Archives for posts with tag: Teen Crush

I haven’t posted about too many TV sitcoms, yet after watching a few episodes of “The Goldbergs” recently, I wanted to share my thoughts. The 1980s were a part of my childhood and early teen years, so I could relate to many aspects of the show right away. Breakin’ it down by several characters, here are a few elements that jostled nostalgia.

Barry (Troy Gentile)

A regular item he carries is a denim backpack and I had one just like it. But that wasn’t all; I went through a variety of denim pocketbooks in different sizes as well. Then, there were those cropped denim jackets with like long strips of white leather fringe. It was…like, totally…denim overload!

In the world of fragrance, many girls like myself were spritzing ourselves with Debbie Gibson’s Electric Youth perfume. In one episode, Barry gives Adam pointers on how to be more attractive to a girl, advising him to use Drakkar Noir. I actually wasn’t aware of that cologne in 80s, but later on, my high school crush wore it and he rocked that scent.

Erica (Hayley Orrantia)

I love the pop culture posters decorating Erica’s bedroom. At some point, my walls were covered with New Kids on the Block pin-ups from the pages of teen magazines. Not just page-size pin-ups, but centerfolds and pull-out posters. I also had a few banners, wherever they were bought, along with tons of other fan merchandise. While on the subject of my generation’s boy band NKOTB, I had a quick glimpse of Erica wearing a t-shirt featuring Jordan, Donnie, Danny, Jonathan and Joe. Later, I caught part of an episode with their names as the title; if the onscreen fan mentioned her favorite, I missed it. I’ll have to catch that one from the start next time it reruns. But who was my favorite guy? Jordan…loved his eyes, smile, hair, voice, style, dance moves. I saw NKOTB in concert back in the day and even got to see them again when they had a tour date in Philly last June. Check out my NKOTB concert blog post.

A lot of other styles Erica wears takes me back to the 80s. My friends and I all loved the combo of big earrings, bangle bracelets, jelly bracelets and denim dyed to colors such as teal. I never shopped at Benetton as the onscreen teen does, but it’s among brands I remember clearly. While watching the show, I haven’t noticed specific footwear looks representing 80s shoe styles. My favorite sneaker brand back then was definitely L.A. Gear.

Erica also had a pen pal who she eventually meets. I remember filling out forms to sign up and get matched to pen pals based on common age range, interests and so on. As a teen, I wrote to a handful of pen pals, but never met them. They lived in countries including Ireland, Germany, Malaysia, Australia and Italy. I still have my letters from them, stored away with many other mementos from my early teen years.

Adam (Sean Giambrone)

It’s funny relating even to the youngest kid on the show, but my generation often did something he did – going out to a local video rental store. It feels like a completely different world or lifetime compared to these days. I hadn’t thought about it for a long time, renting movies on VHS. Then, a guy in one of my graduate writing classes wrote a short story about his own video rental store experiences. The tone of his story was that he missed those times and included several reasons why he felt that way, despite convenient streaming technologies of today. He saw a video rental store trip as an adventure. And of course, we couldn’t forget to rewind and get any movies we rented back by the due date.

A couple of other episodes revolving around Adam had themes of “The Goonies” and “The Karate Kid.” Who knows how many times I’ve watched these two movies? A sense of friends’ one last adventure, led by inspired Mikey (Sean Astin) makes me think of how different time periods in life come to a close. A friend moves far away or we graduate and lose touch with some classmates. At least that’s the case with my generation, since our high school years came before the era of social media and easily keeping connected. Also, the whole plot of a long-ago maritime mystery is a favorite theme of mine that, in the spirit of “The Goonies,” never dies. Then, in “The Karate Kid,” there is the story of a new kid who gets bullied, finds love and the strength to hold his own. It was a mix of common situations that teens experience, making this a relatable movie. But I also had a huge crush on Ralph Macchio when he became known for his role of Daniel, “The Karate Kid.” I remember wishing I could be his onscreen girlfriend, Ali (Elisabeth Shue). And who could forget the wisdom and humor of Pat Morita as Mr. Miyagi?

Beverly (Wendi McLendon-Covey)

Her use of Aqua Net hairspray reminds me of junior high and all that stiff, high-poofed hair many girls had to top off their look. Beverly had a more toned-down style as the mom. However, some late-80s teen girls in my yearbooks must’ve had their bangs sprayed up to stand five inches high!

