Saturday, August 30, 2008

American Teen

A new documentary better suited for television viewing, this is the real "Breakfast Club. Directed by Nanette Burstein, the film follows a group of High School kids as they complete their senior year of school in Warsaw, Indiana.

As in "Breakfast Club", we have a jock, an outcast, a rich spoiled girl, and a misfit but these stereotypes are real kids with real dreams and real problems. The film works like most reality TV shows, taking us into their lives as they go about their daily routines. What is hard to accept is where the reality ends and where the manipulation begins. Just how much of what we are seeing is unscripted becomes the question.

While a bit long (2 hours), the film's subjects win us over as we cheer for them, cry for them and root for our favorite teen. There are lessons to be learned, love won and lost and basketball games to win.

I imagine an inner-city version would give us a different cast of characters but every school contains these stereotypes. Stay for the credits as each major teen gets their own epilogue.

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