New Millennials Movies?
January 31, 2011 7:59 AM   Subscribe

What movies define this latest generation?

All I can think of is American Pie and The Social Network and I can't seem to remember anything in between. Help me fill in the gaps. What movies are to the New Millennials what Reality Bites was to Gen-Xers?

*NOTE: This is not a "What was your favourite movie-" or "What are the most popular/successful movies from the last decade(+)" More "What movies are accurate to the time/people"
posted by Carlotta Bananas to Media & Arts (68 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
I thought Tiny Furniture fit the bill pretty well.
posted by Anatoly Pisarenko at 8:02 AM on January 31, 2011


Frank Rich, in an op ed piece in The NY Times suggested True Grit for our gut desire to see justice brought about but The Social Network for representing values the young, net savy hustlers have toward getting what they want and dismissing notions of right, ethics etc.
posted by Postroad at 8:03 AM on January 31, 2011


I immediately thought of Mean Girls. I spent 5 more minutes thinking about it and honestly, I still think Mean Girls.
posted by GastrocNemesis at 8:06 AM on January 31, 2011 [12 favorites]


Donnie Darko and Garden State were both big hits among my friends when I was in high school (early 00s). They share a certain combination of depressed aimlessness and self-important wish fulfillment that seems to resonate with us damn kids.
posted by theodolite at 8:09 AM on January 31, 2011 [4 favorites]


It may be premature to identify these, as a lot of Millennials are still quite young, and some of the things people have already raised (like The Social Network) may be too fresh to be judged properly. I'm thinking in particular of Garden State - when it came out, and for a couple of years afterwards, a lot of people talked about it as the definitive identifying film of our generation, with the theme of numbing-by-medication and quarter-life crisis. Skip to 2011, and it seems to have largely fallen off the radar and I can't remember the last time anyone mentioned it.
posted by Tomorrowful at 8:09 AM on January 31, 2011


(500) Days of Summer comes to mind. The people portrayed in it are proto-yuppie types that personify post-Gen X archetypes.
posted by jabberjaw at 8:11 AM on January 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


Away We Go (2009) would seem to fit, though I don't think it was that popular (or a very good movie). It's definitely trying to be that kind of movie.

High Fidelity (2000) seems to have really resonated with young people. (I actually don't understand people's fascination with this movie, which I found quite mediocre.)

Amelie (2001) definitely made a big impression on a lot of people, though I don't know if this more of a generational thing or something about certain personality types, or just people who happen to like interesting movies.

This one is definitely not well-known enough to be one of those "defining movies of a generation," but I kinda wish it were: The Baxter (2005).

Other possibilities -- I haven't seen these, but they seem to be important to a lot of young people:

Wet Hot American Summer (2001)

500 Days of Summer (2009)
posted by John Cohen at 8:14 AM on January 31, 2011


I also think it's far too early to make this call, but I'm only partially joking when I say Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle . There is something about the combination of nerdiness and slackerdom in these characters, and the kind of "quest" that they embark on, that is dead on and resonates with me and my Gen-Y friends. Plus, it was the beginning of the rebirth of Neil Patrick Harris, a true cultural icon of our day.

(Note that I don't think it's actually a particularly great movie. Just trying to answer the question.) :)
posted by bookgirl18 at 8:21 AM on January 31, 2011 [9 favorites]


I was actually just about to come in and suggest Harold and Kumar go to White Castle.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:26 AM on January 31, 2011


Wet Hot American Summer (2001)

I think this movie is set in the early 80's (and therefore about Gen X, not 'Millenials')
posted by GastrocNemesis at 8:26 AM on January 31, 2011


I actually think that Judd Apatow (and Apatow-affiliated/produced) movies are pretty accurate representations of 21st century life for young(ish). Characters constantly text and email each other, and the characters reference pop culture from the 90's and 2000's in a realistic way. I keep thinking about Paul Rudd asking for his "Lost" DVD back from Jason Segal in "I Love You Man", or Seth Rogan and his buddies talking about "Munich" in the beginning of "Knocked Up". Steve Carell tells Katherine Keener about how VCR's are a dead technology in 40 Year Old Virgin.

