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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex in Media: Books, Magazines, Films, TV & More » Nick & Norah

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Author Topic: Nick & Norah
Heather
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So... I loved this movie. You can click that and read all about why.

Did you?

Whether you did or you didn't, did it feel real to you? What other films about teens or young adults do feel real to you?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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cool87
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Personally, I'd say the movie entitled ''once'' felt probably the most real to me or is how I'd perceive an ideal relationship to be personnally.

Other movies which come to my mind which also felt real to me are ''Georgia rule'',''The quiet'',''Loving Anabelle'', ''Thirteen'', ''The sisterhood of the traveling pants'', etc.

[ 05-16-2009, 02:34 PM: Message edited by: cool87 ]

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Heather
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I really, really liked "Once," too, but the male character in that film is my age, which is why I didn't list it.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Jill2000Plus
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I desperately want to see this movie, but haven't yet, the "girl having non-penetrative sex orgasm and not being expected to give the guy one in return" thing was what intrigued me, not that I don't think that partners shouldn't care about each others' pleasure, but sometimes one partner will enjoy being part of the other partner's orgasm without having one themselves and there are way too many films where a male character will try to make a female character orgasm in large part or entirely because they think this will get the female character to give them fellatio or have vagina-penis intercourse with them.

Realistic films about teens or young adults... Heathers is one of the better ones, but still not all that realistic. I don't think I've ever seen a movie about teenagers that didn't come off as either sentimentally innocence obsessed or pornified, or sometimes just glossily heteronormative, I love Clueless, and I quite liked Josie and the Pussycats and Bring it On, I suppose I could sort of make a case for Gremlins having a teen movie aspect, but none of them are particularly realistic (then there are those films like all the fantasy animations such as Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast which feature young adults but don't really explore being that age at all in any relatable way). I think television is much higher on realistic teen portrayals, they don't tend to have the same frat-boy or fluffy thing going on quite so much.

I'm not the biggest John Hughes fan, though I don't hate their teen movies or anything, definitely they were the best thing they did, before switching to tedious family comedies.

I seem to remember quite liking Slums of Beverly Hills (which I seem to remember features masturbation scenes and a first sexual interaction that involves communication and plenty of making out and other non-intercourse sexual activities). Hayao Miyazaki's Kiki's Delivery Service is realistic compared to most animated films aimed at family audiences and I definitely would recommend it to anybody looking for a film that offers strong female characters for young girls and boys to relate to, but isn't comparable to, say, Buffy or Veronica Mars, and for all American Pie did wrong, at least it actually mentioned the word clitoris, where as Buffy and Veronica Mars didn't, with most of the sex being very P-V, which is depressing as they are supposed to be feminist shows and American Pie... isn't particularly, actually, why is it that with the exception of Sex and the City (and even then all of the four main female characters still wanted intercourse to be a part of most of their sexual interactions) there are virtually no shows or films that feature women who actively request clitoral stimulation or prefer it to intercourse which I know can stimulate the clitoris but is far from the easiest way to do it for many women, it's never intercourse with one or both of those doing it giving her some stimulation, it's Rube Goldberg all over again, plus there are women who don't want intercourse at all, I strongly doubt that every female film and television actor, writer and director find vagina-penis intercourse to be orgasmically satisfying, I recognize that vagina-penis intercourse can be emotionally close, but so can other sexual acts... exasperating patriarchy. I will give a shout out to Scrubs for Elliot's obviously clitoral washing machine masturbation scene.

Sorry for focusing on the sexual aspect, it's just that that is a part of making realistic movies about teenagers (who are also more vulnerable to being bullied into conformity with societal narrative). I do think Hairspray (THE ORIGINAL) is an interesting film as far as exploring teen activism goes. East is East is good for exploring how younger generations cope with racism and the effects of religious fundamentalism and unthinking cultural fidelity on the part of their parents. Finally, Winona Ryder shows up again for portraying an assertive, adventurous teenager in Beetlejuice, which isn't particularly a teen movie, but which stands out in no small part due to her character portrayal.

I must seek out Better than Chocolate and The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love, I've just remembered.

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Always knock before entering my room when I am in there alone, as I may be doing all sorts of wonderfully thrilling things that I'd rather you didn't see.

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cool87
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I watched the movie yesterday actually with my teenager sister. I thought there was some long parts to it, some stereotypes that we get to see a lot in teen movies, like Nick's ex, but also that there was some interesting parts to it that were a bit out of the ordinary.

I liked the fact that it was the girl initiating the sex and that parts of it were awkwards, that both teenagers seemed nervous, it did seem real to me, albeit the fact that it seemed to be to be more about the girl pleasure because no other kinds of sex took place and was surprised that intercourse did not take place because that's generally what we get to see in other movies mostly when sex is involved. The sex also did not seem rushed which I think makes it more realistic.

