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Teen Movie Critic

Dazed and Confused


Roger Davidson

Dazed and Confused
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One of many "youth" films from director Richard Linklater (Slacker), this is one of his funniest and most poignant films so far. It follows the lives of various groups of teenagers, during the last day of school in 1976, as they roam around their hometown. We hear their personal philosophies about life, work, love and especially their futures. Among the characters, there is Randall "Pink" Floyd (Jason London), a young football player, pressured into choosing between being drug-free or being a team player. Then there is Mitch (Wiley Wiggins), an upcoming high school freshman, who is spending the day running away from the abusive local high-school hazing team, while attempting to hang out with older kids like London and London's buds.

I'd have to say that I've never really liked the so-called "teen" films of the past few decades. They've never portrayed teenagers in a really interesting or positive way. Some of the characters in those films you can relate to, but most are just mindless stereotypes that seem completely alien to me. With Dazed and Confused, it's the other way around. There are a couple of cliches, like the class stoner (a very funny Rory Cochrane), but most of them seem like living breathing human beings, rather than a bunch of made-up dummies. Most of the cast (Wiggins, Cochrane, London) are excellent. The dialogue is superb. This isn't a great film for people who look back on the 70's as a nostalgic time, but then this is more honest then the usual dippy teen fare (Clueless, Beverly Hills, 90210) that's come out for the moment!

My Rating = Four Stars

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