My Millennial Hallmarker love for The Outcasts began three years ago (almost to this day) when news first broke of the film (originally title The Outskirts) and its motley crew of Hollywood’s young, hot, and funny. With the likes of Victorious’ Victoria Justice & Avan Jogia, The Middle‘s Eden Sher, Jessie‘s Peyton List, Awkward‘s Ashley Rickards, Hart of Dixie’s Claudia Lee, and The Bling Ring‘s Katie Chang filling up the movie’s entourage, there wasn’t a single doubt in my mind that the teen flick would be just as perfect as I’d hoped it would be.
Unfortunately, with delays upon delays, it took a lot longer for me to find out that my hypothesis was correct, but The Outcasts is finally here and that’s all that matters. Seriously, the movie is here and it is exactly the kind of teen movie I knew and wished for it to be, so all anger over delays are now forgotten.
The Outskirts tells the hilarious and often-relatable story of two outcasts, Jodi (Victoria Justice) and Mindy (Eden Sher), who’ve decided that they’ve been humiliated one too many times by the school’s head mean girl, Whitney (Claudia Lee), and are determined to do something about it. Say, band together with all the other outcasts at school to overthrow Whitney and her crew, turning the school’s hierarchy on its head while they’re at it. Of course, they couldn’t do any of this without sweet Claire (Katie Chang), outspoken Sugar (Jazmyn Richardson), and uber-rich Virginia (Ashley Rickards). Not everyone fits into one of the two categories, though, as Dave (Avan Jogia) is essentially part of Whitney’s clique, but only as a bystander. Luckily, he quickly realizes where he truly belongs…wherever Jodi is, obviously.
If this movie somehow sounds like every other teen movie out there, then let me break down its importance to you a little more.
- The teen genre needs this movie. It’s been dying for the last 10 years and that’s unacceptable. Sure, there have been a few greats in the last decade, but the amount of movies made in the category, the marketing given to them, and the appreciation of them, have declined greatly since the genre’s most-recent peak in the early 2000s. Any and all teen movies are welcome.
- Its cast is superb. Having high-caliber teen stars are what will help bring back the attention teen movies so desperately need and rightfully deserve, and this movie does not disappoint with its cast.
- The writing is absolutely INCREDIBLE. This movie should be quoted constantly (proof below) and hopefully will be. The fact that the two screenwriters – Dominique Ferrari and Suzanne Wrubel – are first-timers only make this all the more impressive. I’ve very excited to see what they both do next. No, really, can they please write another movie, ASAP?!
- Victoria Justice and Avan Jogia are what teen romcom dreams are made of. For all you Victorious Tori and Beck shippers (myself, *most definitely* included!), this movie will be your heaven. Every scene between Victoria and Avan felt both like an extension of the canceled Nickelodeon series and a new love story all of its own. The two continue to have remarkable chemistry and every word spoken between them and every look exchanged made me fall in love with them as an on-screen couple more and more. And when they finally kissed?! It felt like the kiss we’d been waiting for since they kissed in the pilot of Victorious. Fan of the show or not, fan of them or not, they’re relationship in the movie alone is worth watching for. It’s just so natural and perfect. I love them acting together and hope to see it many more times. I also want Victorious to come back, but that’s a whole other situation.
- Victoria Justice sings. It’s very brief, but very beautiful. The track is obviously called “The Outskirts,” the original title of the movie, and while she only sings a few bars, it’s more than enough to have us begging for the whole song and that album of hers we’ve long been praying for. The only thing that could’ve made this moment even better (besides her singing a full version), was if Avan joined in and we essentially got a part two of their sexy Victorious duet, “Finally Falling.”
- Mindy and Jodi are #BFFGoals. They’ve been through a lot during their time in high school together and all of the torment and humiliation only made them stronger friends. Of course, throughout the movie their friendship takes a bit of a tumble, but in the end, they realize that they aren’t just high school friends, but friends for life. Their exceptional handshake is proof of this.
- Peyton List’s outfits, as mean girl-in-training Mackenzie, are to die for. Her red dress and curly/crimped hair at the party in the beginning? Flawless. Her all-black, covert ensemble? A closet staple. It’s seriously like I’m watching her in Disney Channel’s Jessie all over again because I want all of her outfits.
- The outcasts’ party. This “outcasts” party looks amazing and fun and larger than any other movie teen party I’ve every seen. I want to attend. I also love that they subtly showcase the difference between this party and a popular kids party by using blue solo cups instead of the classic red solo cups. Also, the only things that make teen movies better are singing (check!) and dancing (now check!), which they have both of. During this outrageous part, there is an amazing dance-off that has me putting a Step Up/The Outcasts crossover movie on my wish list.
