saw when I was already in my twenties. That says a lot about them, that they work for people not in their targeted demographic. Of course, I had to pick an 80s gem as well. But no John Hughes here. Not this time.


Here are my Thursday Movie Picks:

"Just One of the Guys" (Lisa Gottlieb, 1985)


When I was in middle school, if I remember correctly, this flick used to run on HBO all the time. It's my "Lost Classic" pick this week. It stars Joyce Hyser (an actress I'm pretty sure nobody has seen since) as a popular hottie and school newspaper writer named Terry, who, after dealing with some flack for being a girl in a boy's world, changes schools and reinvents herself as a young man, so she can do the really "hard-hitting journalism" she really wants to do. This movie has it all: the mean girls, the horny younger brother, the college boyfriend, the dude she really likes (but shouldn't because he thinks she's a dude), and the blond jerk guy from Karate Kid. I love it.

"Mean Girls" (Mark Waters, 2004)


As a twenty-year-old college dude when this came out, I really didn't seem to think it was for me. Then, the DVD dropped and my college roommate's girlfriend brought it over. I realized, then, that Tina Fey wrote and starred in it, and, after I watched it, I saw in it probably the best teen comedy ever made. This is an ICONIC piece of movie history. There isn't a week that goes by that I don't quote a line from it. I think my favorite stuff is the bit role from Tim Meadows as Mr. Duval, the principal. When he opens his shirt, pulls the fire alarm, and proclaims, "Oh hell no! I did not leave the South Side for this!", well, there may be no better moment in any comedy, teen or otherwise, for me. Such a great cast! Such perfect writing! So smart!

"Superbad" (Greg Mottola, 2007)


I was deep into my obsession with Fox's "Arrested Development" by the time this movie dropped in the summer of 2007, so I had a great love for George-Michael Bluth. I was also really digging the new work from Judd Apatow as a writer/director. Jonah Hill does a perfect job of playing me here, and Michael Cera is just like one of my skinny best friends. That it was co-written by Seth Rogen was just an added bonus. This movie treats high school seniors at the end of the school year better than any other movie. My friends and I were/are these guys. It has one thing that no other teen movie has: male characters who males can truly identify with. So often, teen comedies seem to get closer to the female identity and treat male characters as either jocks, dorks, or bad boys. These guys don't fit any mold. They are just dudes who want to get their drink on and hang out with hot girls. And, in the end, they are too sweet to actually do the things they talk so highly of doing. Except for McLovin, the brilliant Christopher Mintz-Plasse, of course, he truly has the balls to practice his preach.

29 comments:

  1. Great picks! I've seen all three movies and they're all entertaining in their own way. Though I think I would have appreciated 'Just One of the Guys' more if I haven't seen 'She's the Man' beforehand.

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    1. Thanks! Yeah. I've never seen She's the Man. The Twelfth Night thing has certainly been done in teen movies. Good that this one came first, I suppose.

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  2. I haven't seen Superbad but Mean Girls is a really enjoyable film that like you I resistant to for years since it just didn't seem like it was aimed at me but once I watched it I was sorry I'd waited so long. Just One of the Guys is so typical of those 80's teen comedies albeit with a slight twist but it's fun in a dopey way.

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    1. Just One of the Guys is totally "dopey." Good word to describe it. It's also so 80s. I find it hard to imagine that Superbad wouldn't work for you. You should give it a try.

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  3. Haven't watched Just One of the Guys in years. You're right, though. It did run on HBO all the time as that's the only placed I've ever seen it and I must have watched it 5 or 6 times way back when. It's far better than She's the Man. Superbad is loads of fun. Love Mean Girls, too. Man, that's a popular pick this week. Great choices!

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    1. I swear I watched that movie all the time back then when it ran on HBO. Such a classic! She's the Man I will probably stay away from. Thanks!

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  4. I've seen clips of Superbad and that's about it, my experience of this genre is criminally low, but I've heard a lot about Mean Girls so I'll check that out.

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    1. There are some good ones out there. These would be a good place to start, but I honestly might urge you to just start in the 80s and make your way to the current. So many great titles out there. You will find many that suck, but it's worth the experience.

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  5. Oh man, how could I forget about Superbad! Love your choices :)
    - Allie

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    1. Thanks. Superbad had to go on this list!

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  6. Your picture for Mean Girls is one of my favorite moment, haha!

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  7. Excellent picks! I went with Superbad as well. Mean Girls is one of my favorites, but I didn't use it here since I used it before. I've never seen Just One of the Guys.

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    1. Thanks! Just One of the Guys may be hard to find. Not sure. It's a good lazy afternoon kind of flick. Classic 80s teen movie!

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  8. Effing Superbad is so awesome. That movie redefines teen comedy in the most perfect way.

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    1. I totally agree. It just doesn't play like a traditional teen movie, and the dialogue is way better than maybe any teen movie ever. Yet, it still has that American Graffiti/Dazed and Confused one-nighter thing that love.

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  9. It seems hard to make this list without Superbad.
    I haven't seen or even heard of your first pick.
    Mean Girls I resisted for a long time because of the Lindsay Lohan factor, and when I finally saw it for Tina Fey, I was kind of disappointed.

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    1. Oh, come on. Mean Girls is great just because Tina Fey is in it. And, no matter how much I can't stand Lindsey Lohan, I love her work in this movie.

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  10. Oh my GOD Just One of the Guys! YES! Haven't seen that in YEARS. 80s Classic Alert! Also love that Tim Meadows moment in Mean Girls. He's so great in it. But then, everyone is.

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    1. You got it, man! I'll never forget that movie as long as I live. Tim Meadows is a genius. Sad he's so underused.

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    1. Thanks! Totally cheese ball, but what's wrong with that? Right?

      I love Seth Rogen. He is a brilliant comedy writer, even if his screen presence gets annoying at times.

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  12. Superbad! One of my favorite comedies. McLovin is a legend!

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    1. McLovin!!!!!! "What are you an Irish R&B singer?"

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  13. Great choices! I've only seen Mean Girls. I'd never heard of your first pick, and I'd dismissed Superbad as something that wouldn't appeal to me. It seems I should reconsider that decision.

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    1. Superbad is a more male-centered teen comedy, but the writing is there. It is perfectly made and goes places teen movies never go. And I don't mean raunch, which it has plenty of, especially in the dialogue. I mean it really treats its characters in a real, and ultimately, sweet way.

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  14. Oh I think Just One of the Guys was one some top 100 teen movies by E! or something, that was I heard of it. Superbad is still on my to watch list.

    Wandering through the Shelves

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    1. Superbad is a must. Just One of the Guys is one of those that I just watched because it was on HBO. Then, I had to watch it multiple times. It's pure silly fun.

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