Opening references to 80s pop culture and history moments are among what I relate to as well, remembering those myself. I also love the added touch of home videos featuring the real-life people behind the show’s characters.

Jeff Garlin and George Segal star as the father and grandfather respectively, rounding out the Goldberg family regulars. Patton Oswalt narrates episode stories from Adam’s point of view.

I remember the original “Magnum, P.I.” TV series, although I never watched it at the time. Considering how young I was, it just didn’t appeal to me or others my age. Looking back on the show, I can see the main audience being viewers in their 20s and 30s. The lead star, Tom Selleck, as a handsome actor certainly would’ve been part of the draw. That, too, I also get now. I was just too young to see him as a celeb crush when the Hawaiian-set show was airing new episodes.

Checking my email recently, I saw a message from the Hollywood Reporter. Its subject line was about a new version of the early 80s TV series. As it turns out, the lead actor is a new celeb crush of mine, Jay Hernandez. I first saw him in “Bad Moms” when he’s walking in slo-mo up to his onscreen daughter’s school with her. The camera, also in slo-mo to emphasize his attractiveness, moved up toward his face; my jaw dropped. I just thought he was so gorgeous! Actually, he somewhat resembles a guy I had a crush on for a while. My best friend and I also followed up on seeing “Bad Moms” when its hilarious sequel arrived in theaters.

Among his other roles, I’d been wanting to check out “Suicide Squad” and finally saw it; pretty good and with a cast of favorites in acting. But as with other movie stars I don’t become aware of until later, I’m hoping to catch up on past roles Hernandez has to his credits, such as an early one in “Crazy / Beautiful” from 2001. I think there’s something in its storyline that I could relate to in a way through my high school experiences. Other movies I want to see include “Torque” and “Friday Night Lights,” both from 2004, “World Trade Center” (2006) and “Nothing Like the Holidays” (2008) to name a few.

So, even though we’re in an era of remake and reboot mania, I’ll be sure to tune in as the new version makes its debut. It’s the same with movies; some updated takes on them aren’t that appealing to me, while others are for one reason or another.


Right away, the overwhelming stress Amy (Mila Kunis) has can be felt as she prepares for Christmas. It’s a mix of wanting to enjoy that time of year, but how, with so many things on her to-do list. I love how she simply gives up on wrapping one gift and tosses it over her shoulder, having too much struggle getting it to look perfect. One thing’s for sure in the hectic moments of getting ready for holiday season. Heart-melting and reminding me of a former crush, Jessie (Jay Hernandez) is so sweet, supportive and helpful every step of the way. Amy then gets the nightmare call and her reaction hints at a battle looming ahead.

Her friends Kiki (Kristen Bell) and Carla (Kathryn Hahn) have their own mom-induced surprises for the holidays. Much like the Amy and her friends, their respective moms have a variety of personalities that from one generation to another bring about clashes. For Amy, it’s her relaxed style vs. her mom Ruth’s (Christine Baranski) must-be-the-best style of celebrating. Kiki wants distance from her mom Sandy (Cheryl Hines), whose closeness breaks too many boundaries. Isis (Susan Sarandon) is the opposite, not present enough in Carla and her son Jaxon’s (Cade Cooksey) lives.

As the story goes on, it mirrors the first “Bad Moms” in that Amy’s trio find a cause to rebel against in the seasonal festivities. They sit together, share their troubles with one another and party on throughout the mall. Along the way, the friends drew others into their wild shopping spree. It helped loosened them up until the next obstacle in holiday prep time.

When it comes to Christmas decorating, Ruth is both severely traditional and over-the-top in a way that Amy definitely finds tacky. Her mom is an awful stress-inducer in a number of other ways. She nags at Amy, treats Jessie in a brush-off manner and says socially inappropriate things. Trying to downplay it all is Amy’s much more relaxed dad, Hank (Peter Gallagher).

Before seeing this movie, the two generations of moms was interesting to me because of how they were matched up. Kiki and Sandy were similar in appearance. Carla and Isis mirrored each other in wild personality and style. Yet Amy and Ruth don’t look alike and their characters are vastly different, building up their clashes. Kiki’s mom relationship was weird, Carla’s was sad. In my opinion, Amy had the worst trouble brewing with her mom. So it complimented the story that she had a father whose personality was closer to her own.

