The Unloved, Part 91: Sugar and Spice

I wanted to take a minute to lament that among the other things we’ve been denied in the last ten years, we lost a flourishing and formally exciting cinema for teenagers. In the mid-’90s there was a huge surge in movies made for young women that were also appealing to other audiences because they were directed with care and featured immense talent in front of and behind the camera. This stuff kind of turned into the brooding YA cinema after “Harry Potter” & “Twilight” made all the money in the world, and the light-as-air teen comedies of yore all but vanished. Nothing better replaced them in film, which is a huge shame. “Clueless” obviously had a huge cultural moment but I know movies like “Bring It On,” “Dick,” “The Craft,” and “But I’m a Cheerleader” have appreciative audiences to this day and not enough was paid attention to the fact that these movies for teen girls were successful without talking down to their subject or sweating trying to keep their parents engaged. I watched “Sugar and Spice” over my sister’s shoulder when she rented it in 2002 and I remember being sucked in because it was funny and charming. It didn’t feel like it wasn’t for me. It just felt like a great comedy. And I wish we had more like it today.

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