It took Hollywood a couple decades to realize the value of the teen movies
niche, but since that time, the industry has been pumping out hundreds of
films aimed at teenage viewers.
Most teen movies revolve around the issues typical teens face every day – crushes,
love, school, drugs, sex, violence, friends, family pressures, goofing off
and growing up. In the world of teen movies, however, these problems and
concerns are handled in a more idealized or over-the-top fashion than they
are in real life. Characters are faced with conflict or difficult choices
that make them examine their situations and reach deep within themselves
for solutions. Throw in some mild sexual tension, a few laughs and a great
soundtrack, and you've got the makings of a great teen movie.
Usually showcasing all that is cool at the time of release, teen movies
add to their appeal by starring teenagers and hip young adults sporting
the latest fashions from clothing and hair to music and cars as they go
about solving their problems or figuring out what to do with their lives.
While some film critics are prone to overlooking the artistic value of
teen movies in much the same way literary reviewers scoff at whodunit-style
mysteries, there's no question that many of Hollywood's biggest stars got
a major career boost by appearing in teen movies. Who could forget John
Cusack and Demi Moore's performances in ‘One Crazy Summer' (1986) or the
trials of Elizabeth Shue in the 1987 teen comedy, ‘Adventures in Babysitting'?
Let's not forget Tom Cruise's breakthrough performance in the teen-oriented ‘Risky
Business' (1983), or Drew Barrymore in ‘Never Been Kissed' (1999)?
Teen movies will continue to be a hit as long as American teens, who often
have more disposable income than their parents, keep on demanding
more, and that's a good thing. Teen movies fill a gap in the world of film,
and in doing so, allow our teens to entertain themselves in a harmless way
that may even teach them something about believing in themselves and what
they can accomplish.