Inspired by Erin's post about revisiting movies she loved as a child, I would like to report that, after a shopping tip from Annie, I went to Target and purchased a 2-pack of Teen Wolf and Teen Wolf Too that cost me a mere five dollars.
Teen Wolf is just one example of movies about teenagers that I loved as a "tween"; one of many I'd beg my mom to rent at Starlight Video in beautiful downtown Holly.
Watching it today, I still have a grand affinity for it, much of which is probably comprised of its nostalgic value, but nevertheless, it "still holds up," as they say.
However, were I to watch it as a first-time viewer?
I doubt it would spark anything but snarky comments, a truckload of questions, and a semi-tremendous disgust.
Can't Buy Me Love.
I remember having recorded it from a tv broadcast and watching it on days when I was sick at home from school.
Before Patrick Dempsey was McDreamy, he was Ronald Miller, and I had a serious crush on him.
He was the sweet, sensitive nerd who just wanted to get noticed.
Having already felt ostracized by "the cool kids" at my tender age, I related to him.
I remember hoping I'd meet a guy like him in high school, and maybe he'd want to be my boyfriend.
Also, sadly, I remember being very moved by what is now a sentimental, vomit-inducing cliche: the "slow clap" for Ronald's cafeteria speech.
A young Seth Green as Chuckie Miller? Comedy gold. Still.
I had a hopeless crush on Corey Haim, having ripped several centerfolds of him from the pages of BOP and Big Bopper magazines for display on my bedroom walls.
And he is the undisputed star of this movie.
(Well, unless you count Charlie Sheen.)
Lucas was another sweet, sensitive nerd who captured my sympathies and my admiration.
I remember hoping the movie was exaggerating the cruelty of the high school bullies it portrayed.
Naturally, as is common in the teen-movie-o-sphere, all the meanies grow hearts and decide that the freakishly smart little nerdy kid is a jolly good fellow after all, and I bought it, and cried.
Watching it several months ago on cable, I admit, I was still teary.
The Breakfast Club.
I felt shocked by much of what I saw in this story, but it was always intermingled with appreciation for what I understood then as raw honesty and a refusal to sugarcoat.
I didn't see the characters as overwrought archetypes but as real kids, ones I might encounter in high school, ones I would have liked to have spent a Saturday with in the library.
I'm told that this story still resonates with people, and I can definitely understand why.
John Bender was the quintessential "burnout" (I'm thinking of reviving that term...who's with me?) who stirred up drama and treated people with cruelty, yet managed to remain somehow lovable, even to younger viewers like me, who probably should have found him scary.
When I watch these movies today, they still captivate me.
I am still thoroughly entertained, although my cinematic tastes have naturally evolved.
I now cringe at the cheesy heartfelt speeches I once found so poignant, the dopey dialogue, the absurd attempts at creating the "authentic" high school microcosm.
These stories, though, for better or worse, are etched into my brain.
I've chosen to believe that's not such a bad thing.