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My Life At The Movies: Youth In Revolt

In my early double digits I found myself lost in the land of white suburbia. Like any Caucasian settlement, slotted amongst the cookie-cutter households was the Community Pool. Reflecting back upon my times at that concrete beach I can remember one day in particular; a sunny afternoon wherein a red two-piece sent my dormant hormones into a berserker’s rage.

The bikini adorned girl was my childhood crush, Amanda Kieswetter, and for years I tried to win her over. Truth be told she never gave me the time of day, because like Nick Twisp in “Youth In Revolt,” I was pathetically poetic and tragically naive.

Youth In Revolt is another sign that 2010 has been prematurely misjudged. It is definitely not a bad year for movies, not when considering this particular masterpiece in dialogue.

The basic premise behind the film is that a wholesome boy meets a troubled girl, and love and destruction result. It all begins when Nick is forced to go into hiding because of his Mother’s boyfriend. Upon reaching a secluded trailer park Nick is quickly wisped away into a series of memorable quotes inspired by the lovely Sheeni. Like any enchanting romance the first great line comes after the lovers meet. From the journal of Nick Twisp I quote: “Yesterday the most exciting thing in my life was the thought of Jerry being beaten senseless by three angry sailors. Now I’m spending time with a beautiful, interesting girl… and I have no idea how it happened.” Looking back at that chance encounter with young Ms. Kieswetter, I didn’t feel any of that linguistic magic… but I swear there was this moment recently wherein I did.

To keep Sheeni interested Nick is forced to strike a James Dean pose and become a rebel without a cause, to become “Francois”. Now I’ve spent many nights being “Francois.” I’ve had many riotous adventures involving petty crimes and pretty damsels. However, when the wild winds of angst stop blowing, the dust settles, and all you’re left with is regret and heartache.

Every real life Nick has a Francois in his mind and a Sheeni in his heart. Men torn between the good souls they are, and the criminals they believe they have to be. But before the cops come and arrest for you for crimes of passion remind your Sheeni that she didn’t find a Francois, she fell for a Nick. After all we’re not talking prepubescent poolside hard-ons here, we’re talking about love. We are talking about that moment when you’re inspired to write sonnets, fight wars, and after all that… be yourself.

This is the story of Nick and his Sheeni, this is my life at the movies.

Jon Godfrey

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