Teen Movie Remakes That Shouldn’t Be Made But Probably Will
This is a little off-topic, but I wrote this up and thought I’d share. (Is it sad that I could’ve kept going with this topic?).
Alright, so we all groaned when we heard Dirty Dancing was being remade, right? Just making sure you’re with me. And if you thought Footloose being made into a musical with hip-hop choreography was absurd, we’re definitely on the right track. But Hollywood is a moneymaking machine. And they know, just as much as we all know, that remaking an original with an uber-identifiable name has a greater chance of putting butts in seats – excited teens and roaring curmudgeons comparing it to the original – alike.
So, being the teen media fan that I am (no judging), I’ve decided to beat Hollywood to the punch, (making their job a bit easier I dare say!) and spell out the storylines for the next Hollywood teen remakes. Get the popcorn ready — I like mine stale, like the premise of these movies.
Agent Cody Banks (2003)
Original premise: An undercover kid agent has to protect the daughter of a scientist who figured out something important that bad guys want to rule the world, or something. He falls for her, and realizes that while he’s awesome at spying, he isn’t so awesome when it comes to the ladies. Blah, blah, they fall for each other, he’s suspended from the mission for some reason I don’t remember, she finds out he’s assigned to her and is pissed, she gets kidnapped, he saves her from the villains without the backing of the CIA and all is forgiven. BAM.
I know what you’re thinking: This thing came out in 2003! But c’mon, it’s been eight years since this effing movie came out. Not only that, but it starred Frankie Muniz and Hilary Duff. Let’s recap: He became a race car driver and is now thinking about running for office of something or another in the state of Arizona and she’s gone on to star in a Gossip Girl scene where she makes out with a girl! (Oh and she’s married and pregnant for Christ sake.) It’s time to pump some fresh blood into this sure-to-be winner.
New premise: A kid (someone cute but kind of dorky, like that kid on Nickelodeon who looks like a young Andy Samberg, Matt Bennett) finds out he’s been recruited for the CIA and needs to befriend the daughter of aforementioned scientist (Stella Hudgens, Vanessa’s little sister, in her breakout role). Plot twist alert: In protecting her (and yep, falling for her), he finds out that he can read minds! (That’ll totally be teased in the trailer. Hello, X-Men fans!) Another plot twist: Just kidding! He just got a hold of the scientist’s invention halfway through the movie without knowing – mind reading serum. Crucial movie scenes include that at a school dance (this is the moment when the audience realizes how dorky but endearing he is and duh, someone’s gotta drop it like it’s hot) and a product placement for some kind of tech product (the next iPad which Matt uses to hack into some sort of database, preferably on a skateboard at the same time?) or social media network (like Twitter, where Matt finds out that Stella is weirdly into him, since we’re all into over-sharing these days.)
Save the Last Dance (2001)
Original premise: White girl wants to be a dancer. Mom is working a shit ton cause it’s Mother’s Day or something and she’s a florist. Girl looks for mom at audition, mom dies on the way there. She moves in with dad in the big ol’ city, and learns about hip-hop from awesome black guy. Falls in love. Faces haters. Cue “True Colors”.
This movie was standard sleepover-watching material from 2001-2011. Yes, I realize that’s this year. People are still playing this shit and trying to dance and quoting lines like “That top is country and you look country in it.” Everyone loves dancing movies. Everyone loves movies where couples overcome all odds to be with each other. Let’s not mess with that.
New premise: Exactly the same. Well, new dialogue. And a new location. But other than that, it’s pretty cut and dry. Parents dead, girl moves (AnnaSophia Robb) and meets awesome guy (Diggy. Yep, Rev Run’s son.) She gets schooled in swag. Updated hip-hop moves. Lots of cameo appearances, preferably by all those teen stars (I’m looking at you, Biebs) who call each other big/little bros and sisters on Twitter ALL THE TIME. Hey, keep it all in the family am I right? (Soundtrack note: “True Colors” has to be sampled in a rap song.)
Now and Then (1995)
Original Premise: Oh dear lord, where to begin? Just check out the imdb site and save yourself (me?) the headache. Or, you know, see the movie. I guess to give a quick overview, the three things you definitely need to know about this movie are: There’s a character named Crazy Pete, there’s a Vietnam vet scene with Brendan Fraser (in his glory days), and Cloris Leachman plays a grandma who is pretty much off her rocker and loves to gamble. If that doesn’t get you to go re-watch this movie RIGHT NOW I don’t know what will.
But in all seriousness, everyone loved this movie, right? It’s the type of movie where you can immediately assign friends to characters and pretend that your lives align perfectly, even if they totally don’t at all (Well, okay, maybe just girls did this. Wait, is that being gender-insensitive?). Anyway, it’s time to flashback to the simpler days. Clearly, I’m talking about the early 1990s (as opposed to 1970, as in the original).
New premise: There really isn’t one, just a few slight changes: Samantha (Victoria Justice) is still a sci-fi writer (with touches of political conspiracy theories), but Teeny (Dakota Fanning) isn’t so much a movie star as she is a reality star who has a huge twitter following. Chrissey (Kay Panabaker) and Roberta (Debby Ryan) are still boring. And as evidenced by my character choices, instead of 13 year olds, they’re teens about to enter high school. And instead of Indiana, the girls grew up in Florida, or somewhere on the water (beach scenes!) and Devon Sawa/whatever-his-name-in-the-movie-is is played by Tyler Posey. Or Taylor Lautner. (Or someone else cute with that skin complexion?) Doesn’t matter. There’d probably need to be a fair of some sort. Since early ‘90s, let’s definitely get some sweet R&B tunes in there, you hear me?
Some Kind of Wonderful (1987)
Original Premise: Girl best friend loves guy best friend. Both are poor, from the wrong-side-of-the-tracks sort. Guy wants popular girl. Popular girl decides to give him a shot. They like each other, but she realizes she needs to stop relying on guys (what?) and backs out, especially after finding out that the girl best friend is in love with said guy. Guy realizes he loves best friend.
Oh, the romantic hopeful’s Pretty in Pink. Or realist’s Pretty in Pink? Or the holy shit am I the best friend who’s in love with his or her best friend and they better get together…. Pretty in Pink? Anyway, tough luck Duckie, Watts played your game – and won.
New premise: Guy (Josh Hutcherson) falls for super-pretty, super-popular girl (Lucy Hale), with the help of BFF (Emma Roberts). (I know what you’re thinking, but let’s get real, the new Watts has to be super pretty too. She could like, cut her hair or wear glasses, as ipso facto that makes for teen movie ugly.) Popular girl ends up falling for him, despite protests from the popular crowd. Guy takes a chance and asks her to prom. She says yes. She then goes with another guy, because SURPRISE she isn’t nice like the audience thought she was. It’s okay though, because BFF is there (and dolled-up) ready to rock out at prom. Kiss. End movie. (Don’t hate me just cause I changed Pretty in Pink’s ending to a more real life scenario).
Lastly, who’s up for a new Bring it On? I don’t know about you, but the last four just didn’t do it for me…