They're the movies we grew up with--the ones that have stood the test of time. They've bridged the generational gap to be appreciated by new audiences, and whenever we find them on television, we're instantly transported back to another time and place. So, let's take a look at a sampling of some of those movies.
First Stop...the 80's: Even if you didn't sport poofy, Aquanet sprayed Jersey hair, wear stirrup pants with Coke shirts, or check the time on your Swatch watch, you probably still appreciate the majesty of 80's teen flicks, especially those of John Hughes who gave us Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Pretty in Pink, Weird Science, Uncle Buck, & Some Kind of Wonderful. Who didn't squeal when Jake Ryan showed up at the wedding to sweep Samantha off her feet, or who hasn't felt the angst of poor Duckie who loves a girl who only sees him as a friend? Not to mention who wouldn't love to runaway for the day and take over a city like Ferris Bueller.
Want a literary look at your favorite John Hughes's movies? Then check out the following.
In Don't You Forget About Me, twenty contributors pen essays on everything from late infatuations with Ferris Bueller, many, erm, biological factors of Weird Science, to ultimate fangirl/boy experiences with Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, and Pretty in Pink.
Or there's You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried that complies interviews with twenty actors as well as the directors and producers behind the Brat Pack's memorable movies like The Breakfast Club, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, St. Elmo's Fire and Ferris Bueller's Day Off. As Gora, the author, puts it, "These films changed the way young people related to everything from class distinction to friendship, from love and sex to fashion and music."
Did you know that Brat Pack member Ally Sheedy has ties to the literary world herself? Not only is her mom literary agent Charlotte Sheedy of Sterling Lord Literistic, but at twelve years old, Ally penned the NY Times best seller, She Was Nice to Mice. She's also written a book of poetry called Yesterday I Saw the Sun
Hopping Over to Hogwarts With Harry:
Not since the late 70's Star Wars Trilogy premiers have opening days grossed such megabucks, but also brought a book series to life for so many people. What else but a love of a great series would get you to venture out to Midnight Showings, thus keeping you out late in lines that often wrap around a theater. Midnight showings are more than just a film experience considerng you can find people dressed as anyone from Harry to Hermoine even Dobby. But it's not just in midnight showings that Harry Potter has the ability to unite families; it can happen at anytime of the day or year. Just like Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint have grown up before our very eyes, many moviegoers have gone from children to teens in the span of the decade long movie series.
Mania of Mean Girls:No list of movies that defined a generation would be complete withoutMean Girls. Why? Because it brought the term "mean girl" as well as "Queen Bee" into the pop culture lexicon. It can also been seen in books like the Clique series, Some Girls Are, Blair in Gossip Girl, and Dominque in Jumped.
And while the film took a satirical look at the mean girl experience, one cannot discredit and downplay the seriousness of the subject matter, especially in light of the suicide's of teen girls who were bullied to death.
If you want some nonfiction based reading on the "mean girl" culture, then click on the following book covers.
Imitation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery:And just like snarky MC's have defined a lot of YA literature, the millennium brought us snark movies to parody the high school experience captured in so many films and books. One of the best is Not Another Teen Movie, which highlights 80's films like Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club, along with 90's movies like Cruel Intentions, She's All That, American Pie, 10 Things I Hate About You, Varsity Blues, & Can't Hardly Wait. And you also need to check out the soundtrack because it's awesome and features some great updated 80's cover songs.
PS. If you're ever worried about contemporary cliche's in your novel, you should check this one out!
And yes, no collection of movies that shaped a generation would be complete without a look at Twilight. Yep, that's right. We went there. After all, the Twilight series is a phenomenon around the globe, and it got a lot of reluctant readers reading. Like Harry Potter, its fan base bridges the generation gap.
Must see Twilight Sites:
TWITARDED: an absolutely HILARIOUS parody site that goes behind the movies and books for full on RPatz and KStew obsession.
The HillyWood Show: the Hindi sisters, Hannah and Hilary, are actors, directors, and producers in this show that not only parodies Twilight,
Twilight Moms: This site caters to the older Twilight fans. And the forums have all sorts of book and movie conversations going on. They also get press access to do interviews with the cast members. And a really cool thing about this site is they try to give donations to charity.