Friday, October 21, 2011

Out-of-Control Teen Girls - Two Good Movies

Often the best movies are those that received little or no hype in the media or play in theaters. I recently enjoyed two excellent but relatively obscure movies about perfectly normal teenage girls and the tragedies that can happen when their "under construction" prefrontal cortex fails them and their emotions spin out of control.

"Trust" (2010) stars Clive Owen as the frustrated father whose teen daughter is seduced online by a 35-year-old man. Despite several red flags, she is charmed by him to meet in person. She is raped, but she continues to defend him. The drama is about the father's actions and whether the young girl will acknowledge the reality of her situation. It's an intense, shocking story about one of the dangers of online virtual relationships - and of course about the challenges created by brain development in teens.

Another shocking story about out-of-control teen emotions is "Heavenly Creatures" (1994), starring Kate Winslet (in her first starring role). The drama, based on real events, is set in the mid-1950s in Christchurch, New Zealand, and concerns the relationship of two teen girls. Pauline is moody, introverted and rebellious. Juliet (Winslet) is brilliant, precocious and flamboyant. Their relationship seems innocent but their parents fear that it is sexual. When the parents try to separate them, the girls create a plan to kill one of the mothers. Once again, the teens seem incapable of rational thought. While director Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings) probably didn't have this in mind, the film vividly illustrates the wild behavior that can happen while the reasoning part of the brain is still in development.


A book every teenage girl should read...

Conversations with the Wise Aunt

And for teen boys...

Conversations with the Wise Uncle

Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., Copyright 2011. Building Personal Strength .

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