Written June 03, 2008
What a great movie! I laughed a lot, cried a little and found myself routing for these kids and truly praying that life is kind to them. It's the first movie I've seen that truly represents middle America and all the trials and tribulations of typical teenagers. It shows how families struggle with finances, mental illness, and teenage drinking. It shows how parents put an inordinate amount of pressure on their kids without even realizing it. It demonstrates how cruel kids can be and how they succumb to peer pressure. ...just a fantastic movie. GO SEE IT!!!!
Hannah steals the show....watch the trailer.
Which One Were You?
Written August 06, 2008
Alternately realistic and staged, hard hitting and irrelevant, slick and amateurish, the movie will probably play best among high schoolers, a demographic I left behind decades ago. But I was impressed by the imaginative animated sequences, which sought to illuminate the core beliefs and struggles of each cast member. Ultimately, though, my strongest memory of the movie is how often I was looking at my watch.
Written July 29, 2008
An accurate depiction of high school life. Although I graduated 13 years ago, the memories came flooding back.
American Teen is an excellent portrayal of the awkward, exciting and character-shaping years called high school. Great selection of students to profile. Well done.
Written July 23, 2008
This won a Best Director award at the Sundance Festival for Nanette Burstein. She's been able to get very open and natural performances from a bunch of graduating High School seniors in a small Indiana town: Basketball jocks COLIN CLEMENS (who needs a scholarship to college) and easy-going MITCH REINHOLT; well-to-do MEGAN KRIZMANICH (who was called “the *****!” by a lady to my right) & her friends GEOFF HAASE and ALI WIKALINSKA; nerdy video-game-loving band-member JAKE TUSING; and rebellious HANNAH BAILEY who hopes to be a film-maker. Some of the thoughts expressed by the people are periodically shocking in their bluntness (and lack of social grace), but it adds to the realism of the story-telling of their often-painful growing pangs. While the film is sometimes limited in giving a “full” view to their lives, there are a lot of fascinating insights into the relationships with their families & friends. I found the film well-done, & liked the story “post-scripts" during the end credits.
Written August 14, 2008
This movie brought back so many of the feelings of high school and adolescence. I am much (much, much) older now, but the empathy I felt for the characters with whom I identified was undeniable. Some of the portrayals reminded me of people that I have never cared for, but there were many having difficulties that were so understandable and common to most. I also enjoyed the way the movie was constructed with a bunch of interwoven sub-plots, all interrelated, but with different issues and feelings. This movie is all about a very tough time in life, the adolescent years. Peer pressure and parental influence on careers and choices abounds, as several of the players try to estabilish their uniqe individuality and strike out on their own. Just a very honest, genuine portrayal of one group of seniors and the complexities of coping and moving through a pivotal stage in life...