It must sound like I'm not in an enthusiastic mood today, but that is not the case. I feel grateful I can age surrounded by young people: my sons, my nieces and nephews, my young cousins, my students, ex-students sticking around. I feel the gap but not suffer from it. I can smell dreams, energy, future and ... find some hope.
I happen to like young people pretty much and I'm really curious about what they like, think and long for. They are not simply my task, not only my job. They are my life, people I deeply care for. I don't know if this is why I often watch films or read books they seem to be fond of or that tell their stories. Stories of kids or teenagers. I do that. Quite often.
For instance, I've seen two movies targeting a teenage audience these days. Both have just been released here in Italy, both are adaptations of successful books: Beautiful Creatures (La sedicesima luna) and Noi siamo infinito (The Perks of Being a Wallflower).
Beautiful Creatures (official site) is the first installment in a trilogy, a popular YA saga by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, which seems to propose the hugely successful model of supernatural love between a human and a being with powers, who are doomed to face unimaginable predicaments. Twilight-style, to make it clear. This time the story is told from a male perspective, that of Ethan Wate ( Alden Ehrenreich), the young hero who will fall in love with a beautiful, apparently innocent teenage witch, Lena Duchannes (Alice Englert) and who will be ready to defy obscure powers and even a mortal curse to save her from the grasp of the dark forces. He will have to cope with her bizarre, dangerous uncle Macon Ravenwood (Jeremy Irons) and her wicked, heartless mother Sarafine (Emma Thompson). Impressive soundtrack, time travelling, romance, young love, old values. As in the case of Edward Cullen and Isabella Swan, if this is what young people like, it is ok to me. It is less dangerous than many other very bad models they get from tv or at the movies. As for myself, I really don't mind romance at all, neither if of the supernatural type. Only I found this film a bit boring, despite the loveliness of the two young protagonists and the remarkable presence of stars like Irons and Thompson on screen. I'm pretty sure the books are much better.