Every summer, Generation Next commits one issue to movies. This year’s compilation, edited by recent Capital High School graduate Beth Walker, focuses on films you can enjoy depending on the kind of night you are experiencing: a steamy date with your high school crush or a lousy night of babysitting your neighbors’ unbearable children, for example.
IT’S DATE NIGHT. NOW WHAT?
By Sofia Ortiz and Emma Lawrence
In any stage of a relationship, choosing a movie to watch on date night can be a tedious and frustrating deed. You may be looking for a simple conversation starter on a first date or a romantic and heart-wrenching film for a lovey-dovey kind of night. Whether you want a lighthearted flick to make you laugh or a realistic perspective on romance, here are a few suggestions to make any couple gush, swoon and sob.
We all have those so-called shower thoughts, where we wonder if everyone sees the same colors, if the universe is infinitely huge or what would happen if the entire world simultaneously forgot who the Beatles were. In Yesterday, a strange phenomenon leaves Jack Malik (played by Himesh Patel, pictured) as one of three people on Earth who remember the Beatles. Jack claims he has written the Beatles’ songs and quickly gains fame, with the help of two friends. This movie ticks all the boxes: It includes classic Beatles music we love; it’s got an unexpected “parallel universe” where Coke, cigarettes, Harry Potter and the Beatles don’t exist anymore; and it has a swoon-worthy love story between Jack and his friend Ellie. The film does a great job incorporating music into the story, and it serves as a solid conversation starter for a first date — especially if you want to discuss alternative realities.
‘The Notebook’ (2004)
The Notebook is easily recommended for any girl who wants to gush and any guy who wants to potentially roll his eyes but kiss his sweetheart afterward. It is the perfect movie for a six-month date, as it highlights the honeymoon phase and gives you a glimpse of what true love has in store. It is the classic, romantic story of a wealthy young girl named Allie (Rachel McAdams) and a poor country boy named Noah (Ryan Gosling) who have a blazing summer romance in Charleston, S.C. Noah must go to extremes to convince Allie to go out with him at first, but after their date, the two become inseparable for the summer. Although The Notebook is somewhat cheesy, it portrays the flaming chemistry between the characters, and its plot consists of twists and turns. This movie will definitely make the heart burst, but it gives any couple a good reason to cuddle and tear up a little together, reminding them just how crazy they are about each other.
‘The Family Man’ (2000)
This is a sweet and uplifting romantic comedy to watch with the person you might hope to spend the rest of your life with. The main character, Jack Campbell (Nicolas Cage), is a successful Wall Street executive who believes he has everything he needs in life. But after meeting a mysterious man who implores Jack to reevaluate his life, Jack is magically transported into a “glimpse” of what his life could have been had he stayed with a past love, Kate Reynolds (Téa Leoni.) After spending time in his alternate life with the children and wife he could have had, he realizes that he doesn’t want to return to a life where money and greed take precedence over generosity and love. The witty humor and paranormal aspects of this film might make you cringe, but the story is clever and thought provoking, and it’s a welcome reminder not to lose touch with your inner romantic. This movie will spur dreams of the life you and your significant other could have together and remind you of the one you currently share.
WANT TO BE SCARED?
By Ivy St. Clair and Gabriel Biadora
For nearly a century, filmmakers have been using the horrors and atrocities of the world to incite dread, paranoia and terror among moviegoers. If done well, a horror movie can hone in and relate to humanity’s most basic and primal instinct: fear. These films may not always do that, but they are perfect for a night of cult horror delight, guaranteed to entertain or upset you by how ridiculous they can be.
‘Truth or Dare’ (2017)
Truth or Dare, a 2017 Netflix release directed by Nick Simon is a perfect example of a generic, gory and commonly used plotline. The movie follows a gang of college friends who rent a “haunted house” for the weekend. Inevitably, the group decides to play a few rounds of truth or dare. However, the game becomes exponentially more dangerous than expected, leaving many fatalities. The plot leaves viewers feeling sick to their stomachs, and the movie seems to compensate for its lack of depth with mortifying imagery. If your ideal horror movie is bloody, disturbing and not well executed, Truth or Dare may be a good pick.
If you’ve seen Killer Klowns from Outer Space and suddenly find yourself wanting more cult horror movies with murderous clowns, look no further than this offering. Taking place on Halloween night, Terrifier follows killer clown Art, pictured, as he hunts his ridiculously dumb victims. While Terrifier will not scare an audience in the slightest, the movie will play to the very common phobia of clowns. But, filled with limp suspense, cheesy and hilarious mutilations, Damien Leone’s movie transcends the void of boring and monotonous into the accidentally decadent realm of it’s so bad it’s good. The dialogue is sharp and aptly coupled with cardboard acting, and both the script and the actors create an air of detachment and neglect within their characters. You will not care or get attached to any of the victims-protagonists, so relax and enjoy their deaths.
