Not Quite Teen Movies

Recent movies which don't exactly fit into the Hughes oeuvre, but which do, oddly, fit into the category of Teen Movies include the wonderful Donnie Darko, Garden State, and the hit/miss Butterfly Effect.

They're kind of like nostalgia teen movies - but instead of a "coming of age", the lesson is that you can't go back to your past - and the memories are never as good as you thought they were.

Often, redemption or reconcilliation are major plot themes.

Donnie Darko, of course, is a complete cipher in that the main loop of the film never actually happens in a real universe. It's all just a move to push Donnie into the position where he can die to close the loop that should never have been started in the first place. The universe goes back on course, and only the resonance of his actions remain.

It's also unlike Garden State and Butterfly Effect in that instead of the character returning to their past, Donnie is unaware that he's returning to anything. Instead, the whole movie is tainted as if looked at through a dark bitter glass. There is mold and mildew on the wallpaper, and the smell is dank, torrid, warm, spongy and wrong. Childhood looked at through a jaded adult's eyes - seeing all the things that you missed back then because you weren't as cynical. That's Donnie Darko. It's foetid. And I love it.

About the author

Simon Cooke is an occasional video game developer, ex-freelance journalist, screenwriter, film-maker, musician, and software engineer in Seattle, WA.

The views posted on this blog are his and his alone, and have no relation to anything he's working on, his employer, or anything else and are not an official statement of any kind by them (and barely even one by him most of the time).

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