High School Confidential: Notes on Teen Movies1

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  2. The female villain and the male villain differ because much like in real life fighting, the female uses her mind games and emotional abuse to torment everyone else. While the male villain uses his strength and brawn to intimidate and physically fight others.
  3. Denby’s change of tone occurs in the paragraph breaks. But you can also detect his tone in what he talks about. The first section mainly is analytical; taking note on the themes of teen movies and what they really portray. But the second section is full of rhetorical questions that criticize the nature of these teen movies.
  4. Denby has breaks to show his change in tone, but also to change what he is talking about. The first section is more analytical, the second criticizes what he just analyzed, and the third brings both aspects together.
  5. The essay answers the questions by that the essay shows how genre films do not really reflect reality, but rather enhance  subtle problems. Like teen movies; they make girls seem like either the “wicked princess” who terrorizes all, or the geeky art girl who makes her mark by using her wits. Neither situation really happens in teen life, but situations like them may have happened.
  6. Denby uses his expertise to appeal to ethos because he provides many movies that fit the same “high school drama” theme that has been argued about earlier.
  7. Denby’s central argument is that teen movies portray an exaggerated and stereotypical image of what teen life is really like, and play on the hype of other movies to fill in the unknown gaps. His secondary argument is that the stereotypes created  get repetitive and too predictable. He ties these together by speaking of the archetypes the movies create and then how they are exaggerated.
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  9. Denby ties the theorey of the “wound and the bow” by showing the protagonist as an artsy person who gets picked on in high school. Though as he or she progresses through school he/she succeeds, whether that be snagging the hot guy at school or finally standing up to the villain.
  10. Denby supports the “geeks rule” theory by continuing  with examples of young geeks that are victimized by the villains and end on top.
  11. Although Denby’s new examples show how movies go beyond the genres, he still connects them to the archetypes of teen movies, such as Romy and Michele in Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion. Girls who start as loosers and eventually get to the top and have the last laugh.
  12. Denby has two main audiences: teens and adults. It is for teens because it shows that teens don’t need to fit the stereotypes, and if you do get picked on in school you might prosper later. It is for adults becuase it explains that teens arent rebelling and hate all authority, but that they are just at a point in their lives that causes a lot of stress and to give teens a break.

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