I think the page on Teen Witch in 1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die is missing, at least in my copy. This week’s episode of How Did This Get Made featured the 1989 movie as its subject matter so I decided to give myself a pass and watch it again. It’s been ages since I’ve seen Teen Witch and I knew it would be a welcome trip back to the end of the 1980s and that era of films centered on high school drama.
Teen Witch may very well be a combination of the hits from the 1980s, Pretty in Pink, Can’t Buy Me Love, Sixteen Candles, etc., and closes out the decade of film with perhaps the best mix of dance numbers, dream sequences and ill-fitting clothing for teens (ahem, the leotards) in existence.
Plus the main character Louise Miller, (Robyn Lively), is blessed with the powers of witchcraft on her 16th birthday so she can channel all her teenage problems into casting spells on other people.
Of course like any plot point in the 1980s teen angst film genre, such as successfully faking sick to get out of school or winning the affection of the most popular girl (even if you have to pay her), Louise’s powers and new social status are a little too good to be true and her one real friendship is pushed aside.
Louise has her fun with casting spells to seek revenge against unfair teachers and her annoying little brother, but in the end she realizes she doesn’t need those powers and can date Brad and keep her old friends all while performing a well-choreographed dance number to Shana.
I started listening to the How Did This Get Made episode about the film, which Paul Scheer had never even heard of, and it’s clear it stands the test of time even for people who didn’t see Teen Witch as the 1980s came to a close.
One thing, similar to Labyrinth, that I didn’t remember about the film was all the musical numbers outside of the famous Top That routine. There is I Like Boys and Most Popular Girl and of course the final scene at the Moonlight Magic prom with “Louise Mania” going on in the background.
Teen Witch is stereotypical for the 1980s, but it still works so well and I am glad I revisited it tonight.
I’ll watch it in another 20 years when I have quit the writing business, other than this blog of course, and run my own fortune teller shop.
“You have the power to make anything you want happen.” — Madame Serena.