‘Friday the 13th’ (1980)
The founding father of the slasher genre, Friday the 13th helped pave the way for all those horror tropes we love and loathe today. Through daunting and creative cinematography, producer-director Sean S. Cunningham managed to immortalize Jason Voorhees without him actually appearing on screen until the last five minutes of the movie. Friday the 13th blessed horror films the same way the Beatles graced rock ’n’ roll.
KEEP THE KIDS ENTERTAINED
By Niveditha Bala and Isaiah Delgado-Flores
Babysitting can be both an extremely difficult and extremely rewarding experience. So, it’s nice to have a way to keep kids occupied for a while. Here are some family-friendly movies the wild ones can enjoy.
‘The Sound of Music’ (1965)
The Sound of Music takes place in Austria in the late 1930s in the midst of rising tensions between Austria and Germany. In the movie, Maria, a nun, becomes a governess for Capt. Von Trapp’s seven children. The movie features several well-known songs, such as “My Favorite Things,” which may or may not be a good thing depending on who you are babysitting. Nevertheless, the story is engaging and will likely draw in even the most ruthless children.
‘Lego Movie 2: The Second Part’ (2019)
The trope that the sequel is never as good as the first one doesn’t hold true here. With catchy songs, great fight sequences, surprisingly funny jokes and cameos from Aquaman, Gandalf and Ruth Bader Ginsberg, to name a few, this sequel to 2014’s The Lego Movie is one that both the babysitter and the baby in question will enjoy. The movie also presents a meaningful lesson — not everything will be awesome all the time, but that doesn’t mean you should give up.
‘The Cat in the Hat’ (2003)
If you want a movie that’s arguably so bad it’s good, you can’t go wrong with The Cat In The Hat. Based on the beloved Dr. Seuss book, this film is about a boy named Conrad (Spencer Breslin) and his sister Sally (Dakota Fanning), who get a surprise visit from a giant cat (Mike Myers, pictured) that can talk and, as the title suggests, wears a hat. Throughout the movie, the three main characters have wacky, wildly entertaining misadventures. This movie is so edgy that it almost feels like it was too early for its time. If it came out in theaters today, it would probably have a huge following. Unfortunately, it didn’t at the time of its release. A lot of folks seem to hate this movie for some reason or another. But what’s not to like about a cat in a hat?
IN THE MOOD FOR ROMANCE?
By Harvey McGuinness and Hannah Laga Abram
Whether you are head over heels for someone but too scared to go up and talk to them or you are drowning a breakup in a bucket of ice cream, you can seek remedy in the tried-and-true romantic comedy. The rom-com genre is characterized by cheesy films that feature the trials and tribulations of romance, shown through the use of loose plotlines and comically intricate connections among many central characters.
‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’ (2001)
Directed by Sharon Maguire, this film follows Bridget Jones (Renée Zellweger), a brilliantly and comically faulted character, as well as her two potential lovers, Daniel and Mark (portrayed by Hugh Grant and Colin Firth), as Bridget attempts to pick herself up and find love. Bridget eventually realizes that she no longer wants what, or who, she thought she previously did. Touching on the often bumbling and clueless nature of love, this fluffy gem will have audiences laughing and cringing scene by scene.
‘Dirty Dancing’ (1987)
The young “Baby” (Jennifer Grey) falls in love with Johnny (Patrick Swayze), the sexy dance instructor at the Catskills resort where she is spending a 1960s summer with her family. Surprised by her own feelings and how far she is willing to go to pursue them, Baby proves herself to Johnny through a series of swoon-worthy dance montages, transforming from a shy daddy’s girl into a bold young woman in the process. Though a very simple storyline, this film pays homage to both the scary vulnerability and budding confidence of first love, making any breakup easier to bear.
‘10 Things I Hate About You’ (1999)
Yet again, the rom-com genre is blessed with a Shakespeare adaptation in Gil Junger’s 10 Things I Hate About You. This modern take on The Taming of the Shrew follows bad boy Patrick (Heath Ledger, pictured) as he is paid to date the rebellious and independent Katarina (Julia Stiles, pictured) by a guy who wants to take out Katarina’s younger sister. No matter how heart-sore you might be, by the end of this totally ridiculous flick, replete with an erotica-writing counselor, a pregnancy-obsessed father and a bleacher serenade, you’ll be smiling. Plus, who doesn’t want to see Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a teenager?