Are movies like "Lucas" completely a thing of the past?

The film Lucas, starring Corey Haim (and Charlie Sheen!) released in 1986 is a good example, I think, of the good-hearted, straightfoward, irony-free young-adult movies of the 1980s. The Karate Kid is another great example. These movies have none of the self-conscious hipsterism of anything I can think of today. It’s like they are relics, artifacts from a lost civilization. They might as well be hairoglyphics on papyrus, they are so far removed from the kind of movies that get made in the current day.

Are films like this dead and gone forever? Or will they make a comeback?

I think teens get their angst-filled coming-of-age stories from TV, these days.

Do kids today still watch movies like the Karate Kid? I remember watching it as a kid in the 90’s. If these movies are still being watched by little kids, then I guess they are more ready to watch the self-conscious genre mocking stuff of today when they are in their early teens.

Jim Varney made a lot of Ernest movies.

I haven’t seen it, but from what I heard, the recent remake of the Karate Kid was a pretty straightforward retelling, aside from racial and location changes. Does that count?

I’d say no. The ages changed, since Will Smith’s kid is younger and needed to play a younger character.

I can’t think of a contemporary movie featuring high schoolers where there’s not that self aware hipsterism.

Of course, I hear that both Nickolodeon and Disney have cornered the market on ‘tweens’. There may be some direct to DVD movies that fit the bill.

I think the final movie in the genre may have been Angus, made in 1995. One of my favorite teen movies - fantastic cast, including George C. Scott and Kathy Bates - and incredible soundtrack. If you grew up in the mid 90s, the nostalgia will knock you dead.

I can’t really think of any films made after this with the same kind of honest, good hearted, straightforward, un-ironic message.

Yes, but none since his…you know, death 11 years ago.

I’m not sure I understand what the OP is referring to, really.

We’re looking for:

Upbeat, Unironic, not-self concious, good-hearted
Harry Potter has a lot of thrills and darkness, but it is ultimately positive and non-hipster. Friends can be your new family and love conquers all(and all that crap), so to speak.

What’s it missing?

Um…it’s not set in the real world.

Movies like Lucas, My Bodyguard, The Karate Kid, etc. are specifically intended to be real-life depictions of life as a kid or young teenager. Contrary to what people think, being a kid/teenager is not all fun and frivolity. It is serious business for the kid. There are a lot of real fears, desires, emotions, anxieties, etc that the average kid feels. These old '80s movies seem like they are intended to address these issues very directly.

There’s always some exaggeration (bullying, especially - I feel like no real world school has bullies as evil as the ones shown in movies) but generally kids identify closely with the characters presented in the movies.

There was Charlie St. Cloud, that Zac Efron vehicle last year about the teen grieving for his dead brother. It got horrible reviews, but I think it fits the OP. IMDB says it was rated PG-13. I didn’t see it, so I can’t comment on how “good-hearted, straightfoward, and irony-free” it was, I think so from what I remember from when it was out. Unfortunately, it seems it was just bad.

By chance, I was just visiting my closed account to copy the film reviews and ratings I’d posted there. One of the 29 reviews I’d posted was of Lucas.

Some good points, but ultimately another by-the-numbers Hollywood teen movie. The “inspirational” ending is just awful. Winona Ryder was 14 during filming and looks about 12, which is interesting to see. Cory Haim’s “Boy Genius” character is 180 degrees from his “retard” role in “Stand By Me.”

I don’t actually remember the film now, but don’t suppose I don’t care if they make any more movies like it.

Apparently even then you didn’t care enough to notice that Corey Haim wasn’t in Stand By Me.

(You confused him with Corey Feldman, which … is weird. I understand mixing up their names, but not their personas.)

And probably confusion with River Phoenix (drug problems) works into the twisted equation as well.

How about last year’s Miley Cyrus vehicle? Not that I’ve seen it, but then I’m not likely to see or want to see anything intended for teens that is straightforward, good-hearted, etc etc.

Bridge to Terabithia fits the bill.

I wouldn’t call that very upbeat.

Me neither, but the OP never mentioned the films being upbeat.

I think you might be overestimating the importance of being Ernest.