I also like how most of the plot in Superbad revolves around how difficult it is for high schoolers to get beer. Back in the days of movies like Porkys (and tons of other teen/high school comedies from then on) those movies existed in a universe where alcohol was just...easily accessible. Things have gotten more strict since then.
posted by windbox at 8:28 AM on January 31, 2011 [8 favorites]


Speaking as a tacky, ignorant young person:
Office Space
Clerks (I was 12 when this movie came out, but I know a lot of my generation really love it)
Some Michael Moore movie, altho I can't say for sure which one--I'm going to say Bowling For Columbine, because people I know still reference it, and no one really talks about Fahrenheit 911 or Sicko much
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (yeah, I know it came out way before most of us were born, but its humor seems to have informed so much of the humor that's happening today)
Sin City (altho maybe this is just my friends)
Borat
And altho it's probably too soon to tell, I think There Will Be Blood will become one of those major defining films
posted by Ideal Impulse at 8:31 AM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm on Team It's Way Too Early To Know. It probably won't be until this generation gets to middle age that we'll get some insight into it.

With that said, I'd wager The Matrix is worth consideration. Its plot relies on the premise that one's life as one knows it is fake, phony, and the real world is somehow darker and less desirable than the fancy facade we have. There are evil forces at work, but we cannot spot them -- we go through our lives, not as brainwashed zombies like people imagined in the 50s, but as blind prisoners, unaware of the powers controlling us. It's possible to break through the facade and become glorious, and the ability to do this is somehow linked with intelligence, cynicism, and computer skills. Most people, however, will forever be "sheeple," and we are to pity their relatively happy, relatively conflict-free lifestyle. The world, at its base, is a computer program, and whatever it means to be an individual can be reprogrammed at the whim of some secret power most of us will never even know of.
posted by meese at 8:33 AM on January 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


American Pie is wayyyyy to old to represent the Y's. It came out when I was in school, and I'm a tale-end Gen Xer.
posted by Windigo at 8:40 AM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was going to say The Matrix, too.
posted by SMPA at 8:43 AM on January 31, 2011


I immediately thought of Mean Girls.
Definitely.

...Garden State...
It's a transitional film that speaks to the youngest Xers as well as the older Ys.

...High Fidelity...
This is a Gen X film, all the way.

And altho it's probably too soon to tell, I think There Will Be Blood will become one of those major defining films
I think it'll be mostly forgotten as anything other than "oh yeah, that was a good film."

Sin City (altho maybe this is just my friends)
Just your friends

Office Space, Clerks
Sorry, the Gen Xers already claimed those. Those are textbook Gen-X films.
posted by Windigo at 8:47 AM on January 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


Nthing The Matrix and the Judd Apatow ouevre. Depending on your ramifications I might also suggest the Harry Potter series.
posted by bokinney at 8:53 AM on January 31, 2011


Windigo, American Pie came out before I started high school, but my friends and I all watched it, quoted it, loved it, and in general I'd say that it definitely overlaps into Gen Y territory (especially when you consider the sequels).

nthing Mean Girls as well.
posted by litnerd at 8:55 AM on January 31, 2011


Juno. It was sweet, snarky I think it epitomizes this generation.
posted by catwash at 9:01 AM on January 31, 2011


Perhaps not terribly well known, but certainly somewhat representative of hyper-sexualization, drugs, pressure to fit in and struggle to find the line between kid and teenager: Thirteen.
posted by SeedStitch at 9:04 AM on January 31, 2011


litnerd, disagree. Me and my friends loved Breakfast Club when we were 12, too. Watched it, quoted it, loved it. But it wasn't directed at our generation, you know? I would give you that it might have caught some of the transitional older Ys just as it was aimed towards younger Xs, but I don't think it will be seen as defining the Ys at all. If anything it defines neither. It's in the sticky inbetween ground that Garden State fills. Not quite X anymore, not quite fully yet Y.
posted by Windigo at 9:06 AM on January 31, 2011


