by Eric Kohn (July 23, 2008)
From John Hughes to Judd Apatow, the plight of the American teen has never lacked appeal in popular culture. But even this steadfast truism doesn’t make the concept for “American Teen” immediately salable. A nonfiction portrait of several prototypical seventeen year olds in Warsaw, Indiana, the movie finds all the stereotypes — from the jocks to the outcasts — in real life. “I understood that there were certain teen stories that happen in real life. I was going after those,” says director Nanette Burstein, speaking from her home in Los Angeles where she recently gave birth.
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