Caroline Fernandez: Activity Mummy


The Evolution of Teen Musical Movies

From A Girl like Maria to I Know What Boys Like

My big kids are CRAZY for something called Teen Beach Movie. I have come to the conclusion that every generation has to have a sappy, boy meets girl, break-out-into-a-random-song-and-dance-number musical. Where does this come from? Well, let's take a stroll down musical lane and see where the dance routines take us.

Should we blame West Side Story (a complete rip off of Romeo and Juliet...but aren't all sappy teen musicals based on this classic?!). Now that I've got "When Your A Jet" playing in everyone's head...

Then comes Frankie and Annette. I know they were in a bunch of movies, all on the beach, all breaking out into random song and dance numbers. Always happy. Even when boy almost loses girl...the film somehow maintains its perk. Want to know the plot of the current hit Teen Beach Movie? It's every Frankie & Annette movie ever made. 

Here's a "did the chicken come before the egg" cunundrum—Was it Frankie and Annette or Elvis and Ann-Margret? Truly I don't know. They both visited my living room most Sunday afternoons growing up - and thus, they are forever equal on the musical teen movie tree in my mind. Gotta love Ann-Margret's spunk. And Elvis' never moving hair. How could a teen not adore this?

Didn't Grease just have a big anniversary?! Like 25 years or something? Despite the date—my kids can sing every song in Grease. I wonder if this was released in modern day...would the lyrics "Tell me more, tell me more, did she put up a fight?" be politically correct.

I'm dating myself now right? Who remembers Christopher Atkins (post The Blue Lagoon) and Kristy McNichol in The Pirate Movie (a take off of The Pirates of Penzance—which takes us back to ripping off Romeo and Juliet). When my kids got into the next teen musical movie (how's that for a teaser) I totally remembered how much I loved The Pirate Movie—so much so—that I (confession time) bought a copy on ebay. Yes, I let my musical-lovin' big kids watch it; and no, they don't get any of the "Keep Pumpin' and Blowin'" jokes.

High School Musical—a movie that spawned two sequels and a Sharpay spin-off. The soundtrack was on every ipod and merchandise hit just in time for back-to-school. Personally, I think Sharpay's younger brother was the most talented of the bunch.

Which brings us to the latest teen musical Teen Beach Movie. Tweens are already doing sing alongs and dance alongs. Plot is the every-teen-musical plot—boy-meets-girl, rival gangs, boy almost loses girl, boy hugs girl in the end...with songs and dancing in between. 

If only Shakespeare had set Romeo and Juliet to music—we might have missed all of this.