120 Greatest Teen Films

  1. Clueless – 1995
  2. Rushmore – 1998
  3. Dirty Dancing – 1987
  4. Heathers – 1988
  5. Grease – 1978
  6. Superbad – 2007
  7. The Hate U Give – 2018
  8. Juno – 2007
  9. Mean Girls – 2004
  10. The Breakfast Club – 1985
  11. Love, Simon – 2018
  12. The Last Picture Show – 1971
  13. Dazed and Confused – 1993
  14. Dead Poets Society – 1989
  15. Rebel Without a Cause – 1955
  16. Fast Times at Ridgemont Hight – 1982
  17. Lady Bird – 2017
  18. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – 1986
  19. Blinded by the Light – 2019
  20. The Harry Potter Series – 2001-2011
  21. The Edge of Seventeen – 2016
  22. Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure – 1989
  23. Easy A – 2010
  24. Say Anything – 1989
  25. American Graffiti – 1973
  26. 10 Things I Hate About You – 1999
  27. Back to the Future – 1985
  28. Moonlight – 2016
  29. Freaky Friday – 2003
  30. Welcome to the Dollhouse – 1995
  31. Pariah – 2011
  32. Stuck in Love – 2012
  33. 13 Going on 30 – 2004
  34. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants – 2005
  35. The Perks of Being a Wallflower – 2012
  36. Cry-Baby – 1990
  37. High Scool Confidential – 1958
  38. Submarine – 2010
  39. Yes, God, Yes – 2019
  40. The Lost Boys – 1987
  41. Anna and the Apocalypse – 2017
  42. Cooley High – 1975
  43. Some Kind of Wonderful – 1987
  44. If… – 1968
  45. Pretty in Pink – 1986
  46. Bend it Like Beckham – 2002
  47. Real Women Have Curves – 2002
  48. Love & Basketball – 2000
  49. To Sir, WIth Love – 1967
  50. Boyz n the Hood – 1991
  51. Sing Street – 2016
  52. Almost Fmous – 2000
  53. Juice – 1992
  54. Friday Night Lights – 2004
  55. Bring It On – 2000
  56. The Kings of Summer – 2013
  57. Dope – 2015
  58. The Half of It – 2020
  59. National Lampoon’s Animal House – 1978
  60. The Sure Thing – 1985
  61. See You Yesterday – 2019
  62. Divines – 2016
  63. Brick – 2005
  64. The Karate Kid – 1984
  65. Better Off Dead… – 1985
  66. Carrie – 1976
  67. Sixteen Candles – 1984
  68. Real Genius – 1985
  69. The Outsiders – 1983
  70. Ghost World – 2001
  71. Risky Business – 1983
  72. River’s Edge – 1986
  73. Rumble Fish – 1983
  74. Show Me Love – 1998
  75. Blackboard Jungle – 1955
  76. Hairspray – 1988
  77. West Side Story – 2021
  78. Prcious – 2009
  79. The Man in the Moon – 1991
  80. The Fault in Our Stars – 2014
  81. Holes – 2003
  82. My Bodyguard – 1980
  83. Less Than Zero – 1987
  84. Over the Edge – 1979
  85. Center Stage – 2000
  86. Peyton Place – 1957
  87. Little Women – 1933
  88. The Flamingo Kid – 1984
  89. West Side Story – 1961
  90. Lord Love a Duck – 1966
  91. Cruel Story of Youth – 1960
  92. Absolute Beginners – 1986
  93. Where the Boys Are – 1960
  94. A Summer Place – 1959
  95. Little Women – 1949
  96. Foxes – 1980
  97. The Miseducation of Cameron Post – 2018
  98. Boy Erased – 2018
  99. Speak – 2004
  100. Edge of Seventeen – 1998
  101. Little Women – 1994
  102. The Way He Looks – 2014
  103. East of Eden – 1955
  104. Palo Alto – 2013
  105. Little Women – 2019
  106. The Virgin Suicides – 1999
  107. Back to the Future – 1985-1990
  108. Scream – 1996
  109. Breaking Away – 1979
  110. Valley Girl – 1983
  111. The Way Way Back – 2013
  112. Skate Kitchen – 2018
  113. Maidentrip – 2013
  114. Whiplash – 2014
  115. The Blind Side – 2009
  116. Bowling for Columbine – 2002
  117. An Education – 2009
  118. Persepolis – 2007
  119. American Honey – 2016
  120. Licorice Pizza – 2021

Licorice Pizza (2021)

Licorice Pizza is a 2021 American coming-of-age comedy-drama film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. The film stars Cooper Hoffman, Alana Haim, Sean Penn, Tom Waits, Bradley Cooper, Benny Safdie and John Michael Higgins.

