Recently an online newspaper released an article explaining their top picks for the best songs from teen movies. The list consisted of a lot of the more “memorable” songs from the soundtracks Which isn’t a problem, however I believe that the most “memorable” isn’t always the best. I also felt that a majority of the movies on this list were older movies. So I decided to make my own list of songs, a more updated list, filled with some absolutley amazing and inspiring songs:
20. Ice Princess: Now Ice Princess itself is a very nostalgic movie, for me, it is one of the first movies I ever saw depicting a woman being more than just clever or just beautiful. The song I picked from the Ice Princess soundtrack is No One by Aly and Aj. The song itself is a questioning of identity and is a crucial part of the soundtrack.
19. Pretty In Pink: Pretty in Pink is all about identity and questioning the heirachy of society and the difficult actions of class. Left of Center by Suzanne Vega is the ultimate song about having different opinions, it perfectly describes Andie’s view on social spheres and epitomises the whole film.
18. The Princess Diaries: Again dealing with the progression of identity and the changing of social spheres, the Princess Diaries, Miracles Happen by Myra perfectly sums up the concept of Mia’s situation. I also feel like this song perfectly represents Disney in the 2000’s.
17. Clueless: An iconic film in everyway, from the wardrobe and set to the plot, clueless shows the fakery and the shallowness in some high school students who have fallen into the “regime”. Fake Plastic Trees by Radiohead resonates with the exact fakeness that appears in Cher in the movies.
16. Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging: an iconicly british movie, that has an iconicly british soundtrack. Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging deals with everything from body image to parental issues, the movie epitomises everything that a teenage girl could possibly go through. The song i’ve chosen from this soundtrack is Girls and Boys in Love by the Rumble Stripes, a song that sounds quintessentially british.
15. Wild Child: Another iconicly british movie, it merges the american culture with the apparently dreary all girls school culture. Growing up in an all girls school this movie is incredibly relatable. It deals with consequences, differences in culture and the idea of teenage rebellion. So I chose a song that really sums up the rebellion merged with British culture, Kiss With A Fist – Florence and the Machine.
14. A Cinderella Story: Everyone has grown up with one sort of cinderella story. The Hilary Duff version will always be the supreme version though. A Cinderella Story teaches us about the importance of friendship and the value of personality. For this one I chose possibly the most iconic song in the movie I’ll Be by Edwin McCain. (Because sometimes the most iconic is the best song)
13. Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants: One of the most iconic teen movies, the sisterhood of the travelling pants deals with the lives and problems of four different teenage girls. These problems are all magically solved by the pants. For this one I picked something that could be used as universal song for all the girls in the movie, Closer to You by Brandi Carlile
12. The Breakfast Club: Another 80’s movie, possibly the most iconic teen movie of the 80’s. The Breakfast Club has an iconic soundtrack, however, the most obvious choice for this pick to me is not the best. To me the best song on the album is We Are Not Alone by Karla Devito. This song delves into the united ending of the movie.
11. Love, Simon: Love, Simon, is an important LGBTQ movie, delving into the act of “coming out” and exploring the life of someone who is going through the process of “coming out”. It deals with act of acceptance. Troye Sivan is such an icon in the LGBTQ world that his song Strawberries and Cigarettes on the soundtrack elevates the whole album.
10. The Fault in Our Stars: I couldn’t not include this soundtrack in the list. The soundtrack mixes soft and chill music with the upbeat and fun songs, mirroring the movie in that respect. For me Tee Shirt by Birdy has such an overwhelming connection with the emotions of the movie that it can’t not be the top song from the soundtrack.
9. Juno: Juno was one of the first teen movies I ever saw. It deals with the struggle between adulthood and teenage years, blending them together to become an early adulthood. However in the film the concept of love is thrown about so much, whether it be platonic, family or a non-platonic love, it is one of the main concepts in the film. As there is a lot of love, I chose All I Want Is You by Barry Louis Polisar as the top song.
8. Now is Good: The idea of death and mortality is brought up in Now Is Good. It is a beautiful film with a beautiful soundtrack. My top song from this soundtrack is Lower Your Eyelids to Die With the Sun by M83, a song which is relaxing and inspiring.
7. Baby Driver: To me, Baby Driver is partially a teen movie, it is about escapism and love. The soundtrack is again iconic and possibly the best song is the most known, B-A-B-Y by Carla Thomas because it wouldn’t be Baby Driver without that song.
6. Submarine: Directed by Richard Ayoyade, Submarine is a beautiful film that focuses on teenage life from a male perspective, something that is rare. The soundtrack was written by Alex Turner, and for some reason it gives indie coffee shop vibes (in a good way). My favourite from this soundtrack is Piledriver Waltz (by Alex Turner).
4. The Way Way Back: A movie about personality and freedom away from the family, is something we can all relate to. The Way Way Back deals with isolation of personality from your family and the concept of feeling Alone by Trampled by Turtles.
3. Stuck in Love: The title says it all, Stuck In Love focuses on complicated relationships. Complicated relationships between teenagers, between father and children. It discusses divorce and family, as well as being a romantic movie. The top song from this is I Won’t Love You Any Less by Nat & Alex Wolff.
2. Paper Towns: Another movie about identity and relationships, Paper Towns looks into the concept of being in love and illusions. Glorifying the idea of a “train-wreck” of a high school experience, something that is incredibly relatable. So from this album I chose Taxi Cab by Vampire Weekeend
1 . The Perks of Being A Wallflower : To me, possibly the most iconic Teen movie of the 21st Century. The Perks of Being A Wallflower discusses mental health and how that affects social situations. It delves into the idea of seeing the happiness within the darkness and looks at the complications of relationships as a teenager. The soundtrack represents these little bursts of life and happiness, as well as darkness with songs such as Coming on Eileen and Asleep. However, my top song from The Perks of Being A Wallflower soundtrack, is Temptation by New Order. To me it perfectly sums up the idea of being a teenager and the sporadic sense of nature that comes with being a teen.