Just an Excuse to Talk about Cute Guys in Teen Movies (Mary Strand)

This month, our blog topic is “book to movie.”

I’m guessing that this refers to the quality of book-to-movie adaptations, but since I really have no idea that this is IN FACT what it means, I’m going to talk about whatever I want to talk about ... which is movies.  Teen movies.

Zac Efron: why I love High School Musical
I loooooove movies.  I’m all about dialogue and action, in both books and movies, and movies let me absorb a ton of dialogue and action much faster than books can do.  The dialogue in movies, in particular, inspires me in writing my books.

What a Girl Wants?
The guy on guitar!
My favorite movies, especially for the writer in me, are romantic comedies: adult and teen.  But since this blog is all about YA, I’ll stick with teen.

If I do plan to read a book, by the way, I’ll do so before the movie comes out.  I think it’s wrong to see the movie first, then try to read the book, because all of the delicious details are in the book, as well as the way in which you view the characters in your mind.  Aside from that, though, I’m not a snob about books being better than movies.  Sure, I can quibble about details:  after ALL the time J.K. Rowling spent writing about Harry Potter’s GREEN eyes, why did they find an actor with blue eyes?  Obviously, Daniel Radcliffe must’ve been the best actor for the role, and that’s cool, but it was jarring.

Really, though?  Books are great.  Movies are great.  I see no need to choose between them.  Movies can’t provide ALL the details that books can, but movies give us visuals and often music.

John Cusack
Teen movies give us JAKE!!! (actor Michael Schoeffling) from Sixteen Candles, Penn Badgley from Easy A, the adorable English rock-and-roll boyfriend from What a Girl Wants.  Teen movies gave me, personally, John Cusack in pretty much every dorky starring role he ever played, like in Say Anything or The Sure Thing.  Andrew McCarthy: same.  (But Pretty in Pink doesn’t hold up to my current scrutiny, because he dumped Molly Ringwald but then told her that SHE didn’t believe in HIM.  Kinda hard to believe in a guy who dodges you.)  Oh!  Zac Efron in High School Musical?  Syrupy sweet but also swoonworthy.

One teen movie you may not have seen, maybe because YOUR daughter didn’t insist on getting and watching it, was 2010’s StarStruck, featuring Sterling Knight.  I mention this only because he’s not my usual type, but I thought he was adorable, too.  Okay, fine.  He played a musician.  That works.

Anyway.  Today, on this blog, I’m letting myself digress (intentionally, rather than accidentally, which is how I usually digress ALL THE TIME), because sometimes life is a little harder than usual, and it’s been a little hard lately, and sometimes even a grown-up girl needs a pick-me-up in the form of teen movies with cute teen guys.
Penn Badgley in Easy A

After all, why should teenagers have all the fun?

Mary Strand is the author of Pride, Prejudice, and Push-Up Bras and three other novels in the Bennet Sisters YA series. You can find out more about her at marystrand.com.


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