With everyone gathered at the SkyZone, most of the adults forget their cares and stress-triggering issues. All except for Ruth; she ends up in a challenge after Amy’s rebellious decision in favor of a laughter-filled family-friendly night. What happened to Ruth and the slo-mo result of that moment was hilarious. Kiki making a fight-ready pose, combined with the sound and more slo-mo was another favorite from while they enjoyed their night out. Oh and I remembered Amy speeding around in her ex-husband’s cool red classic Dodge Challenger in the first “Bad Moms.” I guess it was kept off of the wintry roads this time.

The problem Kiki has with her mom sure would inspire her to appear tough and strong, which she has to be emotionally. Sandy keeps laying on guilt-trips whenever her daughter tries to explain that boundaries must be set between them. Kiki simply wants her mom to understand the importance of an adult life that doesn’t include such an in-her-face parent. Her husband Kent (Lyle Brocato) has already been made to feel very awkward as a result of Sandy’s overbearing desire to be around all the time. It seemed as though Kiki and her mom needed that therapy meeting with Dr. Karl (Wanda Sykes) more than Amy and her husband did in the first “Bad Moms” movie.

In a little mother-daughter bonding moment, Carla hinted to her mom that she’s lonely, yet tries to joke about it. Isis appears to sense how her daughter really feels. Despite not being around much in recent years, she shows concern in her expression. Of course, as a non-conventional mom, Isis does something totally unexpected of a parent and it lightens up the sad moment. It isn’t long before Carla’s heart is lit up. She meets Ty (Justin Hartley) and wow, look at this guy! I love how they just click right away, understanding each other; new love found so easily.

During the stripping Santa scene, I thought Carla was going to have a new and rather awkward problem with her wild mom. She looked as if trying to keep herself from simmering at the antics unfolding before her eyes. But a mishap takes place, leading to another dilemma for the newly lovestruck bad mom. I could feel for Carla as her gaze follows Ty, that expression of longing for him when he has to leave after such brief time together.

When Amy tells her mom how it’s gonna be this Christmas…her house, her way…the result makes for a nice twist to come later on. Ruth, as rigid as she was, reacts in such a way that had me thinking she was plotting…but what? Of course, Amy just gets dragged in to more unwanted over-the-top Christmas activities against her laid-back plans. She finds herself singing Christmas Carols throughout the neighborhood and…Surprise! It’s an old rival, Gwendolyn, (Christina Applegate) who answers the doorbell at one house. How will Amy ever live that moment down?

Taking in an over-decorated house and a party with entertainment including Kenny G playing saxophone, the big battle is on. Amy’s fight with her mom was insane and hilarious as Ruth is yelling out claims about why various decor pieces are extra special. It made no difference to Amy where they came from or what made them significant. That scene leads to another moment similar to the first “Bad Moms” movie, as Amy’s kids are upset at the turn of events. Jane (Oona Laurence) is especially hurt by this family upheaval, while Dylan (Emjay Anthony) showed disappointment. Kiki and Carla also have their mom troubles and scenes that reflect stress from not having better relationships with them. A nice transition follows in which Ruth, Sandy and Isis come together, although still at odds over personalities and it’s hard to tell if they’ll end up close friends.

As things get patched up for everyone, Christmas dinner brings a welcomed adult surprise for someone. Jessie’s daughter, Lori (Ariana Greenblatt) delivers one of those “the things kids say” lines about what she’s too young to understand, as she did in an earlier scene. It reminded me of a famous quote from a long-time favorite Christmas movie, similar language in different context blurted out by a young kid. Anyway, everything is now cheery and bright in Amy’s world of family and friends.

In the end, the older generation of moms all strut out on their way to an earlier suggested ladies vacation. I couldn’t help but imagine what’s to come. It had the feel of a cliffhanger and that they’d have their own crazy adventure. What about Amy, Kiki and Carla? I’d love to see those friends again, as well as their love interests. If another sequel came along, what would be next for Amy and Jessie’s relationship and that of Carla and Ty? What hilarious scenarios would happen? After many laughs throughout this movie, its ending credits brought even more fun as the cast goofed around and danced in a wintry setting. I can’t wait to see this again when it’s available in stores.

