“Dear Diary, my teenage angst b-llsh-t now has a body count.”– Veronica Sawyer (Winona Ryder), Heathers
One of the best lines ever uttered on film reminds us that the teen years are no joke. There’s already so much anxiety and dread in the world right now that I truly feel for my friends who have teenagers or young adults in their family. I cannot imagine piling a pandemic, a quarantine, remote schooling, social upheaval and a divisive presidential election on top of the hormones and drama that phase of life typically brings.
But movies can both help parents empathize with the teens and 20-somethings in their families while also reminding young adults that they aren’t alone in their feelings. Here are 5 new-to-Redbox movies that fit the bill!
After We Collided – This sequel to 2019’s After continues the story of the tumultuous relationship between Tessa Young (Josephine Langford) and Hardin Scott (Hero Fiennes Tiffin). Both films are based on best-selling YA novels by Anna Todd. This sequel has all the college teen problems like unsupervised parties, a love triangle, and yes, the ghosts of past relationships coming back to haunt you.
The Broken Hearts Gallery – Produced by Selena Gomez, this cute romantic comedy stars Geraldine Viswanathan as Lucy, a 20-something art gallery assistant in New York who makes a pop-up exhibit out of things her exes have left behind. And yes, it’s more than just your exes’ hoodie that you’ve had for five years that you refuse to get rid of.
Words on Bathroom Walls – This is not your stereotypical teen love story. It’s about a high school senior (Charlie Plummer) with mental health issues, and how he struggles to form a relationship with a girl he has his eye on (Taylor Russell) while also dealing with his changing family dynamic. It’s beautifully acted and directed, with a strong supporting cast that includes Walton Goggins, Andy Garcia, Devon Bostwick and AnnaSophia Robb—on top of being scored by The Chainsmokers.
Love and Monsters – This one feels weirdly relevant right now—it’s about how a guy (Dylan O’Brien) attempts to reunite with his high school girlfriend (Jessica Henwick) seven years after an asteroid hit the Earth and caused a chemical disaster that turned animals into monsters and drove humans underground to survive. I kinda feel like that’s one of the only things left that could still happen in 2020…
Spontaneous – …I spoke too soon! Spontaneous is also perfect for this mess of a year. It follows two teenagers (Katherine Langford and Charlie Plummer, again!) who are literally trying to survive high school once their classmates start inexplicably exploding. No one can figure out why it’s happening or who might combust next, so there’s no choice but to live in the moment. People starting to randomly blow up is also something that seems like it could start happening at any second right about now, so I think I’m going to put this movie’s lesson to good use and carpe diem!