Being a teenager really can suck.
“American Teen” follows the lives of five teenagers–a jock, a popular girl, a heartthrob, an artsy girl and a geek–in one small town in Indiana through their senior year of high school.
Watching this film had me think of all of the stereotypes in my high school, and how these 5 on screen, are so interesting, but yet so real.
The film works well with keeping you glued watching, and interested at how real this is. These are how teens in the 21st century are, and although their not the brightest bunch, they still are human. And when I watched this, I just thought of all these kids, and how their stereotypes just ruin them, and they have like no chance to get anywhere away from that. This film does go a lot deeper than just the stereotypes that we see, and the challenges they face hit so close to home sometimes, its almost too real to be true.
However, the biggest problem I had for me, was that although i know this film is real, that’s without a doubt, so many ways I felt like it was scripted in ways, to keep the story interesting. Like moments where these two teens are in the hallway talking to each other about their feelings, just seems so cliche, that it honestly can’t be in a documentary. And also, I feel like the camera sort of takes away the reality from the situation, cause some people are sort of held-back to do, or say anything, cause they know their being filmed, which I hated, cause I just wanted to see a lot more at times, but the film just cuts right away from it.
The thing that keeps us most involved is the stories about these characters. The most interesting one was the artsy girl, Hannah, who’s liberal ways of living, make her like an out-cast compared to the rest of the small town of Warsaw. She goes through a lot of changes as a character, and watching her on screen, is just great, cause you really do feel like if you saw her in real life, you would probably hang out with her. The geek, Jake, has a good story because he’s looking for love, and it’s just sad to see how his whole love life pans out. The jock, Colin, has a good story on what pressure of sports, and a lack of a personal life, can do to you. But I wasn’t as interested by the heartthrob, and popular girl (Mitch and Megan)’s story. I didn’t find them a perfect fit for these other stories, and didn’t convey enough emotions for either of them to keep us glued on the screen.
Consensus: It’s not an amazing documentary, if you can call it that sometimes, but its entertaining, and provides a great deal of reality for people looking to see how teenagers act to everything they get in life.