An eighties cult-classic (just barely, coming in in 1989), Teen Witch touches on many subjects that teenagers will always face: trying to “fit in” and, more importantly, having the courage to be yourself.
The movie has one of the best opening scenes that I’ve ever seen. Surprise, surprise, though, IT WAS ALL A DREAM. That’s okay, I’m pretty sure most humans have had dreams along the same lines before. Also, I’m in love with her red dress and the entire movie soundtrack. So eighties, and so perfect. Teen Witch stars Robin Lively as Louise Miller (yes, related to Gossip Girl’s Blake Lively), a nerdy girl in high school who is unsatisfied with her life and current social standing. Sound familiar? Secretly in love with the football quarterback and part of a clueless family. Besides the dream sequence, her wardrobe in the beginning of the movie is atrocious. Even for eighties standards. The most “blah” colors all the time.
My favorite characters really have no added benefit to the plot of the movie, but they are immensely entertaining – the three “bros” that are musically inclined. My least favorite character is the life-ruining teacher. He is very annoying and cruel, calling Louise out in class. THEN HE GOES AND READS A PAGE OF HER DIARY OUT LOUD IN FRONT OF THE ENTIRE CLASS. Are you kidding me??? Worst teacher ever. I feel ya, Louise. I would’ve hidden in the bathroom too. Then we realize this movie is actually better off as a musical, because they all “Like Boys”. It may be cheesy, but I do enjoy the scene and the song. So many different ways to wear that purple leotard. Although, I’m glad my high school didn’t have a required gym uniform. And then, because it is an eighties movie, it is basically a requirement to have a scene where Louise hides, watching Brad staying late at football practice by himself because he is just *so* dedicated (*I said that in a fake, dreamy voice*).
Then the REAL story begins. She is stranded at night and takes refuge at a psychic’s house who tells her strange things will happen. A few days later, Louise’s drama teacher just *happens* upon an antique amulet and strange things ACTUALLY start to happen. [SIDENOTE: the sex education scene is also pointless, but too good to not include in the movie.] After that, I’m sure much of the audience is jealous when she turns her annoying sibling into a dog. You’ll notice I’m not saying much about the school dance sequence because it is so lame. Literally the only thing I will say is that her pervvy date helps the plot along by scaring her into going back to Madame Serena’s. Time to get the party started.
[SIDENOTE: Proud to say I have glasses very similar to Madame Serena’s. No shame.]
Two words: truth spell. It spells trouble. And humor. Calling the rain and then dancing around? Totally something I would do. Love spell? No. Absolutely not. Voodoo doll on the evil teacher? Utter perfection – one of the best scenes in the entire movie. Completely necessary to the plot and my life. Strip tease in front of students, walk through the car wash for a shower – sounds like a good punishment to me. Then. It’s time. THE ALL TIME BEST SCENE – TOP THAT. Again, we see my favorite characters just gettin’ down. Then they are joined by Polly being a badass woman for one moment in her life. One of the few scenes that Louise is a completely good friend. “Look at how funky he is.” Too much.
And finally, the popularity spell. First of all, the concert scene is adorable and I love the jean jacket. Second, WHY DOES HER HAIR MAGICALLY CHANGE BECAUSE OF THIS SPELL? Nothing in the words say “make my hair beautiful”. SHE COULD HAVE DONE THAT TO HER HAIR AT ANY TIME. Not trying to be superficial here, like she was, but… (That elipsis is because I paused to get tea.) … you can have good hair and take care of yourself without being popular. This part also shows how Polly is probably the only character in the movie with her head of straight, BECAUSE SHE WAS FRIENDS WITH LOUISE BEFORE LOUISE BECAME POPULAR. Also, I think Louise went a little overboard with the spell. I mean, having banners hanging in the school with your name on them? A little pathetic.
And then the slutty music begins to play. And clothes begin to come off. And the movie does not hold back on the tongues. From this point on, the movie seems a tad rushed. Louise begins to see the cracks in her spell and the rest of her powers. But then her clueless dad comes in to have a cheesy conversation about self-confidence. I mean, the people camped out on her lawn are a bit much. Her conscience really shows when she rejects Brad’s dance invitation, Then Louise takes the advice I screamed loudly at the television and goes back to see Serena about fixing everything. Although, it might’ve been easier to just start wearing her dorky clothes again to make everyone ignore her. Unfortunately, Serena is a cynic and not a lot of help, until her conscience bubbles to the surface too. “The real magic is believing in yourself. If you can do that, you can make anything happen.” Cheesy-to-the-max, but still rings true.
Finally, another dance scene. Of course an eighties movie culminates to this fateful point. Almost like a lead-in to the nineties classic, Can’t Hardly Wait…. (LIGHTBULB. That is another possible review… Stay tuned.) I must say, thank goodness they turned this movie into a Broadway musical, because it was simply meant to be. POLLY FINALLY GETS HER RHET. That’s the true magic of this movie, because I relate most to Polly. IT’S GONNA BE MY FINEST HOUR. Perfect finale song. But the way she ends the popularity spell is so obvious and kind of cliche, but still touches the heart. What can I say, I’m a sucker for the happy endings.