The Greatness of Teen Beach Movie & Teen Beach 2

I want to talk about how much I love Teen Beach Movie & Teen Beach 2.

Yes, those are ridiculous titles. Yes, they’re squeaky clean Disney+ movies aimed at tweens.


They’re brilliant. Let me tell you why…

Teen Beach Movie is a sparkly, shiny, pop musical, filled with Beach Boys-style songs, about a pair of teens being sucked into an old 60s movie called Wet Side Story.

Yes, Wet Side Story. I know. This is not promising.

BUT… (spoilers coming)…

After the teens make it back to the real world, Teen Beach 2 is about the stars of Wet Side Story following them out of the movie.

This is where it gets interesting. See, Lela, suddenly gets to go to math class instead of just swooning over Tanner. Okay, yes, obvious…


What pushes Teen Beach Movie & Teen Beach 2 over the edge to brilliant is they LAND THE END.

See, Lela wants more than Wet Side Story gives her, but if she changes the movie, then the actual main characters MIGHT NEVER MEET.


It sounds like I’m kidding, BUT…

These whole movies are about the young budding love between the main characters, and that will all be undone if Lela gets to start a math club in Wet Side Story.

And everything primes you to believe that Lela’s desire will be treated as less important than that relationship.

When I first watched Teen Beach Movie & Teen Beach 2, I fully expected Lela to be trapped inside a movie, falling in love with the adorable buffoon Tanner, over and over again, AND IT WAS HEART-RENDING.

I was on the edge of my seat. I couldn’t stand the idea of that.

So what did the movie do?

Teen Beach 2 completely erased everything that had happened. Suddenly, the two main characters didn’t know each other AT ALL.

Lela had changed the movie within the movie, and instead of being Wet Side Story, it became Lela Queen of the Beach.

When Teen Beach Movie starts, Brady loves Wet Side Story, and introduces Mack, who’s kind of lost, to it. She thinks it’s silly, but through the course of being sucked inside it and teaching Lela to stand up for herself, she finds herself as well.

When Teen Beach 2 ends, Mack introduces Brady (who hasn’t seen it) to Lela Queen of the Beach, which was “ahead of its time.”

Mack doesn’t spend an entire movie finding herself anymore, because she grew up watching Lela live out the lessons she’d learned from meeting Mack.

Teen Beach Movie & Teen Beach 2 are bouncy, catchy, fun, sparkly movies.

They’re also about friendships between women, the slow march of inter-generational progress when it comes to feminism, and the profound importance and power of seeing yourself represented in pop culture.

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