So I know this film is supposed to serve as a cautionary tale for wayward youth but the whole time I was watching it, I felt the desire to snort my mom’s prescription pills and flunk 7th grade. The movie opens up with Tracy (Evan Rachel Wood) and Evie (Nikki Reed) huffing duster and beating the shit out of each other which I guess sounds terrifying, but it actually looks really fun in the movie! There’s also this scene where they ignore their curfew and take acid in the park. “The Equalizer” by Clinic plays and everyone is just running in the sprinklers and making out with each other. It looks so crazy/beautiful! Watching Thirteen made me think that I had done middle school all wrong. Instead of watching Dawson’s Creek and crying myself to sleep every night, I should’ve been getting stoned, hooking up with a hot older neighbor and forgetting how to spell the word “photographer.” Oh well!
2. Factory Girl
Edie Sedgwick may have died an insane drug-addicted pariah at the premature age of 28, but she also spent a few years doing pills and being super cool in New York City. The film shows her rapid ascent as a New York socialite and muse to Andy Warhol, and there are all of these montages of her galavanting around the city high as a kite with her famous friends. Even when she accidentally burns down her hotel room in an opiate-induced haze, it’s still sort of cool because she’s staying at The Chelsea Hotel. The ending may be totally depressing but the rest of the film glamorizes the drug culture of the ’60s.
3. Dazed and Confused
Like Factory Girl, Dazed and Confused was another “period piece”—this time about teenagers doing drugs in the ’70s. Throughout the movie, everyone is high and young and beautiful. They’re also all kind of retarded fuck-ups, which I guess is the anti-drug message. Matthew McConaughey plays this stoner pervert in his mid-twenties who creeps on high schoolers and you wanna be like, “Oh my god, he’s such a creep!”, but he’s too sexy for it to actually be a bad thing. The film taught me that if my life wasn’t going anywhere and I was doing drugs, I could still be a smooth-talking babe, which in this culture actually might mean more than sobriety and a job.
4. The Rules of Attraction
8,000 WB teen stars agreed to be in The Rules of Attraction because they were so desperate to shed their wholesome image. Jessica Biel must’ve stipulated in her contract “Must be doing coke every time I’m on camera” because that’s essentially all her character did. James Van Der Beek said “fuck you!” to Dawson Leery and played a sociopathic bisexual drug addict who was always on something as well. The book is reportedly based on Bret Easton Ellis’ time at the liberal arts college Bennington in Vermont, and after watching two hours of attractive young people do drugs under the guise of going to school, I promised myself I would apply when it came time to do college applications. Even though the movie was supposed to be disturbing, it just ended up making drugs look like inconsequential fun. Failed again, big bad Hollywood!
I’m convinced that any movie centered around cocaine has to secretly have financial backing from Columbian drug lords because they always make it look so fucking cool. Blow, in particular, examines how cocaine took over American drug culture in the ’70s, and made everything a lot more fun! Well, until it killed people, ruined lives, and sent drug dealers to prison. But before any of that drama happens, there’s tons of scenes of Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz being rich, throwing parties and doing a bunch of yay with Pee Wee Herman, oops, I mean Paul Ruebens. Whenever people do coke in movies, they make these exaggerated snorting noises and jerk their head back violently. It’s not really accurate but it makes coke look more appealing for some reason so whatever.