In coming-of-age films, social hierarchies put an unfairly high value on shiny hollow surfaces. The messy exterior layers of the outcast, which usually mask something far more elaborate underneath, is too much to bear for their judgmental peers. The impending battle for “normalcy” creates monsters in both the heads of the teasers and those relentlessly being teased. Great films like Ghost World and Fast Times at Ridgemont High depict these angst-ridden struggles, creating a nuanced cinematic headspace for fringe characters to release their compressed emotions in unique and funny ways.
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