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Underage Drinking in Movies (and TV)

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Underage Drinking in Movies (and TV)

Old 02-18-24, 12:04 PM
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Underage Drinking in Movies (and TV)

Maybe I'm just late to notice this, but it seems to me that it has become fairly common in movies to depict people in the 16-20 year age range getting together for parties with lots of drinking, which adults don't care about.

Obviously these kinds of parties have been around in movies since I was a teenager in the 80s, but it was usually portrayed as illicit and something that needed to be done under any adult's radar. Now it seems like the norm is for adults to be completely aware of these parties, and just not care, or even to be involved and promoting them.

Is this just a conceit for story purposes, or is this how it is nowadays?
Old 02-18-24, 12:21 PM
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Re: Underage Drinking in Movies (and TV)

Really? I couldn't name one film that I saw recently that had underage drinking.
Old 02-18-24, 12:25 PM
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Re: Underage Drinking in Movies (and TV)

The Holdovers?
Old 02-18-24, 12:31 PM
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Re: Underage Drinking in Movies (and TV)

Originally Posted by Why So Blu?
Really? I couldn't name one film that I saw recently that had underage drinking.
You're Killing Me, Cock Blockers, No Hard Feelings are 3 that I have watched in the past few weeks. Book Smart comes to mind. Euphoria, of course.
Old 02-18-24, 02:46 PM
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Re: Underage Drinking in Movies (and TV)

Considering how many parties involved drinking when I was in high school in the 90s without a single adult caring, I didn't even notice.
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Old 02-18-24, 03:56 PM
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Re: Underage Drinking in Movies (and TV)

I believe this has long been very common, both in movies and in real-life, although I understand your sensitivity to who is "underage" depends on what country you live in, as the drinking age can span from 16 to 25.
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Old 02-18-24, 04:55 PM
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Re: Underage Drinking in Movies (and TV)

Originally Posted by Draven
Considering how many parties involved drinking when I was in high school in the 90s without a single adult caring, I didn't even notice.
This. It's pretty commonplace in the real world.
Old 02-18-24, 05:24 PM
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Re: Underage Drinking in Movies (and TV)

Originally Posted by Draven
Considering how many parties involved drinking when I was in high school in the 90s without a single adult caring, I didn't even notice.
That's my feeling as well.

Originally Posted by Crocker Jarmen
I believe this has long been very common, both in movies and in real-life, although I understand your sensitivity to who is "underage" depends on what country you live in, as the drinking age can span from 16 to 25.
Yep, here in Canada the drinking age is 19, so obviously 19-20 is no big deal, and really not many folks here raise their eyebrows about 17 or 18 year olds drinking as well. Of course, if impaired driving enters the equation, that's completely different. Aren't younger folks overall drinking less alcohol than older generations these days? My nearly 18 year old son has no desire to drink, and he says the same with most of his friends. He sometimes tells me that I shouldn't drink alcohol either. (he probably has a point )
Old 02-18-24, 06:25 PM
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Re: Underage Drinking in Movies (and TV)

Originally Posted by cultshock
Aren't younger folks overall drinking less alcohol than older generations these days? My nearly 18 year old son has no desire to drink, and he says the same with most of his friends. He sometimes tells me that I shouldn't drink alcohol either. (he probably has a point )
I hear Taylor Swift is re-popularizing teen drinking by chugging brews on camera at the big game
Old 02-18-24, 06:36 PM
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Re: Underage Drinking in Movies (and TV)

Originally Posted by cultshock
Yep, here in Canada the drinking age is 19
Most of Canada, that is. It's 18 in Alberta, Manitoba, and Quebec.
Old 02-18-24, 06:41 PM
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Re: Underage Drinking in Movies (and TV)

Originally Posted by Toby Dramit
Most of Canada, that is. It's 18 in Alberta, Manitoba, and Quebec.
Well damn, I didn't know that, I thought 19 was a federal age limit like the US's 21. Party on, AB, MB and QC.
Old 02-18-24, 06:52 PM
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Re: Underage Drinking in Movies (and TV)

I'm not so sure that's such a good thing now but it definitely made our high school graduation parties a lot more fun back then ...
Old 02-18-24, 07:08 PM
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Re: Underage Drinking in Movies (and TV)

Originally Posted by Draven
Considering how many parties involved drinking when I was in high school in the 90s without a single adult caring, I didn't even notice.
Yeah, it was extremely commonplace when I was in high school in the 1990s, and I know it happened just as frequently in the 1970s and 1980s.

As far as movies, I remember raging parties in Scream, American Pie, and Dazed & Confused in the 90s, so it's not really new.



Old 02-18-24, 07:09 PM
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Re: Underage Drinking in Movies (and TV)

Two I watched recently: Mean Girls and Heriditary. Any movie with a teen party features red solo cups anymore.

I know what you are saying, Dooku. I just figured I was getting older and more sensitive. It isn't the fact that they are portraying teen drinking, but it is the way it is nonchalantly normalized that bothers me. Then again, most of these shows have 20- and 30-year olds playing teenagers which is ludicrous. The model being set for youth is scary.