- Max Schneider might not act in the movie, but he’s still a part of it via his music. His track “Mug Shot” is perfectly situated on the flick’s soundtrack, playing while Mindy is getting her mug shot taken. He’s a great talent, a former Nickelodeon star, and he and Victoria have collaborated on many duets on YouTube, so it was fitting that he had a song in this movie. Also, um, how tall is Eden Sher? I thought she was taller than 5’…
The Outcasts is just one of many movies being released this year, but its importance in helping to revitalize the currently lackluster teen genre should be enough to force everyone to pluck it out from the constantly-moving conveyor belt of new movies and add it to their must-watch list. We need more movies like this, and The Duff, and The Edge of Seventeen. Smart, relatable, insightful, clever, fun, comical, charming, and passionately-created teen films. So great. So necessary.
Bonus: 15 Best Quotes From The Movie (in chronological order)
1. “Here’s a new song. I hope you enjoy it. And by ‘you,’ I mean ‘me,’ because I’d rather admit Taylor Swift has touched my cold, dark heart than show it to anybody. It’s called ’Suburbageddon.’” – Jodi, as she records a song into her extremely old iMac, reminding me of the songs Emma Roberts used to sing on Nickelodeon’s Unfabulous.
2. “Of all the douche-nozzles in this school, Whitney is *the* worst.” – Jodi
3. “It’s fine Mackenzie, I want to hear what Bill Nye and the lesbian have to say.” -Whitney
4. “Thank you for coming.” – Mindy says to partygoers who are leaving as she’s entering…someone else’s party.
5. “The mean attractiveness of this party is statistically significant.” – Mindy, saying what we’re all thinking every time we watch any party on TV or in a movie.
6. “How do I look?” – Mindy
“Soccer mom goes to the Olive Garden” – Jodi
****7. “Hows it going guys?” – Dave
“Well we haven’t haven’t been roofied yet, so..” – Jodi
“Wow, aren’t you enchanting?” – Dave
“This is her trying to be nice.” – Mindy
“I’m hoping to get time off from this conversation for good behavior.” – Jodi saying my new favorite line. Ever. I WANT TO USE THIS LINE FOR EVERYTHING.****
8. “You’re such a good kisser. I’d party down with you anytime Adam Scott.” – Jodi, as she kisses a pillow with a photo of Adam Scott on it.
This fills me with so much joy. The amount of perfectly-curated pop culture references in this movie is astounding. They could have chosen any actor and any TV show, and they chose these two. Party Down was a fabulous, short-lived series and clearly the writers are just as big of fans of the creator, Rob Thomas, as I am, seeing as this is just the first of their references to one of his shows in this movie.
9. “Is there anything we have ever put our minds to that we have not accomplished?” – Mindy
“Well, we didn’t get Firefly back on the air.” – Jodi
While not everyone will get this reference because not everyone has heard of Firefly, especially the people that are theoretically going to see this movie, that’s why I love that they use it. This movie is really whip-smart with its dialogue and I am just in awe of it. Yes, I’m upset that I had to wait so many years to see this movie, but it was worth it. I mean, it would be worth it anyway just because it’s a teen movie and we all know that’s my favorite genre, but the amazing, smart writing just makes it all the better.
10. “So, when did you know?” – Jodi
“I think it finally clicked when I realized I didn’t just love Veronica Mars. I LOVED Veronica Mars.” – Claire
“Preach.” – Jodi
Okay, as if they hadn’t already completely won me over with their script and their references, now I’m a goner. Veronica Mars is my all-time favorite show, also created by Rob Thomas. A badass female teen who doesn’t need any superpower other than her wit and sass, perfect.
11. “If you want to endlessly pontificate, start a blog.” – Howard
“We have a blog. It’s called ShutTheHellUpSoWeCanTellYouThePlan.tumblr.com” – Sugar
Sugar Jones is my spirit animal. Every quote of hers is fierce, straightforward, and smart.
12. “So, do you know anybody that can get me into the Whitney Protection Program?” – Dave to Jodi
13. “I know that everybody loves Harry, but, and I can certainly appreciate Zayn’s brooding charm, but, for my money, Liam is the unsung hero of One Direction.” – Mr. Samuels (science teacher) tells three teen girls at the school dance after truth fog is released.
This just goes to show how long ago this film was made, seeing as how Zayn left One Direction in 2015 and then One Direction went on hiatus shortly thereafter.
14. “I find myself incredibly attracted to you. Despite that pantsuit.” – Dave to Jodi
*Head to a janitor’s closet to start making out* Ahh all the Tori and Beck feels<3
“This is awesome. Thank you, Adam Scott.” – Dave, giving us that perfect callback to the beginning of the movie.
15. “And the prom king is…Louis Hammerschmidt? Wow, you guys suck at this.” – Principal Whitmore (Ted McGinley), in true rude movie principal fashion.