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Just about everyone knows someone who has been bullied, in ways big and small. Understandably, though, many victims are reluctant to speak about their experiences. We found some who aren't.
BY OLIVIA SMITH | St. Petersburg High
“You see, the guys in charge of this stuff lack creativity and are completely out of ideas. So all they do now is recycle sh*t from the past and expect us all not to notice,” says Nick Offerman’s character in the television drama 21 Jump Street as he briefs Schmidt and Jenko on their new assignment. That was actually also a scene from the 2011 movie 21 Jump Street, starring Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, but it can refer to how many movies of the past decade or so are at least partially based on something else. Although 21 Jump Street was a continuation of an ’80s teen TV show, the majority of movies are based on books. Even if the movie version is way more well known. Here are four movies you may not have known lived on the printed page first.
‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High’
Before American Pie, Harold and Kumar, Superbad and, especially, Not Another Teen Movie, there was Fast Times at Ridgemont High. This raunchy and relatable coming-of-age comedy, which premiered in 1982, instantly became a cult classic. The film follows several students at Ridgemont High in California over the course of a school year. The movie also kick-started the careers of Nicolas Cage and Sean Penn, who portrayed one of the most famous fictional stoner-surfer of all time, Jeff Spicoli.
Fast Times was based on the book of the same name by (then unknown) Oscar-winning director Cameron Crowe. He was 22 at the time and still looked young enough, so he went undercover as a student at a real high school. He based many characters from this movie and others on the students and teachers he encountered.
Don’t expect to find the book at Target. Although there are a few damaged copies available for a couple of dollars on eBay, some copies in good condition are selling as high as $400.
It is not uncommon for kids to take a gap year after graduating high school. Susanna Kaysen took a year and half off, to be institutionalized at Claymoore Mental Hospital, after overdosing on aspirin.
The film chronicles Susannah (Winona Ryder) as she becomes close to her nurse (Whoopi Goldberg) and a very colorful bunch of fellow patients. The center of the film is how she is enchanted and convinced by Angelina Jolie’s character, a beautifully broken diagnosed sociopath, to reject treatment and rebel against the confines of the time period. Although it may seem morbid and depressing, Girl, Interrupted is actually one of the most darkly funny and empowering movies ever. Jolie won an Academy Award and became a household name after its release.
The book on which the movie is based is a memoir by the real-life Kaysen. Although the characters are the same, the book does not follow a specific storyline like the movie but is a collection of non-chronological short stories about her time in the mental hospital. With the help of a lawyer, Kaysen even included her actual case-file from the hospital.
Brokeback Mountain is the story of star-crossed lovers in Wyoming. A ranch hand (Heath Ledger) and a flashy rodeo cowboy (Jake Gyllenhaal) meet in the summer of 1963 working in the harsh wilderness of their religious and conservative town. They soon form a passionate, unbreakable bond, realizing that resistance is futile, carrying on their relationship in secret until tragedy and intolerance take over. The bittersweet ending is impossible to watch without shedding tears.
The movie was based on a short story originally appearing in The New Yorker by Annie Proulx. The plot sequence is nearly identical in story and film, and basically all of the dialogue from the original story was included in the screenplay. Most of the major differences are the movie’s detailed depictions of the wives, who were merely mentioned in print.
‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’
Although many tweens brag about Audrey Hepburn being their idol, most have come across the iconic image of Hepburn elegantly smoking with a cigarette holder and oversized sunglasses, on their Tumblr Dashboards. They haven’t even seen the trailer for Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Their loss.
The film is about two young new neighbors, both gold diggers in their own right, who live and breathe New York City. Although there are major sidesteps along the way, the two eventually fall in love. It is one of the most famous romantic comedies ever (yes, they existed before Katherine Heigl) and is known as Audrey Hepburn’s most remembered role.
The short novel by Truman Capote on which the movie was based is significantly darker, grittier and less romantic than the movie version. Audrey Hepburn’s character Holly Golightly was simply eccentric in the movie but the book portrays her increasingly obvious signs of addiction and mental illness. The book seriously decreases the romantic aspect when it is revealed that the leading man is gay.