The film takes place in the San Fernando Valley in 1973. 15-year old Gary Valentine prepares for his high school picture day, when he notices 25-year old Alana kane, a photographer’s assistant and starts a conversation with her. She rejects his advances, but then later meets him for dinner and the two begin a friendship. Gary goes to auditions and appears in a variety show with Lucy Doolittle, when Gary’s mother says she’ll be in Las Vegas when she is supposed to take him to New York, Alana chaperones him instead. On the plane, Alana meets Lance, one of Gary’s co-stars in a Doolittle film, and the two start dating. but they break up after an awkward dinner with Alana’s family.

Gary starts a waterbed business with Alana as an employee and assistant. While selling beds at an expo, he is arrested on the suspicion of murder but is released soon after. When Alana decides she wants to try acting, Gary introduces her to his agent, who gets her an audtion for a film starring Jack Holden, directed by Sam Harpoon. After her audtion, she goes with Holden to a local restaurant, which Gary and his friends as well as film director Rex Blau, are paying for. Blau convinces Holden, a motorcycle lover, to recreate a stunt on a local golf course involving a jump over a firey ramp. A wasted Holden brings along Alana but she falls off the bike during the stunt. Gary runs to her to make sure she isn’t hurt while Holden performs the stunt and wreck the motorcycle, though he is unharmed.

Gary, Alana, and Gary’s friends deliver a waterbed to Jon Peters’ house as a gas crisis starts to take over the country. An irritated Pters leaves ro see a movie, but not before threatening to murder Gary’s family, specfically his brother, if they ruin his house. After setting up the bed, an upset Gary floods the house before leaving with Alana. They’re later flagged down by a furious Peters, whose car has run out of gas. They drive him to a gas station but when they arrive, he threatens a customer. Alana and Gary leave him behind. Gary stops and attacks Peters’ car, but they end up running out of gas too. The waterbed company ultimately fails because of the gas crisis.

Alana starts to work on the Joel Wachs mayoral campaign. Gary briefly joins her, but after overhearing that pinball has ben legalized in California, he decides to open an arcade. The two cut ties after an argument, where Alana pretty much calls Gary immature and he calls old in revenge. As Gary prepares for the opening of his arcade, Alana is invited to have drinks with Wachs that night. She gets to the restaurant and learns Wachs is gay after being introduced to his partner Matthew. He asks her to take Matthew home as a beard, despite Matthew’s obviously hurt feelings. Afterwards, apologizes to Matthew and they share kind talk. She goes to Gary’s arcade, but finds him gone, as he has gone to look for her.

This film has a sweet story, but the age gap is beyond weird, him being fifteen and she being twenty-five, but at least Paul Thomas Anderson doesn’t make it pedophilic, unless you count him seeing her boobs and them kissing, but at least there is no sex between them. But the fact that she is a woman hanging out with immature teenage boys is also weird. It’s like you want to jump in the movie and tell her to get some friends her own age. At times, Alana seems like a mother figure to Gary and other times, she seems just as immature as him mand his pals. Gary does eventually become very mature and a businessman and you are proud of him. Alana, makes poor decisions throughout the film, like wearing a bikini and heels to sell waterbeds at the grand opening of Gary’s waterbed company. Cooper Hoffman (Philip Seymour Hoffman’s son) and Alana Haim (of the band Haim), both of whom have never acted before this film, do fantastic jobs in their rolls as Gary Valentine and Alana Kane, definitely Best Lead worthy.

There are some things about this film that have stirred controversy, like the age gap between Gary and Alana, the fake Asian accent used by Jerry Frick, John Michael Higgins’ character can be seen as racist, the fact she never wears a bra and you can tell and the fact a fifteen year old boy becomes a businessman.There is also a couple of scenes that deal with anti-semitism. All of this controversy might make some people uncomfortable and/or offended.

The acting is great and the story would’ve been better if several things had been changed like the ages of the two main characters, the underage-ness of Gary running businesses and slight racism. The soundtrack is great, although Bowie’s “Life on Mars” doesn’t fit. The costumes are spot on 70’s, although you get see Alana’s nipples a lot, same as the cars and decor. I just wish the band Haim would have recorded a song for the movie, since they do often have a sort of Fleetwood Mac sound to them.

Overall, a very good, not outstanding film. They focus too much on Gary and Alana’s relationship and Gary’s business ventures and not enough on each others lives outside of that. I thought it was going to be more about Gary trying to become an actor and win over Alana as well, so that was a disappointment. I like the indie feel of this film and the era. This is better than most Paul Thomas Anderson movies, but not his best. I was so excited to see this one and when I finally saw it, it was not nearly what I anticipated. Good cinematography, excellent acting and awesome soundtrack, but that is practically all. 18+ 3.5/5