Lights, Camera, Dissatisfaction?

Common elements of popular movies and television shows are leaving the young people of our generation unsatisfied with their own lives.

Farris Buellers Day Off

Photo Courtesy of Danielle Moran

A screenshot from a scene in “Farris Bueller’s Day Off.” In this movie, Farris Bueller fakes being sick to skip school and spends the entire day doing fun activities such as going out to lunch, attending a baseball game, and participating in a parade.

Danielle Moran, Columnist

Crazy house parties, mean girls, legendary pranks, backstabbing, finding yourself, and coming clean in the end will always solve your problems. This is what high school is all about, right? Wrong. It’s not too difficult to see that Hollywood’s perspective of a normal life is a tad different than reality. What is difficult to see, however, is that the content of the action-packed, entertaining features that teenagers spend a majority of their time watching cause them to think that their existence is abnormally boring.

Probably the most influential part of movies is their exciting plot lines, especially in the eyes of young teenagers looking for adventure. Perhaps you’ve been to Saturday School, but it was nothing like The Breakfast Club. Maybe you’ve skipped class, but it wasn’t anything like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Movies can cause you to believe that if there isn’t something exciting happening every second of your life, you’re doing it wrong.

I get that if films actually resembled the reality we are used to, they’d be uninteresting and pointless – who would want to watch a movie or show about something they can experience every day for free?

Studies from Nielsen Holdings N.V. have provided statistics about what movie genres people like to watch and buy most. Nielsen N.V. is an international business that measures the trends of consumers worldwide. Calculations show that as of 2012, action/adventure makes up 61%, comedy makes up 50%, drama make up 32%, and romantic comedies make up 31% of the most popular movie genres seen in theatres.

At this point, the number of movies in which the average high school career is wrongly portrayed seems to be at an all time high. There needs to be a balance between what to expect from life in movies and what to expect in reality.

It’s not fair to compare your existence to that of a film character. And yet, the movies and shows we watch make us do it subconsciously anyway. While I’m still trying to decide if it’d be better to have movies that influence our view on life or that instead resemble the life we know, one thing is certain: movies have the potential of manipulating you. It’s your choice whether or not they have the power to do so.