Magazine June 24, 2019, Issue

Booksmart: A Kinder, Gentler Teen Movie

Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever in Booksmart (AnnaPurna Pictures)

It’s a typical human mistake to assume that however the world appeared when you entered adulthood is normal and ought to be permanent, and everything else is weirdness or decline. In my case, entering adulthood at the turn of the millennium made me assume it was just the natural order of things for Hollywood to be making movie after movie about teenagers.

The now-vanished cultural dominance of the high-school comedy was established by two distinct waves of teenage movies. First came the John Hughes/Porky’s/Ridgemont High era in the 1980s, which terminated in the satirical savagery of 1988’s Heathers. Then came the

This article appears as “What Killed the Teen Movie?” in the June 24, 2019, print edition of National Review.

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