Sunday, January 6, 2013

Self Observational Sunday: Teen Flicks that hit a Perfect Pitch and make me Reminisce

Every time I watch a teen flick it makes me rethink how I spent my high school and college years. It makes me contemplate if my life would be different had I not been a Christian in high school or if I had attended a college with dorms? Would I have had more sex? Would I have had more memories?

Not unlike Chuck Klosterman in his book Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs I blame pop culture for this glamorization of everything I feel I missed out on. Klosterman blamed John Cusack for his lack of sex life… I blame teen films in general for time wasting “what if” scenarios. 

The latest film to completely captivate my brain is Pitch Perfect. This film is dumb by most film standards. There’s no real artistic achievements nor is the story hyper unique (it’s basically Bring it On meets Mean Girls plus Singing… I’m not saying that’s a bad thing). The film even made it to #8 on my list of the best films of 2012. However I’ve watched this film at least 6 times; well more than any other film released this past year… and I saw it for the first time less than two weeks ago.

Why do I love this movie so much?

I won’t lie, the music is a good element, but it’s not exactly worth watching the whole movie. I like the songs in Rent but I still dislike the movie in general. It’s also funny and quotable; but it’s not something where the jokes constantly hold up. By the 3rd time watching it many of the punchlines (granted not all of them) had already lost their comedic punch. 

The reason is that it depicts a world of college that I never experienced with characters I’d love to have known. It’s quite ironic that the first time I watched this movie it was with the people who I spent my college years with, yet I’m looking at this college kids and thinking “what if?”

Could I have gotten a girl like Anna Kendrick? Probably not. But then again… maybe? She’s not supermodel hot but she’s approachably cute. The reality is that I can dream about being leading man Jesse all day long, but in actuality I’d have been his geeky roommate Benji. Not necessarily a bad thing since Benji gets to sing one of the best songs in the movie (Magic by B.O.B featuring Rivers Cuomo of Weezer). 

Teen flicks have this power of us (or at least me). It gives us a vision of worlds we never would have experienced. This movie makes me wish I attended a college that had an a cappella group (although in keeping with the ‘I’d have been Benji’ theory I definitely would have gotten rejected) or at least a radio station (which I definitely would have joined). Perhaps this is anti-productive though. While all these things seem cool, I certainly have plenty of great memories from my college years.

I wish I could understand my obsession with these films. I love horror movies but only a handful of them can I remember the first time I watched them. I can remember the first time watching every. Single. Teen flick. The obsession began with Can’t Hardly Wait.

I saw Can’t Hardly Wait right after the last day 6th grade. For some reason I just felt more like a man that day. I wasn’t just some kid any more; I was on my way to the 7th grade. I was a man. That movie is/ was/will always be amazing. It remains one of my favorite films ever made (and it turns 15 years old this year… jealous I’m getting old). I even remember after graduating high school going to a small graduation gathering in the Valedictorian’s basement (yes I was the kid who was friends with the Valedictorian) and we watched it realizing that it still accurately represented our graduating class. In fact the only films that came close to being that accurate were the American Pie films.

American Pie more than any other film completely encapsulates the high school experience. Prom Sucks, Classes are boring and most of the time you’re thinking about sex. Sounds like how High School was for me (just with the added addition that I was a devote Christian at the time and fought back sexual activities to the best of my abilities --- usually I failed). I recently was told that I remind them of Jim from American Pie. Well… actually it was a mix of Jim, J.D. (Zach Braff) from scrubs and Eric Foreman from That 70’s Show… but whatever I’ll take it. The way I see it they are referring to my nerdy, hopeless romantic way in which I carry myself, however while I do see elements of myself in Jim. The Jason Biggs character I relate to the most is his character in Loser.

When Loser came out I was obsessed with it. It wasn’t a very good movie, nor was it particularly funny (David Spade has a great cameo but beyond that there’s zero laugh out loud moments). But I connected to that movie instantaneously. The reason? It gave me hope. I was Paul Tannek and I’d watch that film almost every weekend of high school hoping that come college time I could get a girl as sexy and sweet at Dora Diamond (the hottest character Mena Suvari ever played). Of course, my chances definitely would have been better had I not attended a commuter campus.

But I’m getting way off track. What I wanted to say was if you’re a fan of Pitch Perfect and want to hear more A Cappella check out Chapter 6. They’re pretty great.

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