I wrote a top 10 list of the best “Wild Teen Party Movies” for MTV at the Movies prior to seeing an early screening of “Project X.” Based on the trailer, the producers, and the hype, I was pretty sure “Project X” had the potential to crack the top 10 or at least be number 11. Sadly the movie consisted of too many montages showing the same thing and not enough funny scenes or good character moments in between. But I had fun making the list anyway, so here you go in no particular order…
Dazed and Confused (1993)
If there was a way to measure how much fun it would be to party with a specific crew of people, this cast would be off the charts. Matthew McConaughey, Parker Posey, Ben Affleck, and Milla Jovovich are just a few of the amazing actors in this ‘70s-set flick in which an entire town of teenagers are all trying to get to the same party…that no one seems to know the location of.
Classic Quote- Wooderson (McConaughey): “The older you get, the more rules they are going to try and get you to follow. You just gotta keep on livin’, man. L-I-V-I-N.”
[note: I originally wanted to use “That’s what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age.” But for some reason I felt that was the pervier choice, and didn’t want to be labeled pervy at work. Clearly it’s his and arguably the movies’ best line though.]
Killer Soundtrack Track– Aerosmith, “Sweet Emotion”: The opening credits, coupled with this song and muscle car shots, immediately set the tone.
We do not condone stealing police cars, setting them on fire, or shooting at them while cranking up the Van Halen. BUT MAN, DO WE WANT TO DO THAT! Seth Rogen penned this instant-classic comedy about three friends (Michael Cera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse) struggling to buy alcohol for a party and desperately looking to kick-start their sex lives before they head to college. With Seth Rogen and Bill Hader as cops with the equivalent maturity level of high schoolers (plus guns!), hilarity ensues.
Classic Quote- Evan (Cera): “This guy is either gonna think ‘Here’s another kid with a fake ID’ or ‘Here’s McLovin, a 25-year-old Hawaiian organ donor’. Okay? So what’s it gonna be?”
Fogell (Mintz-Plasse): “I am McLovin!”
Killer Soundtrack Track- Van Halen, “Panama”: See above.
Weird Science (1985)
Before Robert Downey Jr. was saving the world as Iron Man, he was terrorizing high schoolers in this hilarious John Hughes classic. Unfortunately, the premise of creating the “perfect woman” by putting a brassiere on your head, filling your computer with images of beautiful women, and pressing ‘enter’ on your keyboard does not work in real life (trust us,
we our friend tried it!). It does, however, allow movie characters to become popular and throw amazing parties with friends, enemies, and mutant bikers in the mix.
Classic Quote- Wyatt (Bill Paxton): “A missile! A MISSILE! A MISSILE IN MY HOUSE, GARY!”
Killer Soundtrack Track – Oingo Boingo, “Weird Science”: The band and song perfectly sum up the decade and movie.
Sixteen Candles (1984)
You know it’s been a wild party when you find someone trapped under the coffee table and the foreign exchange student drunk in a tree! Once again, Mr. Hughes, we salute you. We’re not sure if parents really ever left their kids home alone, but we’re positive that if they did, your movies gave them reason to stop trusting their children.
Classic Quote- The Geek (Anthony Michael Hall): “Can I borrow your underpants for 10 minutes?”
Killer Soundtrack Track – Billy Idol, “Rebel Yell”: The man oozes party anthems.
Can’t Hardly Wait (1998)
The ‘80s and John Hughes defined teen films, but ‘Can’t Hardly Wait’ easily stands the test of time along with Hughes’ films while paying homage to him and the genre. It’s another graduation party that gets out of hand, but Guns n’ Roses’ “Paradise City” was never the same after this film! Nor were the careers of most of this film’s cast members. Jennifer Love Hewitt, Seth Green, and Peter Facinelli are only a few of those who had breakout film roles here.
Classic Quote- Kenny Fisher (Green): “She be like, ’You don’t know 20 different ways to make me call you Big Poppa,’ ‘cause I don’t, yo.”
Killer Soundtrack Track – Guns n’ Roses, “Paradise City”: Despite the movie being named after a great song by the Replacements, there’s no way we could go with any other song on this one.
Risky Business (1983)
If you have an urge to karaoke by yourself in your underwear each time you’re alone in your house, then you can thank Tom Cruise’s iconic ‘80s film for that. If you have no idea what that reference means, then you desperately need to watch this movie. Bonus points for throwing a party (co-hosted by the prostitute who robbed your home) while conducting your college interviews!
Classic Quote – Miles (Curtis Armstrong): “I don’t believe this! I’ve got a trig midterm tomorrow, and I’m being chased by Guido the killer pimp.”
Killer Soundtrack Track – Bob Seger, “Old Time Rock and Roll”: Is it even possible to pick another song on this one?
American Pie (1999)
Things like Stifler’s mom, what happened at band camp, MILFs, and how to defile an apple pie were seldom if ever thought of prior to this film, and never thought of in the same way afterward. ‘American Pie’, a hilariously raunchy comedy, came with scene after scene of over-the-top, immature gross-out humor that launched several careers and a film franchise… not to mention a highly memorable post-prom party.
Classic Quote- Chuck Sherman (Chris Owen): “I’m a sophisticated sex robot, sent back in time to change the future for one lucky lady.”
Killer Soundtrack Track – Blink 182, “Mutt”: The late-‘90s post-grunge era was saturated with pop-punk, suburban, whining rock bands that all seemed to blend together. These guys somehow stood out from the rest, and are in the actual film.
Say Anything (1989)
Cameron Crowe’s directorial debut not only cemented a boom-box-holding, Peter Gabriel-blasting, trench coat wearing John Cusack into the angst-filled hearts of generations of teens, it also had one hell of a party in it. If you haven’t hosted a pool-side party in a chicken suit with a designated car key collector, we highly advise it.
Classic Quote- Lloyd Dobler (Cusack): “She gave me a pen. I gave her my heart, she gave me a pen.”
Killer Soundtrack Track – Peter Gabriel, “In Your Eyes”: Thank you, Lloyd Dobler, for setting an impossible standard for any teen to top when trying to romance a girl.
House Party (1990)
All of the classic teen themes are in play in this one. Of course, someone’s parents go on vacation, leaving their teen at home. Obviously, said teen decides to throw a party, and you know that party gets out of control. Throw in some bullies, an old-school freestyle rap battle, Martin Lawrence, a George Clinton cameo, and Kid ‘n Play, and you’ve got yourself a wild party for the ages.
Classic Quote- Cop: “Wow, would you look at this kid’s hair. Hey, eraser-head, where you going?”
Killer Soundtrack Track – Full Force “Ain’t My Type of Hype”: This was the quintessential dance-off challenge song of 1990. Ask around. It was.
Teen Wolf (1985)
Sorry, Taylor Lautner, but long before you were even born, Michael J. Fox was the werewolf who had folks going crazy. He van-surfed, he bit into beer cans, he could ball, and he rocked a white suit well, as if he was straight out of ‘Saturday Night Fever’. And when he wasn’t doing that, he was at a party, in a closet with the ladies, playing Seven Minutes in Heaven.
Classic Quote- Coach Finstock (Jay Tarses): “There are three rules that I live by: never get less than twelve hours sleep; never play cards with a guy who has the same first name as a city; and never get involved with a woman with a tattoo of a dagger on her body. Now you stick to that, and everything else is cream cheese.”
Killer Soundtrack Track – The Beach Boys, “Surfin’ U.S.A”: You don’t go against the song selection of a van-surfing werewolf.
by Sean Murphy
(The original is posted at MTV at the Movies).