Time may heal all wounds, but it can also make you realize that the movies you used to love might not actually be that good. So If you're ever thinking about revisiting one of your teenage favorites, do yourself a favor and CONSULT THIS LIST FIRST.
Hoo boy. This movie is the Godfather of movies that are nowhere near as good as The Godfather. The main reason this film resonates with teenagers so much is that it is literally angst incarnate. Throughout the movie, the characters justify your shitty pubescent existence by doing all the things you did at that age. Things like pondering death and existence, feeling uncomfortable around your family, and most importantly, having conversations about whether or not The Shins are good. All executed with the cinematic flair of someone who took the SHIT out of two film classes. Ah...Simpler times.
Like an especially tricky zelda dungeon, this movie is specifically engineered make you feel smarter than you actually are. It drops vague pseudoscience at an inane rate and captures teens with shallow life experiences in its snare of false deepness. Re-watching this movie after the age of 19 is like finding that notebook full of sad poems you wrote for sophomore year english class and realizing how much of a mopey dumbass you used to be: painful and awkward for everyone involved.
Sure, there are worse movies, with worse twists, but those movies probably didn't inspire you and your idiot friends to actually start your own fight club (or at least your own "Basement Wrestling Until Your Friend's Dad Yells At You" Club). This movie is a teen fantasy burrito, and much like burritos, the older you get the less you can enjoy them without feeling guilty.
Remember when you were 13 and the only words you knew how to use to describe something were "cool" and "gay?" Well, this movie is the coolest, and, thanks to Willem Dafoe's performance, gayest thing your tiny, hormone-addled brain could possibly imagine. Why would you try to revisit that? You shouldn't. You CAN'T. Your memories of this film are locked deeply in a Disney-like vault of adolescent context, and no amount of Flogging Molly songs is gonna bring it back.
Even when you were a teenager, you knew what you were getting into with Jerry Bruckheimer movies, but there's "Fun / funny / yell stuff out loud with your friends when watching it on TBS" Bruckheimer movies, and then there's "Wait, was this film actually shooting for an Oscar or something?" uber-dramatic films about drilling inside asteroids and blowing them up.
That said, they probably would've swept the Oscars if they'd just submitted the right For Your Consideration clip.
If you've ever idolized the Tony Montana character in any way shape or form, be it poster, t-shirt, or very general appreciation of his "take what he wants / don't take shit" attitude, it may shock you to rewatch this movie and learn that the titular character is actually A COMPLETE FUCKING ASSHOLE FROM START TO FINISH. He's a crazy unlikeable dick who alienates himself from EVERYONE, including his closest friend, his sister, Cuban Robert Loggia, and anyone ever associated with him, and it's nothing but EXTREMELY DESERVED AND JUSTIFIED when he finally gets super-duper shot to death.
Or, as John Mulaney eloquently put it, "The world is yours? He couldn't handle part of Miami."
When you're 15, there's nothing cooler than Troy Dyer's nonconformist, dirty-haired, I-do-what-I-want life philosophy. I mean of COURSE, Winona Rider shouldn't sell out her documentary to that evil off-brand MTV and make money and actually go somewhere in her career! Good call, Troy-boy!
When you rewatch this movie as an adult, something really horrifying happens: Troy stops being at all sexy. You actually kind of root for Winona Rider to end up with Ben Stiller's character. And the moment Ben Stiller is the best option, you know it's time to stop watching that movie.
When you rewatch this film after not seeing it for years, you'll be shocked by two things:
1) How ultimately insignificant the famous "John Cusack holding up the boombox" scene is.
2) How INCREDIBLY SIGNIFICANT the weird subplot of John "Frasier's Dad" Mahoney evading taxes is. It's like, 40% of the movie.
But! If you're looking for a classic 80s film about a kiiiind-of-incompatible relationship that you're kiiiind of rooting against mixed with the undeniable thrill of TAX EVASION, then say "huh?" to Say Anything!
Seriously though, this shit doesn't age well. If you're missing the Braff Attack that badly and really want to feel like you're a teen again, just throw on a Scrubs rerun and wax the fuck nostalgic. You've earned it.
Got your own suggestions for movies that don't pass the Teen Time Test? Post them in the comments!