So, we started this five-week exploration of teen movies in the twenty-teens by watching “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” (2018), and we continue it this weekend by watching “See You Yesterday” (2019).
But before we launch into our second movie, I want to pause to offer a brief explanation about a couple movies I might seem to have left off the list. Yes, I had to make some hard decisions, but don’t worry that we forgot about a couple of your favorites. We didn’t and we aren’t.
Along with “The Fault in Our Stars” (2014) and “The Hate U Give” (2018), “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” is undeniably one of the most popular teen films of the last ten years, a decade that witnessed a (figurative) explosion in the genre of young adult (YA) and teen films. Unfortunately, since this series is only five weeks long, just watching those three movies would have taken over half our time here.
So, I’ve chosen the sweet romantic comedy “To All the Boys” as the representative example of these mega-hits, and selected a few less well-known entries for the rest of the series. That said, I’m assuming you’ve seen and/or read both “The Fault in Our Stars” and “The Hate U Give.” If you haven’t, I highly recommend both of them to you. While you don’t need to watch them immediately, you do sort of need to be at least familiar enough with their stories and themes to recognize the major teen movie tropes and themes they address.
For this past decade, “The Fault in Our Stars” represents the quintessential “dying girl tear-jerker” movie. Similarly, “The Hate U Give” is an essential film of the twenty-teens because it offers the most powerfully stark look at the current (though sadly not new) problems of racial prejudice and social justice. Of course those are both oversimplifications. The movies are about much more than those few things, and again you really should watch them. But in case you haven’t or don’t have time, those are the major thematic elements that locate them within the trends in teen movies we’re examining in this series.
This is important because a couple of the movies we are watching in this series seem to be responding fairly directly to those films. So, although we won’t be actually watching “The Fault in Our Stars” and “The Hate U Give” together in this series, we will still be including both of them, at least in our discussions about what’s been developing recently in teen movies.
Putting together a list of movies to watch was really difficult, and I had to make some tough choices. Please don’t think I didn’t include those other two movies because I don’t like them or because I don’t think they’re important. I do, and they are. Consider them an extended part of this whole media studies series.
Okay, that was a really long explanation of why those two movies aren’t in this series, but I wanted to put it out there so we wouldn’t have lingering questions. Those movies are fair game. Bring them up whenever you want.
If you haven’t seen them, well, you’ve got a long weekend coming up. What else you gonna do?