2010 Fabulous Films for Young Adults

The Fabulous Films for Young Adults list identifies a body of films relating to a theme that will appeal to young adults ages 12-18 and is presented annually at the ALA Midwinter Meeting.

The 2010 Fabulous Films for Young Adults offers 31 titles based on the theme “Outside In: Rebellion vs. Conformity.” The list includes films, both fiction and nonfiction, that display teens reacting to the society around them and how they learn to become who they are. The complete list, including annotations, can be found at www.ala.org/yalsa/fabfilms.

“The nominations were gathered through the YALSA website and are encouraged by ALA members and the public they serve. We were impressed by the variety and depth of the films suggested," said chair Susan Wray. This is the second year of the new charge of selecting films based on a theme  including feature films and documentaries throughout film history. We believe the list is strong, encompassing many different genres with wide appeal to young adults.”
Members of the Fabulous Films for Young Adults Committee are: Susan Wray, Mid-Continent Public Library, Blue Springs, Mo.; Lynn Piper Carpenter, Birmingham (Ala.) Public Library; Susan Conlon, Princeton (N.J.) Public Library; Jane Halsall, McHenry (Ill.) Public Library; Janet Hilbun, University of North Texas College of Information, Denton; Natalie Houston, Orange County Library System, Orland, Fla.; Melanie Metzger, Lone Star College CyFair Branch, Cypress, Texas; Sarah Sogigian, Metrowest Massachusetts Regional Library System, Waltham; Tina Zubak, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Pa.; and Adrienne Butler, Youth Services Consultant, Oklahoma Department of Libraries, Oklahoma City.

2010 Titles

Feature Films

Breakfast Club. Universal Studios. 1985. DVD. R. $19.98 When Saturday detention started, they were simply the Jock, the Princess, the Brain, the Criminal and the Basket Case, but by that afternoon they had become closer than any of them could have imagined.

Breaking Away. Twentieth Century Fox. 1979. DVD. PG. $9.98 Four friends come to terms with life after high school. When top-notch cyclist Dave learns that the world's bicycling champions are always Italian, he attempts to turn himself into an Italian, driving his parents crazy. But everything changes after he meets the Italian racing team—an encounter that ultimately leads him and his friends to challenge the local college boys in the town's annual bike race.

Dead Poets Society. Touchstone Pictures. 1989. DVD. PG. $14.99. Robin Williams portrays English professor John Keating, who, in an age of crew cuts, sport coats and cheerless conformity, inspires his students to live life to the fullest, exclaiming "Carpe Diem, lads! Seize the day. Make your lives extraordinary!" The charismatic teacher's emotionally charged challenge is met by his students with irrepressible enthusiasm--changing their lives forever.

The Devil Wears Prada. Twentieth Century Fox. 2006. DVD. PG-13. $14.98. An aspiring journalist recently graduated from college lands a job in a trendy fashion magazine where she doesn’t fit it, but she learns to conform to the demands her job because it could be the stepping stone in her career, but at what cost?

Donnie Darko. Twentieth Century Fox. 2001. DVD. R. $19.98. An edgy, psychological thriller about a suburban teen, who struggles to figure out where he fits in, and comes face-to-face with his dark destiny. Donnie Darko is a delusional high-school student visited by a demonic rabbit with eerie visions of the past and deadly predictions for the future.

Drive Me Crazy. Twentieth Century Fox. 1999. DVD. PG-13. $9.98. A popular high school senior Nicole, planning her schools centennial prom, has her life turned around when her “perfect date” dumps her for the cute cheerleader; to save her reputation she pretends to be in a relationship with Chase, the boy-next-door, who has a reputation as a trouble-maker, who by coincidence was also dumped and wants to make his ex jealous too. Nicole tries to change Chase’s image, and changes her mind about fitting in with the “in-crowd” instead. Based on the book How I Created My Perfect Prom Date by Todd Strasser.

