80’s Teen Movies

Posted by dean balog on Apr 25, 2011 in Uncategorized |

I believe I have seen every “teen movie” made during the 1980’s.  John Hughes made money on me.  It was a little weird, I mean after all I was in my late 20’s and early 30’s when those movies came out.  I was married, for the second time, and had kids.  I had a real job.  And a college diploma.

I think one of the reasons I watched all these movies was that I kept looking for the character I played back in high school.  I never found that character.

I moved to Chippewa Lake the summer before my freshman year, 9th grade.  When I showed up at Westfield Junior High, I was definitely the new kid.

I came in looking like a cross between San Francisco and London, or at least what the media was telling us what people looked like in those places.  As I recall it, most of the other guys looked like jocks or farmers.

Now, in a John Hughes movie, that would have set me up as the hip outsider, the cool guy, the guys all the girls would have been drawn to, moths to a flame.

Yeah, that didn’t happen.

Well, I was also a smart kid.  I pulled A’s and B’s without much effort at all.  That should have thrown me in with all the nerds.  But, I didn’t look the part.  And I really didn’t care about the grades.

Jocks?  Well, I had no completive spirit and considered myself way too clumsy.

Ah, wait.  I was “creative”.  I wrote stories, plays, poems.  Ah, in a teen movie I could have been the narrator.  The guy that wrote the story that became the movie.

Okay, I can run with this.  I need the female lead.

I have two, Bonne and Jeannie. (If you’ve put any effort in reading this, you know who they are by now.  Yeah, but if you’re a causal reader, then you deserve more explanation. Okay, okay, I’ll go with more explanation.)

I first met Jeannie back in Brunswick, in the 8th grade.  I knew her because a friend of mine, Paul, was “dating” her and another girl, Nancy Jo.  Being I was the creative guy, I fictionalized the lives of my fellow students and shared my stories freely.  Jeannie, Paul and Nancy Jo were a fun little subplot.

A couple of years later, Jeannie and my best friend Michael dated for a short while.  It was a long enough while that I became friends with her.  Surprisingly, after Jeannie and Michael broke up, they stayed friends and so our own friendship grew.  Jeannie was a beautiful girl, with red hair and freckles.  She was smart and she was funny.  No wonder I had a crush on her.

Now, see, that fits into a teen movie.  The guy is in love with the girl, but they’re friends so he stays in the background.

Yeah, but then there’s Bonne.  Another beautiful girl. She had long blonde hair and a great smile and laugh.  We hit it off right away.  We could talk for hours on end.  Not about anything in particular, just everything in general.

Okay, okay, Bonne and I did talk about one thing more than anything else.  It turned out to be the same thing Jeannie talked to me the most about.  They talked about their boyfriends.

Jeannie went through a couple boyfriends in high school.  They were all jocks, basketball players I believe.  They all seemed the same to me.  They were all a little too smug, a little too self-involved, all a little too demanding.  Jeannie was always supposed to be available for them, but they all had lots of things to do with their buddies whenever she wanted to do something.

Bonne had one boyfriend throughout most of high school.  He was a basketball player.  And he fit the mold Jeannie’s boyfriends fit.

So, we have the sensitive creative guy madly in love with two beautiful girls, two beautiful girls that are his closest friends. He finally tells them how he feels.

If John Hughes had written this, one of the girls would have seen the light, seen the guy was really who she needed and found she was in love with him too.  Or maybe, the two girls meet and find out he loves them both and make him chose.  And because this is a movie, the girl he choses really does love him.  Yadda yadda yadda, true love, fade to black.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t one of John Hughes movies.  Bonne and Jeannie really valued my friendship, but didn’t like me “that way”.

So…  so our lives moved on in ways 80’s teen movies don’t.  The movies of our lives were not romantic comedies.  They were dramas.  Granted, dramas with some very funny comic moments. (Well, at least my movie had them.)

 

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