It’s been a while since I’ve seen this romantic comedy of a lovestruck high school girl who learns that she is a witch. Two weekends ago, I was visiting my best friend for the day and we’re always having girl talk and watching a movie or two. “Teen Witch” is one of those movies both of us can relate to from the high school crush aspect. So, I was hoping to find a copy of it on DVD at one store or another. Yet it was coming up out of stock at all locations in my area. I stopped by the f.y.e. at a local mall and ordered it, since they also didn’t have it available at the time. The DVD arrived yesterday evening for me to pick up. Now, I’m just holding off watching it until visiting my best friend again. I can’t wait to watch it with her, for some lighthearted movie-watching among upcoming horror marathons for Halloween. She hadn’t seen it in a long time either, but I know we’ll have some of the same favorite parts throughout the story. We’ll surely find ways in which it reminds us of our high school moments and I can recall a few parts of this movie that are like that for me.

Louise (Robyn Lively), is basically a wallflower with her shy and introverted personality. Yet she’s head over heels in love with gorgeous and popular top athlete Brad (Dan Gauthier). It’s one of the elements I enjoyed about the story. Well, I felt for Louise, since I was on the shy side around the guy I who caught my eye; he could be described in the same way as the movie heartthrob. There’s also a moment in which she is embarrassed by a teacher, although I only remember her reaction. Whatever happened, many can easily connect with that feeling from similar incidents, when a teacher says or does something that humiliates a student. In my high school days, we’d sneak passing notes and one day, my best friend was close to being caught passing one to me about my crush. I don’t know if that guy knew or at least sensed my feelings. But if my best friend had been caught and the teacher did the feared note-reading to the whole class…no words! While that didn’t happen, another teacher almost revealed my feelings in front of that heart-melting guy. So, in that sense, I can relate to such moments when Louise is totally embarrassed in class or when lead girls in other teen romance comedies feel the same in their particular situations.

The length to which Louise will go to catch Brad’s eye shows how she’s at such a loss for making him notice her. Because of the spell involved, she has insecurity about what’s real. Is he only driven by some unseen power? Or has he truly fallen for her in return? It’s another aspect of this movie that anyone with a crush could understand. I remember a lot of moments that made me question why my crush did this or that, especially since guys I liked as friends (and vice versa) didn’t do what that special guy did back then. I’d wonder if he knew my feelings and was playing off of that…or if he didn’t know and his actions were genuine. No matter what, he always had a way of making my heart race.

In attempting to change her life, Louise makes use of a special necklace. Until I see “Teen Witch” again, I can’t remember if she owned it beforehand or if it was a gift from her sorceress / mentor (Zelda Rubinstein). Because of how that piece of jewelry represents her powers and is connected to her love interest, she carries sentimental feelings for it. I love that part of the story as well, because one necklace I own holds a lot of sentimental value for me. It wasn’t due to being a gift from someone special; a memory involving that necklace gave it so much meaning to me.

The outcome for Louise and Brad is one more reason why I’m looking forward to watching this movie again, especially with my best friend. But I’ll write a follow-up blog post about it afterward.

I love catching reruns of older TV shows, sometimes even those that were before my time as a teenager. Within a few days of each other, I saw episodes from two different shows, in which one girl has a crush on someone. That was at least part of the their overall stories. Both have a similar way of handling their feelings and to me, it’s all the more relatable.

Starting with the earlier series, “The Facts of Life,” Natalie (Mindy Cohn) admires a guy in secret, yet it all ends up out in the open in one episode. When it came to having a crush on someone, I always wanted to keep my feelings hush-hush. In high school, I could never tell if the guy I fell so hard for knew…whether through someone else or on his own. Curious interactions with him kept me guessing. There was playful teasing coming from him and never knowing what to make of it, as well as being so shy, all I could do was giggle at his wild antics. My best friend and I remember when he’d call out my name in class, sounding so tempting. I’d glance back at him to see his devilish grin flashing my way, his eyes twinkling with mischief. That expression always made my heart melt and I’d turn away quickly, fearing he could sense my feelings if we made eye contact long enough. Or, would my best friend giving me a teasing glance at my reaction to him reveal everything? Before going on to the next series, there’s one more thing about this show. I’ll have to write more about it sometime in another post. It’s so striking to watch “The Facts of Life” now, what with how different teen-focused TV is these days.

