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Weird Teen Movies
I’m sure you can find tons of articles and websites about funny, sad, great, awful, and scary teen movies, but that isn’t what you will find here. This is about those weird teen movies, with the weird teenagers that, oddly, many of us can relate to in some way (even though we would never be like that). These movies also remind adults of why they are so happy not to be a teenager anymore.
I’ll admit it: I was a weird teenager. Seriously. I had the nerdy glasses, wore men’s pants that I bought from thrift stores, and definitely marched to my own beat…except that my beat didn’t have any rhythm, so I really didn’t know what I was doing.
The movies listed below have to do with weird teenagers, and the strange things they end up doing. If you have a weird movie that should be added to the list, leave a comment in the box at the bottom of the page, and I’ll add it.
Welcome to the Dollhouse
When this movie came out in 1995, I was still a teenager. I appreciated the black humor, but it sure rubbed a sore spot with me, making me wonder if I was this weird. The main character is junior high student Dawn Wiener. If you aren’t sure what kind of movie this is, I think her name helps spell it out for you. At home, Dawn has two parents who don’t understand her, an older brother who is a nerdy high school student, and a younger, ballerina-princess sister. At school, Dawn endures teasing and bullying from other students, and is given a hard time by teachers. As the movie unfolds, Dawn finds herself in the beginnings of a romantic relationship, but in love with an older, cool guy.
If you are into dark humor, check this one out. I can’t guarantee a happy ending, but it is one quirky film.
View Clips from Welcome to the Dollhouse
This 2001 movie is adapted from the graphic novel of the same name. Enid and Rebecca are two best friends with a plan to move in together now that they have graduated high school. Neither girls buy into the traditional roles that teenagers are supposed to fit into, both expressing their status of being different in their own ways. Throughout the movie, it is obvious that Enid is trying to discover who she really is, and things get really interesting when she starts an affair with an older man named Seymour (played by Steve Buscemi).
This is one of those “No, you didn’t really just do that!” kinds of movies. It is different and weird, but in a fun, entertaining sort of way.
Watch the Trailer for Ghost World
Slums of Beverly Hills
This 1998 movie is about a teenage girl’s struggle to grow up in the 1970s with a family that moves from place to place like gypsies. Vivian (Natasha Lyonne) is starting to experiment with her sexuality, but her father has a hard time seeing Vivian as anything but his little girl. When Rita (Marisa Tomei), the daughter of a rich uncle runs away from rehab to stay with them, Vivian begins to learn more about the sexual pressures women face. She experiments with an older neighbor boy, but also struggles with the idea of stopping her changing body from blooming into womanhood.
This is one heck of a weird movie, and you won’t be able to predict what comes next. But, in a lot of ways, Vivian’s experiences are easy to relate to—she’s just a girl trying to grow up, but doesn’t have any guidance. If you need any more reasons to watch the movie, let me just say that the vibrator scene between Rita and Vivian is something everyone should see.
Watch the Trailer for Slums of Beverly Hills
This 2004 independent film can’t be left off of a list of movies about weird teens. The title character is, of course, high school student Napoleon, who is a hopeless underachiever. You will spend the entire movie hoping the kid can get his act together, but the boy is so hopelessly clueless about social situations that it just isn’t going to happen.
Napoleon does make true friends during the movie, including Pedro (who Napoleon helps get elected as school president with some awesome dance moves) and Deb, an equally awkward girl. This isn’t your typical teen movie, but I’m sure you can recognize real teenage qualities when you watch it.