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For many of us, teen movies are something we have grown up with. The romance, the drama, and the friendships portrayed in these movies have us coming back for more. However, many of these movies aren’t good representations of teenagers. Whether it is because of unrealistic dialogue or the portrayal of toxic relationships, these movies can be a hit or miss. Here are four of my favorite teen movies that I plan to rewatch this summer.


1. Mean Girls (2004)

Mean Girls is easily one of the most timeless high school movies ever made. The film follows the story of a girl named Cady who attends public high school for the first time. Cady soon becomes involved with a clique of girls who are known as “The Plastics” at their school. What makes this movie so great is that the audience gets to watch how Cady’s personality and values change as she becomes more deeply involved in this group, with the added bonus of so many amazing quotes. 


2. Booksmart (2019)

Booksmart is a more recent film that follows two best friends, Molly and Amy, who are about to graduate high school. The girls have both spent the past four years studying to get into great colleges. When Molly finds out that everyone else at her school is going to as highly respected colleges as her, she decides that she and Amy need to go to a high school party while they have the chance. Although the format of this movie may seem similar to other teen movies (a group of outcasts try to go to a high school party for the first time), what makes this movie so great is that it defies the expectations associated with each character. They are all complex people whose personalities are revealed over the course of the movie.


3.The Edge of Seventeen (2016)

The Edge of Seventeen is about a junior in high school named Nadine. It portrays the relationships she has with her best friend, Krista, and her brother, Darian. When Krista and Darian start dating, she isolates herself from both of them and has nobody else to turn to. As everything in her life seems to get progressively worse as she begins to self-destruct, she finds comfort in talking to her teacher, Mr. Bruner. This movie portrays a very flawed character who recognizes that she is different from others, but doesn’t know how to improve for the benefit of herself and others.


4. Lady Bird (2017)

Although Lady Bird may not seem like a traditional teen movie, it is still a must-watch. The movie follows a high schooler named Lady Bird. Over the course of the year, Lady Bird goes through many friends, boyfriends, and economic troubles, but at the heart of this story is the complex relationship between her and her mother. Besides having great pacing and cinematography, I think the best part about this movie is the strong but flawed main character who we get to watch grow up throughout the film.


Amelia Thomson

Lafayette '24

Freshman at Lafayette College :)
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