Putting Teen Classics to the Test

Are these teen classics really all that good?


photo by Melina Tripoli

Melina Tripoli, Staff Writer

Over the course of my time in high school, I have heard from other teenagers, adults, teachers, and even websites that certain high school movies are must-sees. I decided to put three of these movies to the test to see if I really consider them a teen classic or just another ordinary flick.


Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

To start this movie marathon, I watched Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

The opening is great. Had the director just started with Ferris staying home and not going through the whole act of fooling his parents that he was sick, the first few minutes of the movie would be less enjoyable. Also, I love the opening monologue that actor Matthew Broderick performs for us. It’s unique, and I just love how random it is because we are following him as he gets ready for the day while also introducing us to himself and some of the other characters.

Another thing I liked that the director did was going back and forth between Ferris, students at school, and the principal trying to catch Ferris. It gives us more perspective of what others are doing and thinking and not just Ferris’ point of view. 

Not only do they jump between different characters, but they also give Ferris lines that make us feel like we are there because he is talking directly to us. It looks like time has been frozen or that no one hears him except us, but he looks directly at the camera and talks to us like we are there. 

This movie is funny and can easily put a smile on your face. I would definitely recommend it, and I have no hesitation in deeming it a classic. 


Bring It On

Continuing this list of classics is the iconic cheerleading movie Bring It On. I’ve heard many people rave about this movie and Ariana Grande even used scenes in her music video “Thank U, Next”, so I figured this must be a teen classic that is a must-see. 

I will give the movie this: it was a lot better than I ever expected a movie about cheerleading to be. Obviously nothing against cheerleaders, I just didn’t know what the movie would be about and how they would do it. Usually with movies about cheerleading, dancing and even singing can go one of two ways. They can be amazing or they can fail. This movie was very close to amazing in my opinion. 

A big pet peeve of mine when I watch movies about high school is seeing athletes or cheerleaders wearing their uniforms everywhere every day. I’ve never seen a single soccer player, cheerleader, or football player wear their uniform, unless it’s a game day. Even then, it’s not every game. So when this movie started, I was all ready to see these cheerleaders and all the jocks wearing their uniforms, but when we get to the first day of school I see everyone in normal clothes. The only time I really saw characters wear a uniform was during their competitions or football games. I can’t even begin to explain how happy that made me. 

Also, another thing I really liked was how they made the cheerleading team the best team and the football team the worst.  I find it boring when I see the same sport always winning, so to see a movie with an unexpected team being the best was refreshing. 

There were scenes in Bring It On that I found unnecessary and really didn’t understand why they put it in, but overall I think the story and the way they filmed it was very good. I would have to say the cheerleading competitions were my favorite to watch along with the scenes with Torrance and Cliff. But in the end, I’m not sure if I would call this a classic, though it is very close. 


A Cinderella Story

The final movie I watched was the popular A Cinderella Story, starring Hilary Duff. Now, I have watched this many times and. out of every single modern Cinderella retelling, this one is always my favorite.

One thing off the bat that I have never liked was how they made the stepsisters stupid and do weird things. I feel if they made the movie with normal sisters who would act like normal teens and not have them act so weird the movie would be more realistic. Yes, I know they need to be evil, but that doesn’t mean they have to act weird. I will say, though, I liked how they have the twins always dressing similarly. Their hair is almost always in the same hairstyle, and they wear the same clothes but in different colors. 

Also, the biggest question that I want an answer to is why no one realizes it’s her when she is wearing the mask. The mask was only covering her eyes, so how does no one recognize it was her under there? Was her hair, her body shape, and the way she talked not enough to recognize her when she didn’t have it on?

To end the movie, they finally have Sam, the main character, stand up for herself. She finally defies her evil stepmother and confronts her fears straight on. She quits her job at the diner and moves out of the house. It was a perfect way to end the movie and deliver the big message: Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game. In the end, this movie is still amazing and definitely deserves to be called a classic.