Since the turn of the 21st Century, the Hollywood film industry has produced a vast number of motion pictures that can be classified as “genre films. ” Each of these genre films follow a similar method of narrative elements that is specific to a particular theme and setting in which the story’s plot is built upon and revolves around. For today’s adolescents, the high school drama type genre film is a popular choice as this type of genre film is a brew of romance, comedy, drama, with an added aspect of being relatable to their current stage in life.
Many teens find interest and will divulge in such a genre of film because because of their emotional connection to the characters in the plot. In many cases the high school adolescence will feel an attachment to the main character who is oppressed in the movie (as this is a feeling that is common in adolescence teens while they partake in the typical, never-ending quest for acceptance by other peers) but in the ends reaches the pinnacle of high school hierarchy due to plot events.
However this aspect of relatability is dubious to say the least because it is rare that high school drama genre films portray the reality of a high school in the twenty first century. As David Denby, the author of “High-School Confidential: Notes on Teen Movies,” states, “genre films dramatize not what happens but how things feel fix subjectivity into fable. ” Incidental, high school drama genre films only strive to provide emotional satisfaction to the audience and do not portray reality.
The most well-known character of any high school drama is the young and popular high school diva. She has the figure of a barbie doll but the tongue of a lashing serpent. She is universally hated by the audience of the film and in many movies is the antagonist in the plot. Her male counterpart is an athlete, usually a football player that, although well built and handsome, lacks common-sense or an average level of intelligence.
This typical character is usually just as disliked as the high school diva and like diva reeks havoc to other students by unleashing multitudes of distasteful pranks. Finally the third main character in the film, usually the “relatable” protagonist, is a girl or a boy that is being oppressed by the harsh social hierarchy that is implemented in the plot. Such a caustic social system, although emotionally appealing to the audience, does not reflect today’s high school structure.
Denby states that such as structure is only imaginable if high school memorials were “emotionally colored. ” “At there is no unitary system of status” (Denby). At an actual high school there is the aspect of many various social groups allowing each students to have self identity and acceptance. In the high school portrayed by the high school drama genre film there is a lack of the notion of many groups or cliches of acceptance.
In the plot the protagonist on seeks to gain acceptance of the entire school, which appears to be dominated by only few social groups. In reality each school has a number of social groups that a students would fit into that would alleviate the problem of attempted to be accepted by all students of the school. In a study conducted in 2004 by Jason K. Miller , three high school were studied as to gain an understanding and a comparison of high school community in suburban locals, rural locations, and urban locations in the lower Midwest United States.
In the subsection discussing the social groups of each high school the following observations were collected. In the suburban high school the reported social groups included jocks, academic, Goths, high economic, redneck, and band and choir. It was also reported that the “jock” and “academic” social groups “received the most perceived benefits occupied the top two places in the hierarchy of the school” (Miller 157). In the rural high school is the social groups reported were the jocks, country, uninvolved, and the Goths.
Here the “jocks” received the highest respect, popularity, admiration, and recognition once again. In the urban high school the social groups were athletes, African Americans, Whites, and Hispanics. Here its is interesting to note that students of the urbane high school do not primarily group themselves bases on activity but rather bases on race. Once again the “athlete” social group received the most perceived social and academic benefits and were placed at an elevated social level. From the previous data the following conclusions can be drawn.