Paramount Vantage sent over this brand new poster for American Teen (seen below) earlier today and it certainly caught me off guard. Ever since I took in the film at its world premiere at Sundance in January, I have been curious to see how a studio would market such a documentary. I guess, now we know — you take the subjects, who are a diverse group of high school students from Indiana, and you put them in context with a John Hughes movie. This one may take a second to digest, so lets peep the poster first…
Of course, if you need the larger version just give the poster a click.
The marketing strategy around this film, or at least the thought process around the poster you see above, seems to me to be a little too poppy, but ultimately smart. Sometimes with projects like American Teen, which is a great documentary that has a very honest, down-to-Earth message, it is tough to sell tickets without selling out to a certain extent. So to compare it to The Breakfast Club might be throwing it too quickly into the mainstream in the eyes of some. But for me, someone who loves the movie for what it is (having seen it twice), I can say that while this movie is not The Breakfast Club, I don’t blame Paramount Vantage for using this type of marketing. Besides, the goal is to get the film out to the widest audience possible — and everyone can relate to John Hughes. Right?
Of course, while I didn’t feel the Breakfast Club vibe from American Teen, it appears that writer-director Nanette Burstein did. “Breakfast Club is one of the few teen fiction films that actually address all those teen storylines: popular girls ruling the school, the Romeo and Juliet love-story, the nerdy kid looking for acceptance,” Burstein told The Hollywood Reporter. “I didn’t consciously think about that when I was shooting the movie but afterwards, I realized the similarities.”
So intended or not, that is where American Teen has ended up, with Guy Endore-Kaiser, co-president of marketing for Paramount Vantage saying things like, “The dream is for people to start referring to American Teen as the real-life version of The Breakfast Club.”
Ok sure, I will buy that for now. As long as people go see the movie. Besides, this one isn’t firmly planted at the top of my “Best of 2008” list for no reason.
American Teen will hit theaters on July 25th.