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Can A Movie Define a Generation?

11 · 02 · 16

Each generation makes it’s mark in the world, in economics, science, and yes in the movies. These are called “coming of age” movies. Some think these movies can define a generation. I’d rather like to think that the movies I grew up watching influenced or reflected us rather than rubber stamped us as DEFINED.

My generation had boob fest movies like Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Porkies 1, 2 and 3, Revenge of the Nerds, The Last American Virgin, etc. but we also had Raiders of the Lost Ark, Terminator, Rambo, Star Wars, but neither of these genres defined us.  Some of these movies taught me all the wrong things while other movies taught me just enough to believe for better things.

If my generation is the summation of the movies I described, I’d like to sincerely apologize to the world. I’d like to think we were more than sex crazed idiots who liked to get drunk, blow stuff up, and live in a compete fantasy world where laws do not matter. I;d also like to think that we’ve grown out of that and into somewhat respectable adults. I can only speak for me of course. I’d like to think every young person is more than a bag of hormones and a death wish. I think this was true of  me, but only a few saw it; while adults saw the ads for these movies just nodded their head in agreement and thought that was the definition of me.

Critics, and others, try to tell us that movies can define a generation. I think movies can reflect a generation, but to define it?  The movie Edge of Seventeen, is described as a “coming of age movie” and in another trailer “every once and a while a movie defines a generation”. I laugh when the announcer says “classics like Mean Girls, Clueless, and Fast Times At Ridgemont High”. I apologize who disagree with me but I would not define these movies  as classics. I mean if Edge of Seventeen is a classic or defining movie of this generation, shouldn’t we be very very afraid?

I don’t believe movies can define a generation who’s having a difficult time defining itself; or for better or for worse, that don’t want to be defined at all. I won’t define a teen for their movie tastes if they won’t judge me for mine and I certainly won’t define them by it. Teens are better than how movies portray them and we have to keep telling ourselves that or we’ll have to lower our expectations so far we’d have to dig a hole.

Are there movies that have literally defined a generation? If so, what do you think they are and why do you think it defined them?

Caution, video is NSFW (not safe for work)


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