I might be a bit of an older Millennial, but Clueless was a big deal for me and my peer group. Granted, I was a young girl, but that's how I thought high school was going to be, and how I wanted to be.
posted by thebazilist at 9:07 AM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Definitely Mean Girls and Superbad, if only because most "Millennials" are still in their high school/college years. High school is the main shared experience they can relate to. Both are grounded from that generation's perspective. I haven't seen it, but based on its popularity, High School Musical probably also fits in there for better or worse.

The other Apatow movies are more Gen-X skewing. The Social Network is certainly about the new generation, but it's from a older generation's perspective. This is more likely a movie other generations will define my generation with, not one we will identify ourselves with.

I don't really buy The Matrix, 1999 is too still early for this generation to call that movie its own. I think most of the superhero movies are getter candidates, especially Iron Man and The Dark Knight.

The big 1990s Disney Movies (Little Mermaid Aladdin, Lion King, Mulan) for the older Millenials and definitely all of the Pixar movies for the entire generation. This was the generation when VCRs and later DVDs were mainstays when they were young, a lot of them watched all of these movies multiple times. You can rally everyone on a college campus today by singing any of the songs from these movies.
posted by bittermensch at 9:12 AM on January 31, 2011


This subject brings my barely-GenX-by-4-years-inbetween-the-generations frustrations to the forefront. Most classic Gen X films I was a teenager for and just slightly too young for the film to truly speak/represent me. But I am not a Gen-Y by any stretch and much too old for the age-specific Y films to resonate with me either. I was out of college several years when Mean Girls came along, for example.
posted by Windigo at 9:14 AM on January 31, 2011


I don't really buy The Matrix, 1999 is too still early for this generation to call that movie its own.

I agree. That's yet another movie that I think fits into that transitional period. I don't think the Xers can claim it fully, but the oldest of the Yers were maybe in junior high at the time?
posted by Windigo at 9:17 AM on January 31, 2011


David Foot defined "Generation X" as comprising those born (in Canada, at least) between 1961 and 1966. I am 47 and I am "Gen X." American Pie has nothing to do with my generation. Pretty in Pink do. So did Diva, Liquid Sky, and Repo Man. Heathers was the first movie I saw that it occurred to me was specifically and clearly not about "my generation."

Just so we get the "generation" thing straight- or get that we're not defining our terms. Or YOU aren't, OP, so how about starting there.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 9:17 AM on January 31, 2011


I'm definitely going to agree with Garden State, and add two more: Anchorman and The Hangover. Anchorman because all my younger friends quote from it incessantly, and it has the irony that is so dripping from the Y-sters. The Hangover because, well, just because. Apatow's movies as a whole (except Funny People, which is really older thematically) do highlight the characteristics of the generation.

And Harold and Kumar and Juno because of the hipster/slacker/nerd thing.
posted by General Malaise at 9:20 AM on January 31, 2011


Because I didn't preview: Yes on Superbad as well. That's the one I was trying to think of instead of Juno.
posted by General Malaise at 9:20 AM on January 31, 2011


Brick.
posted by dobbs at 9:26 AM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


David Foot defined "Generation X" as comprising those born (in Canada, at least) between 1961 and 1966.

Never heard that one before.

Generation X can be defined thus according to Wikipedia: "Most sources cite birth years throughout the 1960s and 70s. Some sources cite a start toward the mid 1960s. Some cite an end date before the end of the 1970s. Others cite an end in the early 1980s; 1981 is a common end date, but some sources show slightly later end dates."

And Gen Y is often defined: "The term Generation Y first appeared in an August 1993 Ad Age editorial to describe teenagers of the day, which they defined, at that time, as separate from Generation X, and then aged 12 or younger (born after 1980)." also of note "Authors William Strauss and Neil Howe have been very influential in defining American generations in their book Generations: The History of America's Future, 1584 to 2069. They use 1982 and 2001 as the start and end years of the generation, respectively."
posted by Windigo at 9:28 AM on January 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


The Matrix, Harold and Kumar, Farenheit 9/11, Anchorman all get my vote (I'm on the older side of the generation).