I also liked the conversations they had, them getting to know each other.

But, the whole where's fluffy thing and the long trips kind of annoyed me and I was at some points during the movie eager for it to end, like it was never going to end.

Personally, it was not one of my favorite movies although I don't regret having watched it at all, I've seen better movies before like some of the one I linked you above. I just generally prefer movies that deal with bigger, thougher issues, dramas.

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Atonement
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I liked the movie, overall.

The drunk friend really got on my nerves though. It really makes you wonder why people think drinking is so "cool".

I think it would've been way more realistic if they were college age, or at least out of highschool for this reason: With the exception of a few mentions of Norah's dad's carer, parents were completely absent from the movie. I don't know about everyone else, but my parents and all the parents of my friends who still live at home would never let them stay out all night long. They didn't even mention Nick's parents, though it was pretty assumable he still lived at home.

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bump on a log
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quote:
Originally posted by Heather:
What other films about teens or young adults do feel real to you?

Haven't seen Nick and Norah, but when I first saw F***ing Åmål was stunned; I WAS Agnes at sixteen, except that I didn't get the girl. I had a similar reaction when I saw All Over Me, likewise Une histoire sans importance. Naissance des pieuvres and Amor crudo reflect a lot of my own experience as well. The History Boys is basically a filmed play and thus not all that realistic and not the world's best film, but its portrayal of unrequited homosexual love in adolescence and early adulthood struck my wounds from that so hard and directly that I almost couldn't watch it.

Yeah, so all of the films I've just mentioned are about unrequited homosexual love, in fact...Not surprising, given that that was my adolescence. Let me see, what realistic teen movies that I like don't deal with that? Well, En kärlekshistoria is very good.

[ 04-04-2011, 01:48 PM: Message edited by: bump on a log ]

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Jill2000Plus
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I recently saw Pump Up the Volume, and I thought that was a really excellent teen movie which inspires you to get out there and make a difference, but not in a clean cut kind of way, plus the soundtrack was awesome.

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bump on a log
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Forgot about Les Roseaux Sauvages. It's set in south-west France during the Franco-Algerian war but feels very relevant these days. More unrequited adolescent homosexual love, but what I most particularly like is the chaste, loving friendship between François (young gay guy with the unrequited love problem) and Maïté (young straight girl). Maïté says to the guy she first has sex with that she loves him back but doesn't want to live together, love doesn't require that, and they say goodbye and she runs to François and hugs and kisses him through her tears. Not many films recognise the value of friendship in this way.

Also, Mannen som elsket Yngve, which is based on a popular book I so far haven't been able to find. 17-year-old Jarle has a beautiful girlfriend, a cool best friend and a band, but everything goes topsy-turvy when he falls in love with male newcomer Yngve. More male bisexuality and committed, chaste male friendship, both things we don't see enough of in the movies; also, like Two of Us, an exploration of being in love with two people at the same time.

Mädchen in Uniform is from 1931, but again, very relevant still. This is exactly what it feels like to be a 14-year-old girl with a teacher crush; take it from one who knows. It's also about the damage repressive educational methods can do, and about kids standing up for themselves and each other -- which, more than the lesbianism, is why the Nazis tried (unsuccessfully, obviously and fortunately) to destroy every copy of it.

[ 04-07-2011, 07:42 PM: Message edited by: bump on a log ]

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bump on a log
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Having thought about it some more I'll include Sommersturm. Unlike the films I've mentioned above it's unrealistic in many ways -- the actors are too good-looking, everything's too clean, the plot's too neat, there aren't those hard-to-define little odd touches that make something feel real. There are some far-fetched elements and a lot of predictable ones, and also a lot of heavy-handed symbolism. But the core of the story is ... yes, yet more unrequited adolescent homosexual love, and it's done well. You see a lot of films in which Our Hero is a gay outcast with a female best friend and the hot guy he longs for turns out to be gay too, but closeted, which is a problem. Here, the hero is a jock, a clown, a bit of a leader on his sports team, and his best friend is a fellow jock, and also his love interest. The whole thing is hopeless from the start: the beloved best buddy is straight and in love with his girlfriend, and though up for hugs, play-wrestling and a spot of mutual masturbation, freaks out when Our Hero tries to kiss him. Our Hero, upset about this and because the girlfriend is coming between them, acts like a jerk towards his friend, trying to assert his place and get the affection he wants. I've done that in a much mousier way. It's what unrequited love does to you, and it's a facet of the thing we don't often see. Then, even though Our Hero finds a handsome, sweet, affectionate, sympathetic gay lad with whom he has sex for the first time, he remains in love with his best friend. You can't switch that kind of thing off. Watching his friend dance with the girlfriend, crying under a tree while the two have sex...it all felt emotionally real, even if the trappings of the story weren't realistic.
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bump on a log
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Recently, instead of doing the hundred and one things I need to be doing I've been absorbed in the Swedish TV series Eva & Adam, from 1999-2000. In the first series the characters are 12, in the second they are 13, so that counts I guess. Swedish TV has a tradition of making good children's mini-series focussing primarily on young (heterosexual, of course) love, plus friendships, parental divorces, siblings, schoolyard teasing and interests like music and sports. Eva and Adam get involved in theatre (for her) and guitar and football/soccer (for him), hang out with a same-sex best friend apiece, go swimming, celebrate midsummer with their families, and deal with the various problems of their relationship: do I like him, are we together, when shall we kiss, does he/she like someone else now, why can't we spend more time together? The whole thing is not particularly distinguished but nicely done and charming, and offers good insight into Swedish culture and into the gender stereotypes that are still hanging around.