Edward Scissorhands. Twentieth Century Fox. 1990. DVD. PG-13. $14.98 Once upon a time in a castle high on a hill lived an inventor whose greatest creation was named Edward. Although Edward had an irresistible charm, he wasn't quite perfect. The inventor's sudden death left him unfinished, with sharp shears of metal for hands. Edward lived alone in the darkness until one day a kind Avon Lady took him home to live with her family. And so began Edward's fantastic adventures in a pastel paradise known as Suburbia.

Freedom Writers. Paramount Pictures. 2007. DVD. PG-13. $29.99 A true story about a teacher in a racially divided school who gives her students what they've always needed, a voice.

Girl, Interrupted. Sony Pictures. 1999. DVD. R. $14.94 Susanna is depressed and directionless after finishing high school in the late 1960's. A suicide attempt lands her in Claymore, a mental institution. She befriends the band of troubled women in her ward but falls under the hypnotic sway of Lisa, the wildest and most hardened of the bunch. Will Susanna "drop anchor" at Claymore and perpetually act out like Lisa, or will she finally pull her mind together and leave institutional life behind?

Good Will Hunting. Miramax. 1997. DVD. R. $14.99 A young working-class genius is hauled back from the brink of self-destruction by a gifted counselor.

Heathers. New World Ent. 1988. DVD. R. The group at Westerbergh High are three girls named Heather and Veronica. When charismatic anarchist J. D. becomes friends with Veronica, things start happening to the Heathers.

Gridiron Gang. Sony. 2007. PG-13. DVD. $14.97 Based on a true story, Sean Porter, a former football star and now a juvenile detention center counselor takes a group of inmates and turns them into successful football team.

Into the Wild. Paramount Pictures. 2007. DVD. R. $19.99 Freshly graduated from college with a promising future ahead, Christopher McCandless walked out of his privileged life and into the wild in search of adventure. What happened to him on the way transformed this young wanderer into an enduring symbol for countless people, a fearless risk-taker who wrestled with the precarious balance between man and nature. Based on a true story, written by Jon Krakauer.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Republic Pictures. 1956. DVD. NR. $14.98 Plant-like extraterrestrials have invaded Santa Mira, a small town in California, replicating the villagers in giant seed "pods" and taking possession of their souls while they sleep. In a race for his life, Dr. Bennell escapes to warn the world of the deadly invasion of the pod people.

Matrix. Paramount Pictures. 2001. DVD. R. $12.98 A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against the controllers of it.

Mean Girls. Paramount Pictures. 2004. DVD. PG-13. $14.98 When a young girl who has lived in Africa and been homeschooled moves to New York, she must enter a public high school. Survival of the fittest takes on a whole new meaning when she falls for the ex-boyfriend of the most popular girl in school. Based on the book Queen Bees and
Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman.

Milk. Universal Studios. 2009. DVD. R. $29.98 His life changed history. His courage changed lives. Harvey Milk is a middle-aged New Yorker who, after moving to San Francisco, became a Gay Rights activist and city politician, the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in the United States. The following year, both he and the city's mayor, George Moscone, were shot to death by former city supervisor, Dan White, who blamed his former colleagues for denying White's attempt to rescind his resignation from the board. Based on the inspiring true story of Harvey Milk.

Napoleon Dynamite. Twentieth Century Fox. 2004. DVD. PG. $14.98 A listless and alienated teenager decides to help his new friend win the class presidency in their small western high school, while he must deal with his bizarre family life back home.

On the Waterfront. Sony Pictures. 1954. DVD. NR An ex-fighter gets a job working on the gang-ridden waterfront under a crooked gangster boss.

The Outsiders. Warner Bros. 1983. DVD. PG. $12.98 When two poor greasers, Johnny, and Ponyboy are assaulted by a vicious gang, the socs, and Johnny kills one of the attackers, tension begins to mount between the two rival gangs, setting off a turbulent chain of events. Based on the novel by S.E. Hinton.

Pleasantville. New Line Home Video. 1998. DVD. PG-13. $14.98 A brother and sister are magically transported through their television set and into the black-and-white world of a 1950s sitcom called Pleasantville. Soon they affect this environment with their worldly sensibilities, and people and things slowly begin to acquire color, and their complacent world is profoundly changed.