And Twilight etc.

But I guess you want accurate movies about millennials? Not too many attempts made to really represent us (what's new).
posted by the young rope-rider at 9:32 AM on January 31, 2011


One more argument for American Pie before I shut my own pie hole and move on:
The movie came out in the summer of '99. I was just a month shy of my first year of high school, but given Gen Y's parameters, the movie definitely spoke to the older end of the generation's spectrum. Those born in 1982 were 17 when the movie came out. 1982-1985/6 were in high school at the time. How can you say that movie doesn't relation to Gen Y?
posted by litnerd at 9:38 AM on January 31, 2011


litnerd, no, I'll agree that I spoke too soon. I wasn't thinking that hard when I spouted it off. But I still say it won't be seen as defining the Yers anymore than it will the Xers because it was made on the cusp of the generations.

ethnomethodologist, you are the only person I have ever encountered who said a late 80's/early 90's Winona film was past the end of Gen X, instead of smack-dab in the golden years.
posted by Windigo at 9:43 AM on January 31, 2011


Christopher Nolan's Batman films, both as the most successful example of the superhero revival and as a meditation (perhaps not the most profound or nuanced, but still) on the morality of absolute justice/vigilance that went on in the 2000s. Also, nearly universally popular among folks my age (I'm a few weeks short of 20.)

I almost want to say Fight Club, but Gen Y has a stronger claim to it.
posted by kagredon at 9:44 AM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think you need to define your timeperiod. Millennials would be teens / very early twenties at the oldest. I think it's too early.
posted by xammerboy at 10:05 AM on January 31, 2011


Wow, I guess I should've planned for an argument for what constitutes Gen-X vs Gen-Y, but since that's not really what I'm interested in I'm going to say, as OP, I will allow fuzziness of release dates. Being born in '84 I'm smack in the middle of the two so it's hard for me to definitively say. You say American Pie is too old, but it was huge when I was in high school and since I'm too young for Reality Bites to have influenced me at all I'm using late 90's (when I became a teenager) as a starting point.
Let's allow release dates from late 90's (keeping it somewhat open, but mostly very late) til now.
Even if it seems maybe too old throw it out there anyway, better too many than too few. Also, if you're going to veto a suggestion for being too old you have to pay for it with a similar but more age-appropriate one.
These are my rules.
posted by Carlotta Bananas at 10:06 AM on January 31, 2011


Also, I only heard the term "Millennial" for the first time today, so forgive me if the meaning has you confused, I'm confused about the whole thing. It's the same as Gen-Y right?
posted by Carlotta Bananas at 10:07 AM on January 31, 2011


Well, I think the question of "what was popular or successful" really intertwines with "what defines the generation".

I was in high school from 1999-2003, and while I doubt most people thought high school was EXACTLY like it, films like Mean Girls, Clueless, Cruel Intentions, and Ten Things I Hate About You were the films EVERYONE had seen and therefore, had some shared conception of how we visualized or wanted "high school" to be like. When I saw Napoleon Dynamite, post-high-school, I also thought that was a pretty perfect capture in a lot of ways of what small-town high school life was like.
posted by nakedmolerats at 10:07 AM on January 31, 2011


Donnie Darko

Again, a movie that was popular in this generation, but actually SET in another. (1988.) It's true that it's been insanely popular among Gen-Y'ers, but the OP asked about movies that actually portray the Gen-Y experience. ( . . . right?)

