If there is one thing about my teenage years that disgusts me, it’s that I never got my big romantic ending. Just like the ones from the movies. Not one young man ever stood outside my window with a boom box over his head to proclaim his love for me. Or in more Irish terms, professed that he didn’t want to shift anyone but me at the youth club disco, while sweat poured into his eyes (deep down I knew he just wanted to reach around and touch my bum). Maybe this is why I cling to these classics so tightly. These movies are so far removed from what really happens in teenage life, but the escapism is addictive. And the older you get the more you need the fantasy. That is why there is no shame in being unashamedly engrossed in these fictional tales of 16-year-olds.
1.Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging
If there is one movie that defined my adolescent life, this was it. I distinctly remember watching this on the eve of my 15th birthday with my mother, who secretly wished that this would be the year that a mysterious, guitar-playing boy would magically appear in Listowel. Georgia, when you think about it, was entirely childish and selfish, but Robbie, well; he was what teenage girls dreams were made of. And who can forget his lilting London twang, “I can’t stup finking about yew Jo-Ja”.
2. A Cinderella Story
Lizzie McGuire and Lucas Scott together, is this a noughties dream? Well, it came true in this 21st-century classic. Hilary Duff and Chad Michael Murray joined forces in this remake of the classic Disney tale. It taught us many things including if you want to hide your identity all you really need is an eye mask. The greatest mystery is how he never realised who she was when it was so blatantly obvious. But who cares, that kiss in the rain is Oscar worthy.
3. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
This film is a dream. From the moment the story, which is based on best-selling books by Jenny Han, dropped on Netflix it has been making waves ever since. My twenty-something friends and I actually squealed when we discussed it. It has all the makings of a teenage classic. They’re all attractive, they go on ski trips where they kiss in the hot tub, and Aidan from Sex and the City is one of their Dads. Which is the exact same as any Irish secondary school experience, no?
4. A Walk To Remember
Dear God, I can’t talk about this film without tearing up. The redemption of Landon is a sight to behold. And they both didn’t deserve that ending. But that’s what Nicolas Sparks is there for; to make you horrifically sad about life for an hour. It’s a bonafide classic.
5. Pretty in Pink
This list wouldn’t be complete without a John Hughes classic. Molly Ringwald was the dream girl of the eighties and Andrew McCarthy was the King. There’s the rich and poor divide, questionable fashion choices and a super soundtrack. Plus, who doesn’t love Duckie?
6. 13 Going On 30
A great film to teach us that sometimes growing up is not so great, and hanging with the ‘cool crowd’ isn’t all that. It also made me want to fall in love with my childhood neighbour/best friend and awarded me a lifelong crush on Mark Ruffalo.
7. The Princess Diaries 2
I don’t care what you say, this is so much better than it’s predecessor. Chris Pine is a Greek God and Julie Walters should be the Queen of England. Again, this filled me with a false hope that I was secretly related to a random Royal family in a random unknown country.