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My Sucky Teen Romance (2011)

My Sucky Teen RomanceStarring Elaine Hurt, Devin Bonnée, Patrick Delgado

Directed by Emily Hagins


Granted, if you’re not a longtime Austinite who has followed the rise of My Sucky Teen Romance’s wunderkind director Emily Hagins, the emotional impact of last night’s SXSW world premiere at the historic Paramount Theatre might not hit you fully.

Directing her first feature, Pathogen, at age twelve, the now eighteen-year-old Hagins is the youngest filmmaker to ever debut a film at the festival. The crowd gave the understandably overwhelmed Hagins a standing ovation before the film even began, and hometown pride was evident with a genuine sense of community on display. Everyone chipped in to help the indie flick, and local filmmakers and bloggers permeate the background of My Sucky Teen Romance, allowing for more cameos than a Joe Estevez movie. The night was a very special one, and the movie is a delightful teen horror comedy that pokes fun at Twilight and fully embraces its inner nerd.

Set during a fictional horror/sci-fi convention called Space Con, the film follows Kate (Elaine Hurt) and her friends as they stroll pass the booths and explore the hotel hallways housing the Con during Kate’s last weekend in town.

Everyone is in costume except for one – a real vampire named Vince (Devin Bonnée) who calls himself Edward (an obvious Twilight dig) and has already transformed a couple of Kate’s friends into bloodsuckers before the Con begins. Kate has her eyes set on one of the unlucky teens named Paul (Patrick Delgado), who incidentally happens to be dressed as Dracula during the Con. Paul is smitten, too, and accidentally bites Kate instead of landing the awkward kiss he originally intended. The rest of the film focuses on rescuing Kate before she fully transforms into a nightwalker, thereby damning her to an eternity of torment.

The film is very sure-footed and well made given its budget and the fact that it was made by teens: It’s funny, it’s endearing, and exhibits a homemade sweetness that gives My Sucky Teen Romance its charm. The humor is, however, front-loaded with the second half shifting to a more dramatic tone that spins into melodrama only because the kids are just too young to give it the emotional weight needed.

Instead, the ending is incredibly sweet but doesn’t deliver the payoff that the laughs do throughout the film. Once Hagins and company get a little older and wiser, they’re going to be a force to reckon with in the indie film scene. With flares of Kevin Smith’s earlier work in Mallrats and Chasing Amy, My Sucky Teen Romance is definitely a solid rental and the perfect film to show your kids if you’re ready to introduce them to the world of horror geekdom.

3 out of 5

Discuss My Sucky Teen Romance in the comments section below!

Drew Tinnin

3 Comments

  1. This review told me diddly squat about what to expect going in nor did it know whether it was bringing down the movie or hyping it. Terrible review. I’d have preferred Sirand to review it.
    ———-
    “We are bad guys. That means we’ve got more to do other than bullying companies. It’s fun to lead a bad man’s life.”

    • This doesn’t tell you anything?

      The film is very sure-footed and well made given its budget and the fact that it was made by teens: It’s funny, it’s endearing, and exhibits a homemade sweetness that gives My Sucky Teen Romance its charm. The humor is, however, front-loaded with the second half shifting to a more dramatic tone that spins into melodrama only because the kids are just too young to give it the emotional weight needed.

      Instead, the ending is incredibly sweet but doesn’t deliver the payoff that the laughs do throughout the film… With flares of Kevin Smith’s earlier work in Mallrats and Chasing Amy, My Sucky Teen Romance is definitely a solid rental and the perfect film to show your kids if you’re ready to introduce them to the world of horror geekdom.

      It pretty much clued me in on whether or not it’s something I’d like.

      Granted, these SXSW reviews are a little shorter than our norm, but since they’re showing film-after-film day-after-day, we thought it best to get brief reviews up now and then cover the films in more depth once they go theatrical or to DVD so readers will have a broad-strokes idea of what they’re in for.

  2. Sighs.

    I don’t think this qualifies as horror. Also the review is more focused on who made the film (and full of a dozen qualifiers as to why we should like it in spite of itself) than the actual movie.

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