For that reason, I think Superbad is perfect. I'm on the cusp, I think, where I'm on the old end of the Gen Y spectrum. So although I grew up with movies like Clueless, they didn't represent me per se because I was a bit too young to actually relate to it. I think that the defining thing for Gen Y is the introduction of the internet and cell phones. So any movie that has a lot of this going on, in my opinion, is Gen Y. (For this reason I think American Pie is a good Gen Y movie. The whole accidentally-emailing-the-link-to-the-whole-class is perfect. Also, unlike Clueless, I was actually in high school when it came out, so it was a lot more relatable.) Anyway, the fact that Superbad starts with talk of internet porn, and revolves around kids communicating by cell phone, really divides it from not-much-earlier movies. (i.e. Can't Hardly Wait, where the guy has to wait for a pay phone.)
posted by GastrocNemesis at 10:12 AM on January 31, 2011


One problem is that a lot of these (Apatow's manboy movies, The Hangover, Juno, Garden State) are all "supposed to" represent the generation but are more like manufacturing an affectation about the generation from people who are outside it--immaturity and irresponsibility, self-destructive behavior is funny, painfully quirky dialogue, hyper-self-centeredness, whatever. They are essentially caricatures of "millenials" or "Gen Y".

So "what movies are accurate to the time/people" is a great question. In my opinion, the answer's FAR closer to "none" than to "American Pie and The Social Network".
posted by so_gracefully at 10:14 AM on January 31, 2011 [4 favorites]


Thank you GastrocNemesis! That's what I'm looking for! One day I'll be articulate..
posted by Carlotta Bananas at 10:14 AM on January 31, 2011


"Millennial" for the first time today, so forgive me if the meaning has you confused, I'm confused about the whole thing. It's the same as Gen-Y right?

I've always heard the terms as being interchangeable.
posted by Windigo at 10:15 AM on January 31, 2011


AND (sorry to keep adding like this) it doesn't have to be only about teenagers. Young adults, early college/career experiences work too. I'm 26 and according to Wikipedia am a Gen-Y, so those and boomerang stories fit the bill as well (thinking Post Grad).
posted by Carlotta Bananas at 10:19 AM on January 31, 2011


Yeah, I mean, does it have to be about your average millenials, like the breakfast club was for Gen X? If so: Mean Girls, again. Is 10 Things I Hate About You too old?

If we can relax the realism a little bit: Shaun of the Dead and other self-aware/silly genre films? Maybe Scott Pilgrim vs The World, though that probably slants too geeky to be a mainstream picture. Also, I, and everyone I've talked to in my age range, was very attached to Toy Story 3 as one of *our* movies, but that might just be because we've grown up with the Toy Story franchise. Not sure if it's what you're looking for, though. Some of the toys aren't even millenials.
posted by mismatched at 10:20 AM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Speaking of Donnie Darko, the unappreciated Southland Tales (from the same director, a few years later) perfectly captured the experience of late Bush-era political/celebrity media culture weirdness (just look at that cast!), which I'd argue is a pretty essential element of this (my) generation's experience (at least in America).
posted by bubukaba at 10:20 AM on January 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


I was under the impression that the terms Gen Y and Millennial were interchangeable.

As someone born in the early eighties, I would definitely say Fight Club. The themes of cultural disaffection, nihilism, anticonsumerism, and existential uncertainty all resonated with me as a teenager in a way that virtually no other movies have since. Granted, these are not exactly novel themes for young people, but the aesthetic and narrative voice that Fight Club used to express them was pitch-perfect and groundbreaking.
posted by dephlogisticated at 10:30 AM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


High school/teen movies always seem a bit generic to me, or like veiled nostalgia for another time, because they're (almost) always directed/written/etc. by people quite a bit older than the characters/audience (or maybe that's just me having had an atypical high-school-age experience.)

