For an explanation of the 30 Stories in 30 Days, start at Day 1.

Five Films That Made Me Want to Be A Teenager

1. Foxes

Foxes painted an all too real picture of teenage life in the late 70s, including drugs, sex and abusive parents. But all I saw was parties, rock concerts and best friends having slumber parties on a school night. It made me want to feather my hair like Cherie Currie and hang out with skater boys like Scott Baio. It did not make me want to marry Randy Quaid.

2. Jaws II

I know that most people who watched Jaws II left the theater with a terrifying fear of the water. I left with a dream of living on the coast, sailing to secluded beaches with cute teenage boys and making out on a Catamaran. It didn’t phase me in the slightest that the kids in this movie were terrorized by a killer shark. It just made me think that if I were ever in their situation, I hope the girls prettier than me would be the ones to get eaten.

3. Grease/Grease II

Here’s what I love about Grease: it’s a universally beloved movie with a message to young girls that if you really love a boy, you’ll start dressing like a slut. Grease II tried to be a little more progressive, giving the female lead all the power in the relationship, but ultimately it told us that books smarts are only good if they help you land a pretty, dumb chick. Despite all that, I thought being in a nonviolent gang with matching jackets and silly nicknames was like, the coolest. You dig?

4. Over the Edge

Over the Edge taught me that whenever parents just don’t understand, teens can fight back. Those kids were mad as Hell and they stopped taking it anymore–and I loved it. I’m not sure why I felt so put-upon by grown ups. I mean, the most oppression I ever suffered was being forced to clean my room when I didn’t want to. My parents used to take us to an arcade for dinner and video games, pretty regularly. My dad had a boat he named “The Pac Man.” They were pretty fucking cool, for parents. But Over the Edge showed me that if they ever got out of line, my teenage buddies would be able to teach them a lesson. It also showed a lot of Matt Dillon in cut-off tee-shirts.

5. Night of the Comet
This movie started with one teenage girl working at a movie theater (dream job!) and another punching her step-mom in the face (dream punch!). Then 20 minutes later they were the last people on earth! They shot Uzis at abandoned cars and took over a shopping mall and a radio station–my kid-wishes couldn’t come any more true than they did in this movie. I mean, except for everyone in the world being dead and the constant threat of killer comet-zombies, this movie was the ultimate teenage dream!


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Founder and editor of online magazine Kittenpants, producer for stage and screen, former writer for the Comedy Central Insider, quoted in both Maxim and Jane: DARCI RATLIFF can do it all, and does do it all (on or before the third date). Buy her book, If I Did It at

7 responses to “30 Stories in 30 Days: Day 12”

  1. For some reason this makes me think of the Always Sunny line: “If you’re looking for a better steak in an arcade setting, you are shit out of luck.”

  2. Jason Geyer says:

    Awesome choices. (I’ve never seen Over the Edge, even though I’ve read a lot about it over the years). Sad confession: Night of the Comet was the first thing I watched on Netflix Streaming. I meant to just glance at it but ended up stopping my whole day to see the entire thing.

    • Darci says:

      That’s not sad. When I saw that it was on Netflix streaming, I watched it, too, even though I have the DVD.

      I’ll send you Over the Edge. That’s not a euphemism.

  3. I love the lies that the grown ups told the kids before giving them the gas in Night of the Comet. “Then you will wake up in Toyland, and there will be elves and Santa Claus and many many toys for you to play with.”

    If I worked there as one of the scientists, I would have been the guy giggling in the background.

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