What is this all about? Maybe you should read the READ ME READ ME.
March 10, 1996: coming of age
saturday i pretty much sat still and stared at a computer screen all day. so perhaps i should discuss the two movies i rented and watched on friday night.
teenage coming-of-age films have always been one of my favorite, if not my favorite, film genres. so, to treat myself, i rented two of them: "empire records," and "kids," and watched them both friday night.
i actually liked them both. here are the reviews.
"empire records" utilizes a standard good-versus-evil plot: the fabulous-looking teenagers who work together at a hip record store unite to help their hip manager-boss save the store from imminent buy-out by a national chain of record-store franchises. if the store's owner succeeds in his evil plot to turn the store into a musictown franchise, then the hip employees and manager will all be fired, or at least will not be able to wear their chic clothes and have multiple navel piercings if they wish to keep their lovely jobs.
one by one, the kids whom we, the audience, were to have originally viewed as perfect, face life-altering challenges and survive. even the manager, who doubles as the father figure, discovers himself.
why did i like it? the kids were absolutely adorable, the dialogue was "fresh" (in movie-review speak) and the soundtrack allowed for a lot of on-screen dancing, one of my favorite movie underutilized camp-movie-vehicles.
"kids" was a different flavor altogether. there was a lot of hype about kids when it came out ... some people gushed that it was "brilliant;" others screamed in terror that it was "misogynistic" and "evil." i read many an article that complained that "kids would never behave that way."
i disagree with all of the above points of view. i was neither overwhelmed nor horrified by the movie. i thought it was a pretty realistic portrayal of behavior of teenagers. the writer had the dialogue and style down cold. and, i did not find it misogynistic, since both the girls and the boys had a chance to express their points of view on screen .. and when they were not expressed, they were pretty obvious. if the female characters were more sympathetic, that was perhaps a consequence of the fact that they boys were for the most part simply assholes. also realistic.
the plot line, however, was a bit weak. like "empire records," the movie utilized a basic "good versus evil" script. one girl discovers that she was given the HIV virus by a boy who has a liking for "fucking (and then dumping) virgins." she spends the rest of the day seeking out this boy before he succeeds in infecting (and killing) another victim.
i enjoyed the movie for its view of new york city, its insight into teenage culture, and its honesty. yet i was not overwhelmed. it broke new ground, yet utilized a formulaic vehicle to get there.
still, all in all, two thumbs up.
so, that was my not-as-self-absorbed change of pace for today. guess we all can't be completely self-absorbed all of the time!
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Copyright 1996 Rebecca Eisenberg email@example.com