I saw a video showing the world’s tallest man and the world’s shortest man meeting for the first time.
You’ve got to wonder how their conversation would start.
“Wow, you’re really tall.”
“Wow, you’re really short.”
Then after they part ways, their lives are more fulfilled that their unique size was put on the pedestal again by us normal folk.
There are a lot of films that use these types of abnormalities to create humour for us seeking something different, not to embrace but to ridicule.
Most of these movies try to work in an element of understanding within the community to this black sheep, with a hightened sense of acceptance from the initially biased group.
High school tends to be the perfect scenario for such a story premise. Not only are people beginning to find out more about themselves, but also how to interact with those going through the same thing.
That’s why once the ‘cool’ is established, anything outside of this is considered different.
A girl without blonde hair is considered different from the cool group. But throw in a man as high as your knee, and you’ve got hilarity.
It was just Audrey Hepburn’s birthday. It was also International Star Wars Day (“May the 4th be with you”), but in honour of class, here are a few films that don’t take this on so literally (or do), but still in itself is a demonstration of how changing the different is so ‘in’.
Take in foreigner, make her local: Mean Girls – Innocent girl from Africa goes into a high school to learn the ways of the school group psyche. She starts to act just like them, and as a result learns that blending in with the pack isn’t what it seems.
Wrong place, wrong time: Edward Scissorhands – Socially-inept outsider living in a spooky mansion is brought into neighbourhood suburbia to fit in. He has scissors and knives for hands.
Gentle giant behind goggle glasses: Napoleon Dynamite – The Liger-loving, socially challenged nunchuck wielder Napoleon somehow becomes a sensation when he dances in front of the whole school to get students to ‘Vote for Pedro’. This movie caused a lot of would-be normal people to join the group of ‘those’ people when wearing ‘Vote for Pedro’ shirts everywhere.
Destroying segregation with song and dance: Hairspray – Crushing the dreams of people purely from their weight is an age-old tradition to those wanting to torture, but for one “larger than life” (which is Hollywood’s way of saying overweight) high school kid who rises above the segregation of the old days to be accepted.
Destroying sanity with song and dance: High School Musical – Nothing good about this series if you’re not also into Barbie dolls and think high school is just, like, the best time everrrr. Sorry, just wanted to diss this.
Creating a monster: Clueless – When Alicia Silverstone’s character takes an unpopular girl under her wing to make her popular, it backfires. Sure, it’s like Mean Girls, only for some reason it was a little more believable than a girl who could predict the weather with her breasts. Then again, they may be more reliable than the current weather watchers we have.
Popular American in Uptight England: Wild Child – The over-the-top story about a spoiled Malibu girl going to an English boarding school, and the scriptwriter’s transparency as being someone who watched a few episodes of MTV and completely figured out how teenage girls act.
Turning Nerd into Bombshell: She’s All That – An earlier flick that gave the idea of ‘making’ someone better by cutting the hair a little and taking off the glasses. We are quite a shallow society if that works. But did you see Gloria’s new hairdo today? I never knew the janitor was so beautiful…
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