The Nine Faces of Dave
2002-03-31 05:30:09 (UTC)

falling down on the teen movie market

It's Saturday night, and I'm still sick. Spent most of the
day playing "Fallout 2," and actually made some progress in
it. Things have been uneventful.

I watched "Falling Down" earlier this evening. It wasn't as
good as it could have been. The concept was promising, as
was the beginning, but it became stupid as soon as the main
character started firing guns. I've seen a number of movies
that have potential but end up falling flat, like "Darkman"
and "Bulworth." Somewhere along the line, stupidity takes
control of the plot, hurting an otherwise good movie.

Maybe I'll go into filmmaking, just so I can make a decent
film. One thing is certain: nobody in the movie biz knows
how to make an intelligent teen flick. Or maybe they just
can't make teen movies that appeal to guys like me.

The real problem with teen movies is the representation of
people who don't fit the "Dawson's Creek" model of people my
age. In the movies, counterculture types are nothing more
than stoners, nobody is eclectic at all, all people with any
degree of techical proficiency are the same, and almost no
crossover exists between groups. On top of that, the only
people who matter in these movies are the captains of sports
teams, student body presidents, and prom queens.

What I'd like to see is a teen movie that focuses on people
who aren't always in the limelight, people who don't fit the
established norm, ideal, or whatever. That's why I enjoyed
"Freaks & Geeks" during its short run; it was a TV show that
dealt with more realistic, everyday people, instead of just
the Homecoming Court.

Here, then, are a few plot concepts that I think just might
result in some decent, or at least unique, teen movies:

- a role-reversed version of "She's All That." Instead of
the captain of the football team ending up with some artist
babe, some popular girl falls for some low-status guy. The
whole concept is laughably unrealistic, might as well look
at it both ways.

- a look at the actual phoniness of popular people. Case in
point: two girls will be talking and acting friendly, one of
them leaves the room, then the other starts going on about
how the girl who left is such a bitch. It happens regularly
in reality, folks, might as well make a movie about it.

- boy meets girl, neither of them are very popular, yet they
have something in common, and relationship develops. Final
result? Two lonely people find happiness with each other.
This is very unlikely to be made or to succeed, except maybe
as a niche film or cult classic-to-be. After all, everybody
knows that people who aren't popular don't deserve happiness
unless they're somehow "saved" by someone above them on the
social ladder.

Hollywood can go to hell. If nothing but drivel is going to
be produced, then maybe the major movie studios should shut
down for a few months while they find a way to make movies
that don't suck. Pardon my rant, but I had to get that out.

I've been sick since yesterday afternoon, though I'm feeling
much better than I was last night. The only good resulting
from this illness is a distraction from my other problems.
I'm too busy recovering to feel lonely or really care about
getting wait-listed at U of Chicago.