Say Anything. Twentieth Century Fox. 1989. DVD. PG-13. $14.98 A noble underachiever and a beautiful valedictorian fall in love the summer before she goes off to college.

Some Kind of Wonderful. Paramount. 2002. DVD. PG-13. $12.98 A young tomboy finds her feelings for her best friend run deeper than just friendship when he gets a date with the most popular girl in school.

Step Up 2. Touchstone. 2008. DVD. PG-13. $19.99 Andie is on the verge of being being sent to Texas to stay with another relative due to her behavior. As a last resort to stay in town a friend arranges an audition at arts school. Much to her surprise she gets in but all the rehearsal interferes with her time with her neighborhood dance "crew." As Andie tries to fit in at her new school, she finds fitting in with her old friends difficult.


America the Beautiful. Sensory Overload Ent. 2007. DVD. R A documentary about teens in the modeling industry in a society where "celebutantes" like Paris Hilton dominate newsstands and models who weigh less than 90 pounds die from malnutrition, female body image is one of the more dire problems facing today's society. "America the Beautiful" illuminates the issue by covering every base. Child models, plastic surgery, celebrity worship, airbrushed advertising, dangerous cosmetics - no rock is left unturned. www.americathebeautifuldoc.com/

American Teen. Paramount Vantage. 2008. DVD. PG-13 A documentary on seniors at a high school in a small Indiana town and their various cliques. www.americanteenthemovie.com

Gimme Green. Jellyfish Smack Prod. 2006. DVD. NR. $15.00 Lawns are undeniably an American symbol. But what do they really symbolize? Pride and prosperity? Or waste and conformity? Gimme Green is a humorous look at the American obsession with the residential lawn and the effects it has on our environment, our wallets and our outlook on life. From the limitless subdivisions of Florida to sod farms in the arid southwest, Gimme Green peers behind the curtain of the $40-billion industry that fuels our nation's largest irrigated crop—the lawn. www.gimmegreen.com/home.htm

Odd Ones Out. Cinema Guild. 2008. DVD. NR. $295.00 This film follows three transgendered teens over four years as they contemplate what to do with their lives.

Planet B-Boy. Arts Alliance America. 2007. DVD. NR. $19.95 Jumping continents and crossing cultures, "Planet B-Boy" looks at the history of breakdancing and its vibrant resurgence in urban cultures around the world. Planet B-Boy follows five crews—from Las Vegas, Osaka, Seoul and rural France—into the emotionally charged high-voltage "Battle of the Year" in Braunschweig, Germany.We get to know the boys as young artists, sons trying to please demanding parents, athletes pushing their bodies to the limits, teens struggling to find their place in a difficult world. Planet B-Boy shows how these artists—no less dedicated and skilled than Olympic gymnasts—are confront mainstream cultures that pressure them to conform: one Korean lad struggles to live up to his traditionally-minded father's expectations, a twelve-year-old boy in the French crew faces his family's not-too-subtle racism, the Las Vegas lads are trying to achieve the American dream through self-expression. www.planetbboy.com

Quantum Hoops. Green Forest Films. 2007. DVD. NR. $26.95 California Institute of Technology is ranked among the world's five top academic institutions, and its faculty and alumni hold an astonishing number of Nobel Prizes. So, it should come as no surprise that the school's emphasis is on academic—not athletic—achievements. Caltech offers no athletic scholarships and its basketball team ranks lowest in its league. But the team's story is the quirky subject of Rick Greenwald's captivating Quantum Hoops, a film that's as smart as its subjects—the team of players who continue to push their game although they consistently lose. www.quantumhoops.com

Rising Son. Image Ent. 2006. DVD. NR. $19.99 The rise, fall, and rebirth of Christian Hosoi, the young man who helped skateboarding re-emerge as a major cultural influence in the 1980s. The inventive skater and businessman was incarcerated in 2000 for trafficking controlled substances across state lines, and since his parole in 2004, the Born-Again Christian has dedicated his life to being a good father and positive influence on the sport.