In all American teen movies, the same completely cliché things happen and it must be said: it’s not at all realistic. French films are a little more realistic, but we always keep the caricature of the hooded teenager who says “it’s good mom let go of me” in advertising mode for the Yop. It’s time to set the record straight: the real teenagers are being hidden from us.
1. The popular hunk doesn’t fall in love with the girl no one likes
I know it’s unfair but in real life the popular girl never ends up with the mystery guy no one talks to and the popular boy doesn’t date the shy girl who stays behind. That’s why teen movies are so popular: they show us things that never happen in reality and it makes teenagers fantasize.
2. Teens are no more addicted to screens than adults.
In all the French comedies made by old people in recent years, teenagers are presented as young screen addicts who never let go of their phones while parents try to spend family time away from technology. In real life, adults spend as much or more time on their phones as teenagers, but they also watch a lot of TV.
3. High school students don’t have project X parties.
When you’re in high school, you have parties from time to time and sometimes it can even escalate a little to the point of breaking a vase or kissing someone you don’t really like. But it doesn’t go any further. Already, teenagers cannot go out as they want during the week because they have homework and, incidentally, parents. On top of that, what high school kid has enough money to buy so much alcohol and drugs?
4. No one has ever climbed a facade to enter through the window
In countless teen movies and TV shows, boys in love climb house fronts to enter through windows and leave an hour later. So no, nobody does that because it’s super dangerous and downright useless.
5. Teens spend A LOT of time alone in their bedrooms.
In American films, teenagers are always shopping, playing sports, hanging out with friends or having parties. The writers seem to forget that the average teenager spends half his life locked up in his room listening to music, playing video games, watching YouTube videos or series and generally hanging out looking at his ceiling.
6. Real middle/high school kids go through puberty
Only in the first season of the Skins series can we see true teenagers. They are small, they have pimples, they don’t know how to put on make-up properly, they have deplorable hygiene and they all feel bad about themselves. Even the handsome kids in the series are real teenagers and look nothing like the characters in the American version.
7. Stalkers don’t always have a super tragic backstory.
In most teen shows, the villains have a super tragic backstory that justifies their villainy. When you learn that your parents are divorcing or your best friend is dead, you feel pity for the mean stalker who put halfway through high school through hell. In real life, some people are just rude for fun.
8. We didn’t slam doors SO MUCH when we were teenagers.
In all the films where a member of the family is between 12 and 18 years old, we will inevitably see him slam the door of his room after saying that he was fed up with this family. So okay, we did it from time to time, but not every annoyance either.
9. Cheerleaders don’t have to be bad girls.
It’s a universal cliché: cheerleaders are superficial, hateful girls who are constantly judging others. It is in any case what we can see in all American films and it is a pity. In truth, girls who practice cheerleading are sportsmen who practice a lot and probably don’t have time for gossip. Of course, there are always exceptions.
10. The average teenager doesn’t look like a 30-year-old model.
I know it’s easier legally to hire major actors to play teenagers, but is it really necessary to take 30-year-olds? Whether in Riverdale, My First Times, Gossip Girl or Newport Beach, the actors are always far too old to play teenagers. And then we are surprised that young people have complexes.
So obviously, Gen Z has raised the style level of the average teenager quite a bit and that freaks us out a bit. When I meet super well-dressed 13-year-old teenagers in the street, I think back to the face I had at their age and I cry.