Next, I caught an episode of “Roseanne,” in which Darlene (Sara Gilbert) has a guy over at the Conner house for a date. She’s awkward in trying to follow some flirting advice. Watching the scene, I doubted even with my shyness that I’d be that awkward and after all, it’s a TV show and the situation could be exaggerated for comedy. For me, it would’ve come through in not knowing what to say to my crush…or if I should respond in a flirty way at all, afraid of reading his actions wrong. The guy I had such a huge crush on in high school was the first time someone so gorgeous had been as attentive to me as he’d been. He offered to defend me against some creepy guy (so sweet!), was helpful in other ways. A few close moments happened that didn’t seem as though he was outright hitting on me, at least not in my mind. Dealing with such encounters for the first time, I just wasn’t sure what it meant. Not only that, but never thinking I was his type, I tended not to assume he was showing interest in those close moments. So, of course, my own reaction would be shyness and awkwardness.

Along with how well myself and many others could relate to such TV show scenes of teenage love, it’s the nostalgia and memories. They take me back to those similar moments when I was a teen girl with a heart beating for a certain someone. I’ll never forget any of those times.

Every so often, I visit my best friend and bring over a few DVDs to watch between laughter-filled girl talk. Some of our favorite picks in past movie nights have included a mix of ‘80s / ‘90s flicks (“Cry-Baby,” “Sixteen Candles,” “The Breakfast Club”) and new ones, such as “Bad Moms.” This past weekend I brought over “Why Him,” which we missed during its recent run in theaters. We could relate to the comedy’s dad character, Ned Fleming (Bryan Cranston), disapproving of his daughter Stephanie’s (Zoey Deutch) love interest. Both of us have either had crushes on or dated someone our dads absolutely did not like one bit.

Right away, Laird Mayhew (James Franco) had us in hysterics over his wild and free-spirited personality. How would this clash between two opposites play out and what would happen along the way? Ned is the odd man out as the mom, Barb (Megan Mullaly) and brother, Scotty (Griffin Gluck) see more of Laird’s cool side. The party scene hinted at the dad having a not-so-rigid past in his own younger days. Unfortunately, we didn’t get too far into the movie before skip…skip…skip went the disc in my best friend’s portable DVD player. Stopping the movie and ejecting it, I noticed a two-inch scratch on the disc. Having never played this particular DVD before, as well as handling it properly, we were disappointed to miss the rest of the comedy for the time being. Cedric the Entertainer, Keegan-Michael Key and the voice of Kaley Cuoco add more laughs to this father-vs-boyfriend tale. By the next time I’m visiting my best friend, I’ll have a new DVD of “Why Him” for us to watch.

I had a few of our favorites to choose from in continuing our movie night and it came down to “Cry-Baby” or “The Breakfast Club.” We can’t resist the bad-boy characters to swoon over in either one. John Hughes’ detention-bound teens from drastically different backgrounds won out in the end. Molly Ringwald, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy, Emilio Estevez and Anthony Michael Hall made for the most memorable teen characters who clashed yet found common ground.

Watching Bender and his antics, it’s like being back in high school and trying to hide my good-girl giggling at my bad-boy crush. The guy who I couldn’t keep my eyes off of didn’t have that “criminal” label and he wasn’t known for having any illegal items on hand. He simply got on the nerves of several teachers, doing things that I couldn’t refrain from laughing at in class. To top it off, he was so gorgeous and had such a devilish expression playing on his face. Hey, didn’t many girls see that in Bender? Just as in the movie, when mean Principal Vernon (Paul Gleason) lectures the other four students about thinking the “criminal” is humorous, I had a similar experience. After laughing at my crush and his antics, one teacher called me out on how it was obvious that I had a huge crush and warned me that I’d get hurt. This happened right in front of him! Another teacher had me move to another seat, away from where I sat next to my crush as something else he did set off more lovestruck-induced giggles. In a new seat, he wasn’t even in my line of vision to further distract me. I didn’t have a Bender-and-Claire ending with my bad-boy crush, being too shy to get that close. Yet his wild demeanor and intense good looks drew me in and set my heart racing. That’s what I saw in Claire when it came to Bender in certain scenes.

