To recap on Tuesday, I posted part one of this duology focusing on what movie I would pass down to the current youth as they come of age. Part one primarily focused on movies targeted to young children. Part two of this duology will focus on movies targeted to teenagers/young adults.
I only first watched The Apartment this past December, but wow have I fallen completely in love with it. It’s such a charming film for subject matter that can get quite dark. But I think it’s the perfect introduction into Billy Wilder’s discography for a teenager diving into it.
Once again I only saw Rocky for the first time as a teenager a few years ago. I probably would have preferred to have grown up watching Rocky as a kid, but then again I probably wouldn’t have appreciated it as much as I do now. I think the teenage years are probably the best time to begin this wonderful franchise to truly absorb the impact it’ll leave on you.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off alongside Home Alone is probably the only John Hughes I would personally recommend to the kids. No offense to his other films, but these are by far his movies that have aged the best by today’s standards. Not only that but they also just so much fun and entertaining to watch.
Paris Is Burning
I’ll refer to my Letterboxd review for this one. Paris Is Burning should be mandatory viewing in all schools. This is apart of LGBTQ+ history and everyone should be mandated to view it at least once. Maybe instead of growing up confused or hateful about the community, just maybe they’ll be a little bit more understanding and not so willing to pass judgment.
I hate to say it, but the public school system will probably still be as terrible as it is now in a few years. I don’t trust them to educate the kids about Malcolm X at least not in the way they should, so of course, I recommend getting the kids to watch the movie about him as it will probably teach more about the man than the public school system ever will.
I’m biased, I would sneak Before Sunrise into any list if I could. It’s my favorite romance movie of all time and part one of my favorite trilogy of all time. I do think it’s an important watch during these developing years because it’s such a healthy depiction of falling in love for the first time. That’s so important for teens to see before they themselves fall in love.
Mission Impossible is the perfect introduction to the 80s and 90s action movie genre that will open the floodgates for more like Speed, Terminator, Die Hard, etc.
10 Things I Hate About You
If you’re gonna show a teenage romantic comedy it better at least be the best one. There’s something there for everyone. It’s funny, sweet, and if they are anything like me it will instantly become a rewatch staple in their home.
I do believe that The Incredibles and Sky High should totally be baby’s first superhero movies. But they will eventually find Marvel and DC. And when that happens Spiderman has to be the first real superhero movie they watch. It’s a classic that holds up for the most part and every teen should experience watching it at least once.
Ah, the classic Freaky Friday trope. They’ll be seeing that in plenty of media including television. It’s better to get them to familiarize them with the trope by having them check Freaky Friday. It such a rewatchable movie that will entertain them for the years to come.
13 Going On 30
The childlike innocence with the charismatic performance by Jennifer Garner makes 13 Going On 30 an adore to watch. It such a timeless film.
It’s Mean Girls, do I really have to explain why teenagers who have never seen it before should watch it immediately? It’s such a piece of pop culture that I can’t imagine how you could go without watching it at least once.
I’m a massive horror fan, so I would like to show kids some horror movies to get them started early. But of course, you don’t want to truly frighten them that’s where Coraline comes in. It genuinely scared me as a kid, but it was also left me wanting to watch more in the genre.
When they are ready for more horror movies then Jennifer’s Body is the logical next step. It doesn’t take itself to seriously, it won’t scare the kid for life, and it’s pretty funny and it has plenty to say about being a teenager.
Scott Pilgrim vs The World
I didn’t love Scott Pilgrim vs The World, but I probably would have been if I have watched it sooner with no expectations. It’s a delight to watch when you aren’t going into it expecting anything. All ages would love it, but teenagers would probably relate to it most.
The Social Network
The Social Network is one of my favorite movies of all time. And Facebook has ruled the world and probably will continue to do so, The Social Network would be a great starting point for understanding how the titan of Facebook came about.
As a teenager, our mental health sometimes goes unnoticed by us and society. That’s why movies like Inside Out are so important to see on screen. A movie telling its young audience it’s okay to be sad sometimes. It’s okay not to be happy all the time. The more we enforce that ideology into our society maybe we’ll start to actually believe it.
Love, Simon doesn’t reinvent the wheel of the teenage romantic comedy, but it makes it an LGBTQ+ romantic comedy that makes it such a vital film for all the youth to watch. To see themselves portrayed on screen.
Blindspotting doesn’t preach what racism in American looks like. It doesn’t spoon-feed it to the audience. It instead depicts one story and the audience gets to decide what to take away from the film. It’s an incredibly moving film that all kids, teenagers, and adults should make time to watch.
The Hate U Give
The final film of this list is The Hate U Give. While Blindspotting showcases adults handling racism, but The Hate U Give portrays how teenagers deal with the consequences of racism. Whether it be from the police, their community, or even friends. It’s a painfully relatable film for teenagers. Well worth a watch when they are ready for it.
What were your favorite movies you watched during adolescence? Comment them down below.