Who cares who will be ruining running our lives for the next (maybe) five years! Wouldn’t you rather immerse yourself into stories about votes that really changed lives?
The commonest theme running through most of these movies is that they were made/released in 1999, which should automatically tell you something about 1999 teens: they were a) very politically inclined, b) understand the power of one vote, c) understand the power of the underdog, or d) just worried the world was going to end on December 31, 1999 around midnightish and were playing fast and loose with all decisions. Now, one realizes that re: Election 2024, what’s done is done and can’t be undone, but why spend this precious Sunday, or indeed the next one week worrying about it? Take a break from critical thinking and try to take back yourself to a time when the world was not only your oyster, but indeed its own oyster.
She’s All That
Lainey Boggs is your garden-variety art weirdo, who wears overalls and paints in her family home’s rundown basement. Zack Siler is your garden-variety popular boy who gets dumped by his girlfriend for Matthew Lilard’s character, who probably isn’t a murdering moron in this one, but who can really tell with Matthew Lilard?
Zack bets his friends - including a young Paul Walker - that he could pick any girl at their high school and make her popular, prom queen material. Lainey Boggs is picked at random and given a makeover by Zack’s sister. The makeover involves cutting off Lainey’s ponytail and taking off her glasses, and ‘Kiss Me’ by Six Pence None The Richer plays as she walks down to Zack in her new avatar. Lainey is voted into the prom court, but loses to Zack’s ex, while also discovering that she was just a bet, “a f***ing bet”, but eventually finds her way back into Zack’s arms and all’s well that ends well. This movie teaches us the important lesson, that the real win was the hot boyfriends played by Freddie Prinze Jr. that we picked up along the way.
Illicit affairs, revenge campaigning, unpleasant but ambitious young girl goes up against the well-loved sportsman at her high school for class president. Reese Witherspoon, who usually is the sweetheart in any of her films, is Tracy Flick, a set-jawed, hair-in-place young lady determined to win the school election, while Chris Klein is Paul Metzler, jock and sweet guy, who competes her for the position, and Matthew Broderick’s Jim McAllister fiddles with votes to ensure Tracy doesn’t win.
While definitely a teen movie, Election reminds us that politics is a dirty biz to be in, no matter your age or station in life, and that hapless people like McAllister should never meddle to get the outcome they think is right.
Stephen King can’t leave well enough alone, as he turns the beautiful experience that is prom into a hellscape, when the titular character, Carrie, sick of being bullied at home and in school, totally loses her ish once she is voted prom queen and subsequently doused in pig blood.
Unbeknownst to all of us, Carrie has telekinetic powers, no doubt born as a reaction to the ridiculously tough, religious regime of her mother at home, and the popular girls at school who use their clout to torment her. Basically, the meek shall inherit the earth, kids, and if you suppress them long enough and hard enough, they will react in ways that are destructive to themselves, sure, but mostly to their oppressors.