I think people may be correct in saying that it's a bit too soon to be asking. I've heard Millennial usually defined as being born post-1985 (Some people go ahead as far as 1995. My take is that if you can remember a time before ubiquitous Internet access, you're Gen Y; if not, you're Millennial.), which would put the oldest members in their mid-20s, rather young to be breaking into film as directors/writers/producers. So, this generation has received (though not made) its Sixteen Candles/Pretty in Pink/etc (Superbad and Juno are decent examples), no one's made Office Space yet. (I suspect when it's made, it'll involve the protagonist having to move back in with his parents after he fails to find a job after graduating from college.)
posted by kagredon at 10:34 AM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


(Possibly helpful context for my last answer: I'm 22, and also Scott Pilgrim, while unrealistic, IS a movie about an unemployed 20 year old.)
posted by mismatched at 10:35 AM on January 31, 2011


I've heard Millennial usually defined as being born post-1985 (Some people go ahead as far as 1995. My take is that if you can remember a time before ubiquitous Internet access, you're Gen Y; if not, you're Millennial.)

No, they're the same thing:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_Y
posted by Windigo at 10:37 AM on January 31, 2011


Huh. I stand corrected.
posted by kagredon at 10:39 AM on January 31, 2011


Superbad is an excellent example, as is (I think) Scott Pilgrim, although I know a few people might argue on that one just from the aesthetics.
For less technology specific to more emotionally specific, I agree that Garden State and Fight Club are appropriate. It was said in class today we could be the next 'Lost Generation' and I think these two express that nicely.

Good answers guys, keep em coming!
posted by Carlotta Bananas at 10:42 AM on January 31, 2011


One problem is that a lot of these (Apatow's manboy movies, The Hangover, Juno, Garden State) are all "supposed to" represent the generation but are more like manufacturing an affectation about the generation from people who are outside it--immaturity and irresponsibility, self-destructive behavior is funny, painfully quirky dialogue, hyper-self-centeredness, whatever. They are essentially caricatures of "millenials" or "Gen Y".

I agree with this a lot. A lot of the movies mentioned here, although directed at and popular with Millenials, are clearly designed by people outside of the generation. Then again, it's hard to have a complete "Generation Y" movie when that generation is still too young to be making movies. I do think a movie can get around this by having a strong, generation-based cast. The Breakfast Club comes to mind - it wasn't directed or written by someone who grew up in the 1980s, but the extremely strong, Gen-X cast really sell that the movie is about people their age.

Superbad sort of teeters on this edge. Michael Cera and the guy who played McLovin both bring a lot to the table - but it's still clearly written for laughs rather than for characterizing a specific age set (compare the dialogue in Superbad to the dialogue in The Breakfast Club - one is far more realistic of how a high schooler actually talks than the other).

Also, I don't think cell phones or the internet define Millenials. Maybe texting or Facebook, but I can't think of any popular movie that has that as a major focus.

A problem we're facing is that the generation is too wide (about 20 years?). Someone born in the mid-80s is not going to have the same "high school movies" as someone born in the mid-90s. I'm 22: American Pie came out when I was in late elementary school, I think, and wasn't anything close to a cultural touchstone to people my age when we were in high school.

I really stand by the Toy Story movies as the big defining films. Obviously they weren't made by anyone in that age group, but they span across the entire generation and there's a lot of emotional attachment to being movies everyone watched several times when they were kids (reinforced by the other Pixar movies, which were about a lot of the big themes of this generation: competition among peers, everyone being the best at something, close relationships between parents and children). Being the first CGI animated movie also makes the first one a technological touchstone as well as a cultural touchstone.
posted by bittermensch at 10:42 AM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Bleh, I got cut off. I meant to continue with, generations can't be cut off to a 5-year chunk, right? That is why the idea of me being a tail-end Gen Xer (born in the late 70's) might be ridiculous to someone born at the very beginning, like ethnomethodologist (born early 60's). A "generation" is about a 20 year chunk, isn't it? So those born in the 80's & 90's are the Gen Y/Millennials, is how I understand it to work.
posted by Windigo at 10:43 AM on January 31, 2011


...or what bittermensch said.
posted by Windigo at 10:44 AM on January 31, 2011


+1 Southland Tales! But I think we will only appreciate it as a zeitgeist-capturing Gen Y film after much more time has passed and we can fully parse the bizarre universe of the Bush Era.
posted by naju at 10:48 AM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Love the enthusiasm for the (peripheral) subject, but I'm really not looking for a debate on what constitutes a generation, just give me some movie titles please. Also, yes, we are too close to accurately say which bits of culture are definitive, but I'm not waiting 10 or 20 years to ask, I'm asking now, so deal with the shortsightedness and just guess.
posted by Carlotta Bananas at 10:58 AM on January 31, 2011


Pretty sure Napoleon Dynamite would fit this criteria.
posted by Spyder's Game at 11:21 AM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Maybe not movies, but Youtube stuff.