“The Breakfast Club” came along before my time in high school. It doesn’t matter, though, what generation a viewer of this classic belongs to in life. Of course, that’s due to the overall struggles and drama of teen years. The ideas of acceptance, acting the way your friends act, family-initiated pressure and much more keep Hughes’ work relevant. For my best friend and I, we definitely love the bad-boy element and a totally opposite type of girl falling for him. We both also love Hughes’ “Sixteen Candles,” especially in the way that Samantha (Ringwald) can’t bring herself to talk to her heartthrob, Jake Ryan (Michael Schoeffling). If only we could all have the ending which those two shared. Another relatable element in that teen flick was how the geeky kid, known as Farmer Ted (Hall) would pester Samantha, while her heart was set on someone else. There were one or two guys at my high school who just didn’t seem able to take a girl’s hint of not being interested.

Even though we didn’t get around to watching “Cry-Baby” this time, my best friend and I relate to it with our crushes and how we felt. This is especially in the way that good-girl Allison gazes dreamily over at rebellious Cry-Baby. She longs to be closer to him and to rid herself of the contrasting square image in which she was raised.

All of these movies, at one point or another, bring about more girl talk of memorable high school days. We loved those times, even though neither of us dated our crushes. Of course, it’s just as Samantha’s dad in “Sixteen Candles” says to her about those feelings.

As this new teen flick opens, Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld) is rushing through the high school halls, reflecting emotions racing from hitting “send.” Life couldn’t get any worse after she accidentally texts desires to her crush. Both that and the exchange between Nadine and her teacher, Mr. Bruner (Woody Harrelson) drew me to “The Edge of Seventeen.” It made me wonder what it would be like if texting was around during my high school years. The “what if” scenarios my best friend and I talked about made us glad we missed a slip-up such as Nadine’s. Of course, we also had the tradition of passing paper notes, hoping not to get caught by the teacher. But that almost happened when my best friend tried to pass me a note, asking what was going on between me and a certain guy. That was only part of what she wrote. She had to quickly crumple it up to avoid the embarrassment of a teacher seeing it, reading it to everyone and revealing a secret to the entire class…my crush included. So, despite the difference in communication, Nadine’s dilemma was already very relatable to us.

The facial expressions and body language Nadine shows as she relays her troubles to Mr. Bruner are that of absolute teen mortification. All I could think during this scene was, If my best friend had been caught, what would I do? I only know that I’d be rushing out of school. Or wishing I could do so, since it wasn’t local to my town and I didn’t yet have my license to drive off and escape from my own Nadine moment. It was all too close to happening.

Then, Nadine backtracks through a long line of misfit moments and family tragedy, which makes her feel as though nothing goes right. At least not in her life or from her perspective. It doesn’t help that Darian (Blake Jenner) is her win-at-life brother. In sarcastic, attitude-filled narrating, Steinfeld captures the tormented experience of teen life.

Yet there are easy-going moments, such as when Nadine and Krista (Haley Lu Richardson) are talking about boys as they hang out at school. What Nadine says reveals that she’s got a thing for a bad boy, Nick (Alexander Calvert). Not only could I relate to that, but also to the chit chat about imagining that first time. It reminded me of girl talk between my best friend and I during many high school sleepovers.

Tension mounts between the onscreen best friends because Krista ends up with Darian; it’s just another way in which he wins at life. Nobody could understand how Nadine felt, why it added to her isolation. Then again, she did encounter an awkward moment that shocked her, along with that aggravating sense of Darian getting what he wants as usual. If she had experienced some wins here and there, the budding relationship between her best friend and popular brother wouldn’t have been so troublesome. It just wasn’t as easy for her. Nadine herself longed for a certain guy, although he seemed out of reach and in his own circle of friends. So, unless something happens with him, it counts as another loss for her in life. A partygoer inadvertently rubs it in Nadine’s face how she and her brother differ in image, referencing a comedy movie that she happened to enjoy. The meaning and its parallel to herself and Darian is all too glaring. I figured, Well, I guess that’s no longer one of her favorite flicks!

