American Teen


“Documentary following the lives of four teenagers–a jock, the popular girl, the artsy girl and the geek–in one small town in Indiana through their senior year of high school. We see the insecurities, the cliques, the jealousies, the first loves and heartbreaks, and the struggle to make profound decisions about the future. Filming daily for ten months, filmmaker Nanette Burstein developed a deep understanding of her subjects. The result is a film that goes beyond the enduring stereotypes of high school to render complex young people trying to find their way into adulthood. Hannah Bailey is smart and beautiful, but a misfit in her high school. She is a liberal, atheist living in a traditional, Christian, conservative town and dreams of moving to California after graduation. Colin Clemens is the star of the high school basketball team–and in Indiana, basketball is everything. Colin is under enormous pressure this year playing not only to make his town, his school, and his father proud, but for a college scholarship. Jake Tusing is considered to be a nerd in high school. Though quite funny and charming one-on-one, he is painfully shy in group situations and crushed with self-doubt. In his senior year he vows that nothing will stand in the way of him finding a girlfriend. Megan Krizmanich is the student council Vice President and the youngest daughter of a prominent local surgeon, anxiously awaiting word from Notre Dame University admissions. Wealthy, pretty, smart and popular, she rules her high school–just don’t get on her bad side. When Megan’s peers challenge her authority, she can’t help but take action, even if it means risking her future. Mitch Reinholdt is an attractive and charming Varsity basketball jock with a soft side. When he puts his social status on the line, avoiding his popular friends for dates with artsy Hannah Bailey, he strains to maintain his reputation while discovering a new side of himself. “

To be honest I wasn’t sure what to expect out of this movie…I was thinking it was going to be along the lines of those corney and cheesey reality shows on MTV…but to my surprise I saw a movie that really opens your eyes to how brutal highschool life is/was to the typical American teenager. You’re either in or you’re out…bottom line, to use a reference from the movie itself, highschool has it’s own caste system and everyone is in their own category.

The point of the movie is basically just to follow your average teenager that resides in one of these caste systems and to document their Senior year. Each “character”, if you will, under goes some “crisis” within the documentary. Probably most memorable would be that of everyone’s favorite Hannah…who’s boyfriend of two years (her true love) sleeps with her and then dumps her…Hannah takes this very hard and misses about a third of a semester as she could not face her classmates. I would have to say my favorite person is Hannah…however a bit mellow dramatic towards the beginning you really see her evolve into a very head strong young woman…probably the most unique individual in her school.

I highly recommend this movie to anyone…I myself am not a huge fan of documentaries but honestly loved this movie…there are parts within the movie that make you want to stand up and applaud some of the decisions these teens make and also laugh out loud…overall I give this movie 3 martini glasses. Very well done and put together…a must see.

Well that’s my time mofo’s…until next time…see you at the movies!!!