Talking Bout My Generation

How does one define a generation? It could be by decade or by style or by music. For me I think it’s movies but it’s hard to fit one movie for my generation.

This article suggests films like Reality Bites, Trainspotting and Garden State that speak for Generation X. From what it seems to me Generation X is somewhere between people born in the mid 1960s to people born in the mid 1980s, it’s a very wide gap. So wide, in fact, that it includes my brother, which is just weird. Pretty much anyone after the babyboom generation and anyone who was not born with a computer in their crib.

Anyway, I think those 3 movies say a lot for the entire generation or rather the beginning, the middle and the end. Maybe Reality Bites spoke for the youth growing up in the late 80’s and early 90s with the grunge and the apathy. Trainspotting is like a darker more twisted Reality Bites for the generation in Europe that, let’s face it, were a decade behind to begin with.

Talking with my friend the other day we came to the conclusion that our generation is probably closest to American Pie, which might be really depressing. She also suggested American Beauty or Empire Records.

Then there is Garden State, which I think spoke more for those coming of age in the last decade. Kids that have been on anti-depressants and ritalin for as long as they could remember. Personally I think the generation behind me, who were born in the 80’s (not you Gwen) are defined to me with Superbad.

It seems to me the concept of “generations” is a very loose term that nobody can really pinpoint. Some feel it has to do with when you were born and some think it is when your parents were born. Personally I feel it has more to do with the music, television, movies, etc. you grew up with, to me that’s what really defines a generation now.

What do you think defines a generation?

What movie do you think defines your generation?

Listen to us discuss this topic on our show Off Topic a couple weeks ago.


  1. Nobodyâ„¢

    September 1, 2009 at 10:18 am

    I have to go with Reality Bites. Great movie.

    1. Robin

      September 2, 2009 at 2:42 pm

      @Nobodyâ„¢, love reality bites. don’t bogart that can…man…

  2. Gwen

    September 1, 2009 at 11:54 am

    Yes, I do seem to be one of those freaks who doesn’t really fit in with “my generation” don’t I?

    1. Robin

      September 2, 2009 at 2:42 pm

      @Gwen, yes, and that is the ONLy way you are a freak :twitchy:

  3. Barb

    September 1, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    I haven’t seen any of those movies! Wonder what that makes me? 🙂

    Generation X, I’m pretty sure, are people born in the 60s and who would have graduated by the early ’90s. I’m basing that on Coupland’s book. I’ve also heard of the term Generation Y, which I believe are people born after Generation X. Well, I guess that would make sense. In those terms, it’s based on age.

    But you can’t really separate the definition of a generation by age only. I agree that movies and music have a lot to do with it.

    For myself, I’d have to say The Breakfast Club defines my own generation. It came out when I was about 16 and in retrospect, seems to me to be about diversity as represented by members of different high school cliques getting along, even for just a few hours.

    1. Robin

      September 2, 2009 at 2:43 pm

      @Barb, i can’t believe i forgot to mention the breakfast club.

  4. Amanda

    September 1, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    God I don’t think Superbad defines my generation

    1. Robin

      September 2, 2009 at 2:44 pm

      @Amanda, oh totally 🙂

  5. jen

    September 2, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    Breakfast Club; Reality Bites; Pretty in Pink; All the John Hughes stuff. Also, for teh GenX childhood – a little JOdie Foster Sleeper – can’t think of hte name of it – the young girl dies of cancer. SUmmer is in the title.

    1. Robin

      September 2, 2009 at 2:45 pm

      @jen, i have no idea what that movie is.

  6. Miss Britt

    September 2, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    I think my generation (born in 1980) is defined by the movie The Breakfast Club.

    1. Robin

      September 2, 2009 at 2:46 pm

      @Miss Britt, you do realize that when the movie came out you were like still in diapers right?

  7. Grant

    September 2, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    Reality Bites was a stinker, so I refuse to accept that one as representative of my generation. I submit Gross Point Blank as a worthy replacement.

    1. Robin

      September 2, 2009 at 2:46 pm

      @Grant, your movie request is in the queque to be determined later…

  8. Hannah

    September 2, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    I was born in 1980 so I guess that makes me part of “Generation Y” (Though the dates are pretty loose and not set in stone)

    I think its the movies, music and general culture and social norms that define a generation.

    As for a movie that ‘defines’ my generation..hmm..I think “Ghost World”, “Can’t Hardly Wait”, “American Pie” are good. As for 80s childhood nostalgia, everyone seems to love “Princess Bride” and I do too! 🙂

    1. Robin

      September 2, 2009 at 3:04 pm

      @Miss Britt, :whistle:

  9. Gwen

    September 3, 2009 at 6:54 pm


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