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Cliches of Teen Movies

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Its seems as if American culture is obsessed with sex. From music videos to commercials to teen movies: one cannot turn on his television without seeing a scantily clad woman or two people engaging in some type of foreplay. Even on game shows there is commonly a female co-host who wears next to nothing. Moreover, besides a pornographic movie or a special on HBO, one can find more than enough sex in a teen movie. These films contain teenage sex symbols who cannot act more than the "common man." Yet, it seems as if these movies are quite popular. They more often than not reach the rank of top selling movie at the box-office. Their success illustrates much about our society- we want to see sex and cannot get enough.

There are several formulaic characteristics of every teen movie. All of these films involve two teenagers of the opposite sex who "fall in love" with each other and describe their constant struggles in high school. Usually, the two lovers are extremely different from each other. Many times, one is popular and the other is a pariah or there are racial differences. The dating between these two individuals usually begins when one of their friends makes a malicious bet (in order to mock the unpopular teenager). The relationship is considered a joke until the two teenagers actually "fall in love." The movie climaxes when the unpopular youth realizes that a bet has been placed and feels betrayed. But do not fear! These movies ALWAYS end happily with the couple together. A perfect example of this is in She's All That where the most popular student in the school, Zack, makes a bet with his friends that he can transform any girl in the school and into a prom queen. His classmates pick the "nerdiest" girl, in the school, Laney, for Zack's experiment. Predictably, he eventually falls in love with the girl. However, one of his friends tells Laney that a bet was involved, and she attempts to disown Zack. Again, all ends well as they forgive one another and magically fall in love once more.

It seems that America craves these movies; from Ten Things I Hate About You to She's All That to Drive Me Crazy, teens have flocked to the theaters to see the same movie plot merely with different characters. Although these films do not contain much acting talent, their scripts are strikingly similar to those of Shakespeare. For instance, O is a modern Othello and Crazy/Beautiful



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