Apr 20, 2012

Friday Five: Teen Comedies Based on a Classic

I love teen comedies, especially the 90s ones.  I also love to make fun of them.  But some people like to berate teen comedies by saying they have no substance or they're too sexual or they poison the minds of youths or blah blah blah.  Well, fun fact: some of those movies are based on the classics you force them to read in school.  So HA!

Five Teen Comedies Based on Classics

1. Clueless
Yup. That valley girl you love and quote in your spare time and your busy time (I do, at least) is based on Emma.  Emma as in the girl from Jane Austen's Emma.  I've read two Jane Austen books in my life, and Emma is the only one I paid any attention to just because I wanted to see how it was possible that one of my favorite movies could be based on a book by an author I'd grown to detest just because I saw the ways girls acted about some old man in that other book I could never finish (similar to how some girls moms react when they read Twilight and think Edward is romantic, but slightly more respectable).  But it is.  It is spot on.  Obviously there are some liberties taken, i.e. there are no sophisticated homosexuals in Emma (unfortunately), but it's fairly close.  Even down to the creepy-when-you-think-about-it romance between a girl and her ex-stepbrother.  

My favorite part to quote. 

2. 10 Things I Hate About You
This one is based on Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew.  Oh Billy, you had such a way with the ladies.  Callin' em shrews. #Classic.  The plot: boy meets girl, girl isn't allowed to date unless sister dates, sister listens to indie rock and reads feminist books so she's INDEPENDENT and obviously doesn't need a man to tie her free spirit down, so boy convinces a rich boy to bribe another boy to get INDEPENDENT girl to realize she wants to date so that the cute sister will want to date the rich boy, but realize in the end that it's the first boy she wants.  I don't know why I shouted INDEPENDENT, but I felt I needed to get that across because the girl doesn't wear glasses, which is always the visual clue for girl who is nerdy/independent and doesn't need anyone else.  Some lines from Shakespeare's play are quoted throughout, but none are as great as the quotes from the principal.

3. Easy A
This one's kind of obvious because they say it in the movie about a zillion times, but this movie's influenced by Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, a.k.a. one of the most boring books about sex ever written.  Emma Stone, this generation's Lindsey Lohan, decides to help out a friend by saying she's slept with him, and then turns that into a nifty little business: lying about sleeping with guys to get some monies and social status. It's win/win until people start calling her a slut, so she brands herself with her own scarlet letter until she can come up with a way out of this mess.

4. She's the Man
Alright, this is the one movie on this list I haven't seen yet.  So I can tell you that it's loosely based on Shakespeare's Twelfth Night and that it starred a pre-retired and pre-DUI'd Amanda Bynes who crossdresses in the movie and gets away with it apparently because of her clear masculine features.  Kind of like how Barbra Streisand totally looked like a dude in Yentl.

5. She's All That
A guy bets his friends that he can make the nerdy girl into prom queen.  He gets her to take off her glasses and he almost succeeds. It's a more modern take on George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, a play that's usually associated with the musical My Fair Lady (which does not use Audrey Hepburn's real singing voice, fyi).  She finds out about the bet, but it's okay because we get to watch a ridiculously choreographed dance scene at the prom that is DJd by Usher.  Plus, they end up together because of course her weird, artistic ways teach him the true meaning of love and life, her glasses were just blocking those lessons in the beginning.

1 comment:

  1. I love your list. (New follower, by the way). I quote Clueless all the time as well. I read Emma and saw the movie. Can't really remember anything about it. When I think of She's All That, I can only think of Not Another Teen Movie.