Father and child sit together smiling while looking at a smart phone.

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Parents' Guide to

Memories of a Teenager

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Teen suicide rocks a boy's life; sex, drinking, and language

Movie NR 2019 97 minutes
Memories of a Teenager Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 1 parent review

age 16+

I just don't get the point nor the story line.

I just don't get it.. It was just all around the place and nothing felt organized, it felt like i was watching a movie that was made in 10 minutes. Kinda disappointed..

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (3 ):

Memories of a Teenager has many laudable qualities, but the filmmaker doesn't make the case strongly enough for us to believe that the boy we see through every minute of this this film is suicidal. There's no emotional or logical preparation for the abrupt and seemingly arbitrary ending to a young promising life. Add to that the fact that 22-year-old Quattordio plays a 16-year-old, and the actor's physical maturity undermines his believability as a teen. Tone shifts also undermine the project. When Zabo first starts writing, animated outlines appear around his face and hands, indicating we're in a a world of whimsy, perhaps even fantasy, a feeling that's upended as the action proceeds. Zabo complains about teen stereotypes and then embodies most of them. "Teens appreciate nothing," he writes as he ignores his parents' concern for him. "We take any drug we can get," he writes sarcastically, then gathers with friends to drink to unconsciousness and get high. He writes his "blog" so others might not feel alone, but he doesn't publish it. Even when the film depicts his obliviousness, it never presents him as despairing or headed for suicide. Perhaps the message is that seemingly well-adjusted kids are just as likely to kill themselves as depressed ones.

But nothing in the 97 minutes here indicates inevitability. The parents feel guilty for missing the "signs," but what were the signs? In an effort to save others from his pain, the dad writes that friends and family should give kids hugs, and make sure teens don't feel alone. That, of course, is good advice for all of us. Any film calling attention to the tragedy of teen suicide deserves attention, but this one certainly has flaws.

Movie Details

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