Fred. Smosh. Stuff like that.

It has the advantage of being genuinely created by the same generation as its audience.
posted by RobotHero at 11:23 AM on January 31, 2011


On the outside looking in, but...

Napoleon Dynamite
Superbad

- Really understands the understated, quirky and surprisingly secure self-perception of this generation. Adrift in time and place, they all know something is terribly wrong with themselves, they're not living life as life is advertised - but it's not as important as the relationships they make with their peers and paramours, who also have something terribly wrong with them, and are not living life as popularly advertised, either.

All generations deal with teen angst in different ways, but these two movies capture the snarky self-detrimental sentimentality of the Millenials perfectly, as well as their confidence and perseverance.
posted by Slap*Happy at 11:29 AM on January 31, 2011


I graduated in '03 and the most interesting thing to me about Scott Pilgrim vs. The World was that it seemed like it would make little to no sense for people very much younger or older than me.
posted by cmoj at 11:52 AM on January 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


Generation X: Hot Tub Time Machine (all the mid-80's MTV/pop culture in-jokes)
Generation Y: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (all the late 90's arcade and video game in-jokes)

I came to that conclusion after both movies came out last year. Inevitably, my older friends thought Hot Tub Time Machine was hilarious, had no interest in Scott Pilgrim, friends my age or younger loved Scott Pilgrim and thought Hot Tub was stale.

(Demographic reference: I'm 28, born in '82, so I guess I'm barely on the start of that Gen Y/Millenial cusp.)
posted by ninjakins at 12:55 PM on January 31, 2011


2nd Brick. Made me wish I was a "Y".
posted by kristymcj at 1:35 PM on January 31, 2011


Mean Girls. Garden State. Dodgeball. (I'm not sure why, exactly. I think it's Vince Vaughn's unconcerned "Eh, it'll probably just work out" attitude towards losing his gym and entire source of income.)

Weirdly, I think all of those movies all came out the same year.

Also, Shopgirl. That feeling that we're supposed to move to a big city and then not really knowing exactly what we're supposed to do once we get there.
posted by thebrokenmuse at 4:15 PM on January 31, 2011


And also, yes, The Social Network. That last scene where he's just sitting in front of his computer hitting refresh over and over again, waiting for something to change was almost scary. Like all of the sudden you can see how future generations are going to see you.
posted by thebrokenmuse at 4:24 PM on January 31, 2011


Okay, fiction:

Slumdog Millionaire
Little Miss Sunshine
Transamerica
Maria Full of Grace


Documentaries:

Jesus Camp
Super Size Me
Bowling for Columbine
posted by the young rope-rider at 5:08 PM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Something that separates the younger generations from generation x is that the younger generations consist of significantly more minorities than the older generations. I have not seen or even heard of a movie that can stake a claim as a generation defining moment for latinos or african americans. If anyone knows of any I think that would be good to list those. The TV series "The Wire" paints a painful portrait of the young urban underclass, especially in season 4.
posted by SouthCNorthNY at 9:28 PM on January 31, 2011


As others have said, Superbad, Napoleon Dynamite and (500) Days of Summer. Two other movies that come to mind are Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist and Zombieland.

SouthCNorthNY - Raising Victor Vargas is a small movie that tries to be a slice of life movie for young urban Latinos.
posted by gudrun at 1:01 AM on February 1, 2011


I'm surprised Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind hasn't been mentioned. Seems like a huge one for my generation.
posted by naju at 7:51 AM on February 1, 2011


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