Yes, I drank as a teen to my detriment . . . so much so that when I quit drinking I stayed away from it until I was in my 30s and could be responsible enough to have A drink. It was never the glamorized version shown in movies.
Old 02-18-24, 07:49 PM
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Re: Underage Drinking in Movies (and TV)

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man
Yeah, it was extremely commonplace when I was in high school in the 1990s, and I know it happened just as frequently in the 1970s and 1980s.

As far as movies, I remember raging parties in Scream, American Pie, and Dazed & Confused in the 90s, so it's not really new.
The movies having parties where they drink illegally is not the new part. To me the new part was scale of the events and the parents and adults being aware of the party and giving it their blessing. It's essentially the kids say, "I'm going to a big party where everyone will be drinking illegally, and I will definitely be getting drunk." And the parents either have no awareness or total apathy.

My high school days were more like That 70s Show, sneaking beer or wine into someone's basement and watching TV.

To me it was like in the late 2000s when more and more movies started depicting "smoking reefer" as a casual thing that normal people did. Previously, stoners had their place in stoner culture and were commonly stereotyped as outside mainstream society. Then (in the movies) we started seeing marijuana use as something otherwise "straight" people did. So my assumption was that this was a California thing, where the people making movies and TV shows internalized the way life was in SoCal and just projected it out in their work.

So, I'm watching these movies and shows where the kids party hard and the adults don't care, and I'm wondering if this is a true reflection of what life is like for kids (I don't socialize with that age group) or is this just Hollywood being Hollywood?
Old 02-18-24, 07:52 PM
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Re: Underage Drinking in Movies (and TV)

Originally Posted by Abob Teff
Two I watched recently: Mean Girls and Heriditary. Any movie with a teen party features red solo cups anymore.

I know what you are saying, Dooku. I just figured I was getting older and more sensitive. It isn't the fact that they are portraying teen drinking, but it is the way it is nonchalantly normalized that bothers me. Then again, most of these shows have 20- and 30-year olds playing teenagers which is ludicrous. The model being set for youth is scary.

Yes, I drank as a teen to my detriment . . . so much so that when I quit drinking I stayed away from it until I was in my 30s and could be responsible enough to have A drink. It was never the glamorized version shown in movies.
Yeah, I just don't know if it is so normal IRL, and it bothers me that these brats are experiencing fun and freedom that I never could
Old 02-18-24, 09:27 PM
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Re: Underage Drinking in Movies (and TV)


Thank goodness you're not talking about underage smoking.
Old 02-18-24, 10:44 PM
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Re: Underage Drinking in Movies (and TV)

When I was in elementary and middle school, there was a corner store where the guy sold cigarettes to kids.

I just looked on Google Maps and 40 years later there is still a corner store there.
Old 02-18-24, 10:49 PM
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Re: Underage Drinking in Movies (and TV)

Originally Posted by Toby Dramit
Most of Canada, that is. It's 18 in Alberta, Manitoba, and Quebec.
I knew someone that attended the University of Vermont in Burlington. Spent quite a few weekends in Montreal for this reason and the "gentleman's clubs".
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Old 02-19-24, 03:56 AM
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Re: Underage Drinking in Movies (and TV)

I've seen exactly one under-age kid smoking in the last ten years. About twelve years old, riding a bicycle, and puffing a smoke. The sight was so I rare, I actually thought, Wow, that kid's cool. I hope he's doing well.
Old 02-19-24, 08:01 AM
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Re: Underage Drinking in Movies (and TV)

In Germany 14-year-oldes can drink beer, champagne and wine, if their parents are present. At age 16 beer, champagne and wine can be consumed without restricition and at age 18 hard alcohol is fair game. Many stores self regulate and don't sell any alcohol to under 18-year-oldes.
Old 02-19-24, 09:54 AM
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Re: Underage Drinking in Movies (and TV)

In Wisconsin, you can drink underage in bars/restaurants if your parent or guardian is with you. But the bar can refuse service.
Old 02-19-24, 10:00 AM
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Re: Underage Drinking in Movies (and TV)

If underage drinking is the biggest thing you take out of something like Euphoria, I'm not sure what to tell you.

I can't say I've noticed this as a trend, and I would hope that at the very least most of these movies portray the parents as terrible parents.
Old 02-19-24, 11:07 AM
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Re: Underage Drinking in Movies (and TV)

Those CW teen shows always seem to involve an incredible amount of teen drinking, not just beer, but casual hard liquor in a small glass of ice like they are on some 60s sitcom coming back from a hard day of work.
Old 02-19-24, 11:13 AM
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Re: Underage Drinking in Movies (and TV)

Superbad is one of the funniest depictions of underage drinking and trying to score alcohol. I rewatched it recently and it still holds up. I don't recall it being seen as a big deal to the few adults in the film. The big deal was that it is such a pain in the ass to score alcohol.

When I was a teenager, I went to high school in a dry county in L.A. (Lower Alabama). This was due to all the churches basically banning the sale of it via votes. You could drive to the state Florida line just a few miles away and buy alcohol. Most liquor stores there sold to underage or people with fake I.D.s. all the time. Being a preacher's kid, I never could walk in with my friends and always had to duck in the back of the car because of all the Deacons of the various churches there buying alcohol.

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