American Teen

Rated 2.0

Cameras follow some mostly obnoxious teenagers around during their senior year at high school, supposedly documenting life as it spontaneously unravels. Yeah, right. Much of this feels staged, especially when one girl is seen taking off her wireless microphone before throwing a tantrum and blasting out of the room. Granted, it’s hard to get kids to act totally natural in front of cameras, but director Nanette Burstein makes too much of this look rehearsed. Late night drinking parties that degenerate into, oh my, Spin the Bottle, the class geek asking out popular girls awkwardly in the hallway, and toilet papering a rival’s house are some of the scenarios that come off as total bullshit. The one story that does resonate, that of Hannah, a bipolar misfit who is afraid to attend school after being dumped, feels like it is legitimate, but it’s still tedious to watch. I don’t know. I guess this sort of thing pales in comparison to just watching The Breakfast Club or Bully.