I guess I'm so glued to it because I missed out on all that when I was that age, and when I was a few years older too. The first time I liked somebody who could potentially have liked me back I was twenty-one, and I went through feelings a lot of people go through ten years earlier. At that age I had no social life either: no best friend, no class parties. There are big gaps in my development from missing all that. So the series speaks to my experiences, but my experiences in my early twenties, not my early teens.

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Heather
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quote:
I think it would've been way more realistic if they were college age, or at least out of highschool for this reason: With the exception of a few mentions of Norah's dad's carer, parents were completely absent from the movie. I don't know about everyone else, but my parents and all the parents of my friends who still live at home would never let them stay out all night long. They didn't even mention Nick's parents, though it was pretty assumable he still lived at home.
I think that's cultural (and possibly also generational). Growing up very urban, I know that for me it was very common for any of us to stay out all night now and then. Sometimes parents knew and were fine, sometimes they didn't and you'd just figure if it was worth it to get in trouble when you did come home.

I tend to see similar with the urban teens I've worked with over the years, so I do think it still happens that way for plenty.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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bump on a log
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I've just seen a really good film about adolescence: ''L'effrontée'', by Claude Miller. It's where Charlotte Gainsbourg got her start, if you've heard of her. I don't think there's an English title, but I know it was released on DVD with English subtitles at some point. It's about a girl, thirteen years old, rising fourteen, and it's vividly realistic, it reminded me of a lot of things from back then: the humiliations in gym class; the mismanaged attempts to interact with much more sophisticated people; the existential worries -- "Life is sudden," she says -- that preoccupy you and exasperate your parents. Warning, though: there is an attempted rape scene, and though it's brief and not explicit, it upset me, so I'm sure it could be extremely upsetting for someone who's actually been through or witnesssed something like that, or who cares about someone who has.
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Gregory's Girl. Been meaning to see this one for ages. It's a Scottish classic, one of the best-loved British films. Simple story: awkward boy of maybe fifteen falls in love with a girl, who happens to have become a star on the previously all-boys' school football (soccer) team. The girls at the school, who are portrayed as far more socially savvy than the boys, get involved in various machinations so that in the end he gets with another girl whom he gets along with well. Lots of breaking down of gender stereotypes: not only the footballing girl, but a couple of girls seen in the science lab and a boy who's really into cooking -- great stuff for 1980. Lots of goofy-realistic touches. Some people will really take this film to their hearts.
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Heather
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I LOVE that film: I remember it from high school. I haven't seen it since, but as I recall, it also does a great job presenting teen guys as way more multi-dimensional then we tend to see in films, especially now.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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bump on a log
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Definitely. In the film teen guys are people with, you know, feelings and thoughts and stuff, not brainless heartless creatures with Only One Thing on their Minds. Incidentally, when we were all fifteen-sixteen, a (female) high school classmate of mine, who was and is a gifted creative writer, wrote a short play in which one of the themes was how teenage guys get dismissed, and how wrong it is. I remember being quite impressed.
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Lest anyone doubt that I spend far too much time watching movies, allow me to tell you that I've been discovering Maurice Pialat. A nos amours (To Our Loves) is the story of a sixteen-year-old girl (not fifteen, as a lot of publicity will tell you) from a fairly well-off Parisian family who thoroughly enjoys having casual relationships and sex with guys. In fact, that's the only thing that makes her happy. But she can't seem to make things work with the only guy she really loves, and who really loves her. She's very attractive, and her father, to whom she is close, and her unpleasant older brother, who is hinted to maybe be bisexual or even gay, are possessive of her sexuality, but she's not having it, even when they knock her about. It's Pialat: distant, analytical, even cold filmmaking style, depressing subject matter, but very good.
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