American Teen movie review: In super-average, largely white, middle-class Warsaw, Ind., high school senior and basketball team ball hog Colin pursues a college scholarship; social queen bee Megan strives to get into Notre Dame; loner and band geek Jake struggles with insecurity; and free spirit Hannah wonders where she fits in.
Skip it: Wow, even the most popular girl in school experiences stress and pain. This may seem novel to the people on screen as they learn not to break up via text or send topless photos via email (this message brought to you by High School Musical 3 and Vanessa Hudgens). But for viewers out of high school, American Teen, which offers no exploration of growth, fear or betrayal, is no more illuminating than a graduation party.
Catch it: If you can stomach Jake's excruciating awkwardness, as he claims to make a table greasier by putting his face on it, and telling a girl they have a lot in common because we both suck at life. Feel free to use that gem of a pickup line if you dare.
Bottom line: The things these kids don't say is much more interesting than what they do, evident when Colin's best friend Mitch enjoys a refreshing fling with Hannah—a less demanding girl who inspires him to let his guard down. But with subplots clearly manipulated to carve out Breakfast Club-esque archetypes, American Teen makes better classmates with a high school edition of The Real World than Mean Girls. Source: Metromix