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the Complete Review
the complete review - advice / film

     

How To Fight, Lie, and Cry
Your Way to Popularity
(and a Prom Date)


by
Nikki Roddy


general information | our review | links | about the author

To purchase How To Fight, Lie, and Cry Your Way to Popularity (and a Prom Date)



Title: How To Fight, Lie, and Cry Your Way [...]
Author: Nikki Roddy
Genre: Non-fiction
Written: 2011
Length: 107 pages
Availability: How To Fight, Lie, and Cry Your Way to Popularity [...] - US
How To Fight, Lie, and Cry Your Way to Popularity [...] - UK
How To Fight, Lie, and Cry Your Way to Popularity [...] - Canada
How To Fight, Lie, and Cry Your Way to Popularity [...] - India
  • Lousy Life Lessons From 50 Teen Movies

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Our Assessment:

B : amusing summaries and obvious conclusions

See our review for fuller assessment.




The complete review's Review:

       How To Fight, Lie, and Cry Your Way to Popularity (and a Prom Date) offers a two-page spread on each of fifty American teen movies, from Rebel without a Cause (1955) through Easy A (2010), with an emphasis on the movies of the past three decades (there is only one film from the 50s, one from the 60s, and two from the 70s). A summary of the plot of each movie is presented, and that is then further distilled into a 'Life Lesson' -- the point of the whole exercise being that those lessons on offer in these movies are either completely unrealistic or (more often) simply insane. In addition, there's a 'Sound Bite' -- a brief bit of dialogue from the movie, often showing it at its most absurd --, a still photo, and another spin on what nutty lessons these movies have to offer, generally in the form of a multiple-choice question regarding some aspect of the movie.
       A disclaimer on the book's copyright page does warn readers:

Warning! Sarcasm ahead ! This book is intended for humor purposes only. It should not be considered serious advice in any way.
       That may be stating the obvious, but it still begs the question of why teen movies deliver these ridiculous messages -- and do so so consistently. Collecting them like this -- and it's a very representative survey of the most popular ones, by the way, outright satire (and sincere efforts aimed at the younger set, à la Harry Potter) excepted -- and reducing them to their essences just pounds home the fact that Hollywood has some weird ideas. Indeed, a closer look -- even just a relatively superficial one as offered here -- suggests there are few good take-aways from these movies.
       Of course, that's part of the fun -- the escapist fantasies that allow for the completely unreasonable to happen (including murder, mayhem, and extensive property damage, all pretty much readily overlooked in happy-end-land with the closing credits).
       A nostalgic reminder of everyone's adolescence -- from the now-old-geezers who grew up with Splendor in the Grass through the John Hughes- and now to the Twilight-generation --, How To Fight, Lie, and Cry Your Way to Popularity (and a Prom Date) makes for an amusing reminder and catalogue -- as well as a good corrective to that nostalgia in reminding readers and viewers just how nutty a lot of this stuff was and is.
       An amusing enough collection, put together with a decent sense of humor, How To Fight, Lie, and Cry Your Way to Popularity (and a Prom Date) offers some decent laughs with its 'Life Lessons', 'Sound Bites', and multiple-choice questions (which tend to be of the not-too-surprising 'trick' variety). Good fun for any teen-film fan -- and perhaps a good lesson for those who take their teen-films too seriously and have made too many life-decisions based on what they saw at the movies: as is clearly demonstrated here, that's obviously a really bad idea.

- M.A.Orthofer, 10 November 2011

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Links:

How To Fight, Lie, and Cry Your Way to Popularity (and a Prom Date): Nikki Roddy: Other books of interest under review:

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About the Author:

       Nikki Roddy works in publishing.

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© 2011 the complete review

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