Picture it. Orange County. 1998.
You thought I was going to say “Sicily.1912,” didn’t you? (If you’re too young or too lame not to get that Sophia from The Golden Girls reference, I growl at you.)
Anyway, back in 1998, I was in high school. Lunchtime was barely ever about actually eating (gotta be able to fit into those lovely 1990s BONGO jeans, ya’ll), it was mostly about gossiping. Who went out with who and which base did they get to? (I’m not talking about baseball, naturally.)
I remember the day that one of my friends told me about one of her friends that was dating a guy (some 16-year-old douchebag with a bleached spiky ‘do and a ball chain necklace…it was the late 1990s, after all.) Well, long story short, she told me that her friend is pregnant! “But she’s only 15, what’s she going to do?!” I thought.
That very night, I turned on the Lifetime Television Network (as you do on a Thursday night when you aren’t old enough to drive yet) and learned exactly what was going to happen to that friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend. The made-for-TV movie “15 & Pregnant” taught me exactly what it’s like to be a pregnant teen, and likely scarred me for life and turned me into a prude. (I guess this is a good thing, seeing that I don’t have a 12-year-old right now!)
This is 1997, way before MTV busted out Teen Mom or 16 & Pregnant. (It’s actually scary to think that in 1997, the stars of those shows were likely still in Huggies’ Pull-Ups. Yikes, I’m old.) That movie scared the shit out of me. It starred Kirsten Dunst, back before the many drunken nights in Hollywood, before she took up being a lush wearing wine- and cocaine-stained Urban Outfitters shirts, and before she smoked like 10 packs of ciggies a day. (Ah, the good old days.)
Even though “15 & Pregnant” debuted way before today’s version, 16 & Pregnant, it served the same purpose: scare kids into not having sex, especially with lame-ass, deadbeat dipshits who will leave you pregnant and stuck in your parent’s house with a kid until you’re 35. Mission accomplished!
Like the girls of 16 & Pregnant and Teen Mom, Kirsten’s character thinks she’s in love and has sex with greasy-loverboy Ray, and of course gets pregnant the first time they do it. Ray bails, leaving Kirsten and her parents to deal with the mess of her teenage sex romp.
Although the parents in this movie were way more supportive and understanding than most normal parents would be, it was an accurate description of what happens to teens who get pregnant. They miss graduation. They lose some friends who don’t fit into their lives anymore. They end up with a screaming ball of baby who doesn’t give a shit if it’s their prom night, he’s still got to be fed and burped.
If only the girls on 16 & Pregnant had seen this movie when they were younger! Their lives might have ended up totally different, thanks to Kirsten Dunst! (That’s something you thought you’d never hear, right?)
You can buy that wonderful piece of 1990s drama below!
[amazon_enhanced asin=”B000784WYA” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /]
they still play it from time to time I seen it for the first time when I was an 8th grader. it def does a great job of scarring 🙂 great movie..