There’s a part of me that feels Hollywood is in tune with my own, generation-specific, misfit wanderings.
How else could I explain the overwhelming appearance of Moldy Peaches songs in an Academy-Award nominated movie (Juno)?
Why would Seth use the Coen brothers to justify his adult film proclivities (Superbad)?
Why would an adolescent prescription drug peddler lean back in a chair and let loose out of his mouth the psychological fixations that bounce around in my head all day long (Charlie Bartlett)?
But it’s Nick and Norah that make me truly realize that screenwriters and young adult writers have forgone representing the majority of my generation. It’s a return to proper John Hughes form–glorifying the characters who will wait patiently ’til their mid-twenties to be remembered by their peers. These people are giving us a chance to be remembered now.
Kids that drink to get drunk are made to look like idiots in these films. Kids who don’t read are subjected to discreet verbal thrashings behind closed doors.
The heroes and heroines of these films are bookish, straight-edge kids with Supercut hairdos and pants that don’t fit right.
These kids are my friends. The girls (and sometimes the boys) are reflecting my movements, my thoughts, my thumb as it circles the pad of my iPod, pressing “Play” at only the right moments.
We are the quiet ones that don’t talk during class. The kids that get into college and spend their nights listening to Morrissey, relishing the quiet and imagining the possibilities of this open-ended new reality.
We go to concerts to scan the crowd through the sweat that falls over our eyelashes, trying to find the soul mates we’d never dare to talk to. That boy with the Decemberists shirt rumpled from dancing, his cheeks pink and that moment full of opportunity? Abandoned.
The difference between my life and these kids’? They step forward, ask the questions, make the occasionally desperate plea for a fake boyfriend. For just five minutes.
So they are the ones that embark on cross-and-across-and-back-and-then-across town journeys that leave them in this place where they have changed and are so different than when they started. They listen to immaculately-chosen songs in the seats of cramped, brightly colored cars. They smile at each other through crooked teeth and finish each other’s exaggerated exclamations of band love at the same time. They kiss in abandoned recording studios and giggle genuinely over extremely awkward fumbling.
They live the band love and the people love and the city love and hold hands in crowded and sweaty places.
These kids are so very different from me it hurts.