Movie Throwback

Old, Underrated Films That Today’s Teens Should See


Graphic By Kaley Johnson

Movies can have a long-term effect on a person even years after seeing them. The story and characters have a way of speaking to an audience in many different ways that you may have never thought about before.

Kaley Johnson, Reporter

Movies can have a long-term effect on a person even years after seeing them. The story and characters have a way of speaking to an audience in many different ways that you may have never thought about before. A true appreciation for movies started to develop during the 70s and 80s with the appearance of action movies, such as Jaws and Indiana Jones, and movies of the horror genre, such as The Exorcist and ET. Important movies that were meant to highlight the struggles of growing up and learning about the differences of others also came to light during this time, these aimed more at a younger age group. Here are five old movies that are still relevant to today’s teens.

“Edward Scissorhands” (1990)

A weird, classic by Tim Burton, “Edward Scissorhands” tells the story of Edward, a man who wound up with scissors as hands as the unfinished project of a scientist. Edward is taken into a family and society as an outcast with a gentle and artistic soul just trying to fit in. This movie hits odd humor, drama and fantasy all while successfully weaving together a heartwarming and heartbreaking story. In the first few minutes, the audience will fall in love with Edward and his personality and will end up cheering for a lost soul the whole entirety of the movie.

“My Girl” (1991)

A wonderful coming of age story, “My Girl” tells the story of eleven-year-old Vada and her relationships with her father, her father’s girlfriend and her best friend Thomas. With no mother and her father running a funeral home, Vada grows up surrounded by death and Vada develops a fearful fascination with the deceased and struggles to create relationships with people. This being probably the most tear-jerking movie on this list, there is a disturbingly familiar tone throughout the entire movie as we realize how much we can relate to the struggles of both Vada and Thomas, which builds up to the events of the end of the movie causing both a painful and cathartic feeling every time you hear the well-known Temptations song “My Girl” used in the movie.

“Can’t Buy Me Love” (1987)

Starring a young Patrick Dempsy, “Can’t Buy Me Love” tells the coming of age story about nerdy student, Ronald Miller, who, after paying for a new version of her mother’s designer clothes that she ruined, gets his crush, Cindi, to pretend to be his girlfriend in return for one month in order to increase his social standing during senior year. As time passes, Ronald’s newfound popularity goes to his head and he eventually ditches his old friends while Cindi realizes she may genuinely like the nerd she met before it started. Named after the forever iconic Beatles song, this movie teaches teens that social success isn’t everything, especially when you have people that care about you despite your differences.

“She’s All That” (1999)

Another movie highlighting the unimportance of teenage popularity, “She’s All That” follows popular high school senior Zach as he accepts a challenge to make one of the most unpopular girls in school, Laney, prom queen in only six weeks, in order to show that he still has the status he once did. As both of their worlds mix, they begin to realize that they have more in common than one would’ve thought and learn that they don’t need to subject themselves to something to enjoy life: In Zach’s case, constant popularity and relevance and in Laney’s case, her tendency to distance herself from others for fear of getting hurt.

“A League of Their Own” (1992)

“A League of Their Own” follows the fictional story of sisters Dottie and Kit, as they participate in the historical all women’s baseball league that was created during WWII when most men were fighting in the war. With an all-star cast, that includes Tom Hanks, Rosie O’Donnell and Madonna, this movie hits many important points such as female empowerment and rights, as well as the value of family during hard times. It’s also a tear-jerker while being hilarious at the same time which makes the movie a success. Most definitely my favorite movie on this list, “A League of Their Own” pertains less to the life of a high schooler and more towards a movie that helped inspire the feminist movement that continues today and also the importance of family.

Old movies are a great way to throwback with some friends and experience something you’ve never seen before. It’s always fascinating to discover what was important then and what is still relevant today so next time you plan to watch the same Avengers movie for the fifth time, check out what else you can find from back in the day instead.