Despite her feelings of loneliness and being misunderstood, Nadine has another person who seems like an escape from drama. The torment is gone as she spends time with Erwin (Hayden Szeto), a classmate with artistic talents. He’s witty, hilarious and even adorable, in the way that his feelings show for Nadine. As an overall good guy, he likes her and seemingly has no chance because she is blinded by feelings for bad boy Nick. It’s that circle of high school crushes and reminded me of when someone liked me, while my good-girl heart was bursting over another guy. I just couldn’t help but fall for his smoldering eyes, up-to-no-good grin and wild antics.

The issues Nadine has with her brother and best friend dating lands her time in the office where her mom (Kyra Sedgwick) works. As the angst-filled teen acts defiantly and goes berserk with a hole puncher, she brought to mind the image of Bender, in “The Breakfast Club,” as he just keeps pushing for more saturdays under the principal’s watch. For that matter, Nadine speeding off in her mom’s car was similar to Bender leading his detention friends as they sneak through the school. Much like running into their own problem along the way, Nadine races headlong into yet another personal drama…that humiliating text message to her crush. To think that she tried to change her mind, only to have the worst thing happen! Nadine understandably freaks out. This is yet another moment in which Steinfeld perfectly displays the emotion of such an embarrassing moment of feelings for a teen crush. It’s in her verbalized disbelief and angered physical reactions, banging on the playground slide. I could feel that she just wanted to tear her hair out, wishing she was able take back the racy message to Nick, never to be seen.

In misery and hanging out alone, she gets the most unexpected reply and it’s her crush. All too excited to take it any other way than something finally going right, Nadine is readying for date night. As her mom arrives home, my mind was racing with, Hurry up, Nadine…or you’ll never get out of the house! Let this work out for her!

I couldn’t help feeling excited and nervous for Nadine as she meets up with Nick, following their back-and-forth texts. He even came across as sweet as they rode through town. It stirred me that way as I thought about my own high school crush and how I would’ve felt going for a drive with him. Not only that, but in school he gave me, the shy type, subtle and maybe innocent flirty attention. Back then, I’d get a rush from thinking, Oh, my…he likes me…maybe…I couldn’t possibly be his type…how could he…but? How do I know for sure? It was an ongoing mystery, which I kind of loved to ponder. Luckily, there was never anything racy falling into his hands that sparked wilder situations. Of course, I wouldn’t have wanted something to happen just because a guy thinks it’s a sure thing with me. I’d want a guy, especially the high school guy of my dreams, to really feel the same way that I felt for him if things had gone further. In Nadine’s case, what with her bad luck, there is the element of the guy noticing her totally out of the blue because of what she texted. She didn’t interpret his reply that way and hopes for romance, while he is one-track-minded in a bad way.

After what happened, I thought, I was hoping he wouldn’t turn out to be a jerk! If things had turned out that way with my crush, it would’ve been total heartbreak. Watching the outcome of that scene, I could still feel what Nadine felt, as though I’d gone through the same exact ordeal. It brought to mind how I also wished for alone time with my crush. As Nadine hurt, I wondered, What would’ve happened? Would it have turned out different, with a budding romance? Or would it be a similar situation? It seemed like a cinematic message for teen girls to not fall for the bad boy type. Even with that rep, though, they can’t all be the way Nick was in how they treat a girl. Right? I fell for a guy in high school who I guess many would say had a bad boy image. Yet, I never had a moment in which my heart felt broken to the point of seeing him as a creep in the end. There were times when I thought he was helpful and sweet, making my heart melt. Unfortunately, I never dated him, always too nervous and shy to make an approach and tell him how I felt. Earlier in the movie, as Nadine tried to talk to her crush in Petland, I could relate to that barrier of awkwardness she showed in her steps toward the guy. But there was a determination, as well, to at least say something. So, I rooted for her in that moment.

Fast-forward to the film festival, Erwin’s sense of humor continued to show in his entry for the event. Between what Nadine read into it and the good guy’s response, my heart sank once more for her…Oh, no! My eyes teared up in the closing scenes after everything that the tormented teen had been through, followed by a new day and new possibilities.

Congrats to Steinfeld on her nominations for “The Edge of Seventeen” this award season!