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With all due respect to Clueless, the great teen comedy of the 1990s was Metropolitan. Coming just as John Hughes’ youth movies had petered out, Whit Stillman’s film injected intellectualism and sophistication into the teen flick and became an unlikely hit, winning an Oscar nomination for its script despite a minuscule budget and no stars.

Edward Clements plays a young man from the West Side who gets caught up in a small circle of much wealthier unsupervised debs who badly need more boys to escort the girls to various balls and cotillions during the Christmas season. Amid the upper-crust dissolution and the overweening sense that this insular world is disappearing, Stillman scripts diamond-like banter for these teen poseurs who think they have everything figured out (“I’ve always planned to be a failure. That’s why I plan to marry an extremely wealthy woman.”) as well as a hilarious running gag about social theorist Jacques Fourier, of all things. The movie boasts an incongruous Latin jazz soundtrack, some spontaneous dance interludes, and one of American cinema’s most huggable teen heroines in sharp-eyed, vulnerable, Jane Austen-worshipping Audrey (Carolyn Farina). The Modern is screening the movie for its 25th anniversary. Fans of Gossip Girl or Girls should see where their favorite shows got started.

 

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Metropolitan screens at 2pm Sat at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell Av, FW. Tickets are $7-9. Call 817-738-9215.

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