» This Story:Read +| Comments

Suspended in Time

Why Can't Hollywood Graduate to a Bigger Picture Of High School Life?

Discussion Policy
Comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, July 27, 2008; Page M01

We're stuck in the library in Shermer, Ill.

This Story

Mr. Vernon pops in every half-hour to bark at us, set us straight. We're still a brain, a beauty, a jock, a rebel and a recluse, and we're not allowed to talk ourselves out of it. We glance at the clock. Half past 2008. We've been here for 23 years, since "The Breakfast Club" mashed high school archetypes into its crucible. We're still trying to figure out, first, who we are and, after growing up, who the high-schoolers of today are.

Now comes a movie called "American Teen" out this Friday. Not just a movie. A high-profile documentary, one that had the Sundance Film Festival crowd on its feet, cheering, in January. This is it, we think. This is the film that will sidestep the faux-realness of "Superbad" and "Juno," that will enter and capture the soul of the American high-schooler in the third millennium, that will show us the rawness of our current reality. So we zip up our backpacks, ready for deliverance from Dick Vernon's library. Instead, we watch the trailer and our hearts sink. Title cards are thrown on the screen between quick shots of student life in Warsaw, Ind.

THE JOCK, at the free-throw line.

THE GEEK, walking an empty hallway.

THE REBEL, painting, in a pink ski hat.

THE PRINCESS, on her bed, under an Abercrombie & Fitch poster.

THE HEARTTHROB, pumping gas, smiling.

Then the trailer, with big white letters on a black background, asks us this question, one word at a time:




CONTINUED     1                 >

» This Story:Read +| Comments
© 2008 The Washington Post Company