This month was the Not Your Average Teen Movie edition. We presented 3 movies that rejected the typical teen movie tropes and storylines. Each movie offered a refreshing perspective on the teen experience.

Mosquita y Mari, set in L.A. follows 2 very different Chicana High schoolers that find a bond they struggle to understand.





Raising Victor Vargas zeroes in on aspiring ladies’ man, Victor, juggling life with his younger siblings and opinionated grandmother with his pursuit of reluctant Judy in NYC’s Lower East Side.






Kicks is an updated adventure story set in the East Bay, California following 15 year old Brandon who sets out with his best friends to reclaim the prized sneakers that were stolen from him.





And the winner was…

Raising Victor Vargas
2002| 1h 28min
Director: Peter Sollett
Stars: Victor Rasuk, Donna Maldonado, Kevin Rivera







FINAL RATING: 7 out of 8 slices


Here’s what the teen audience had to say…

Every PaaM night, we ask our teens to give us their honest reviews of the winning movie. We then select voices that capture the range of opinions and critiques. Read what Juliette (PaaM Newbie), Danny & Nerissa (PaaM Regulars) and Danielle (Return PaaMer) thought about this fresh take on life as a teen in NYC.


Choose three words to describe this movie.

Danielle: Slow-paced, awkward, coming-of-age-story.
Nerissa: Comical, innocent, generous.
Juliette: Different, interesting, strong.
Danny: Relatable, emotional, funny.

What was your favorite scene? Bonus: Why? SPOILER ALERT!

Danielle: When Victor and his siblings banded together because they argued often but supported each other in the end.
Nerissa: When the siblings began to argue. It felt authentic. There were no shortcuts and the dialogue wasn’t perfect or altered, which made it feel very real.
Juliette: When Victor shows Judy the chickens because it showed a lot of his personality.
Danny: When the younger brother was “using” the bathroom.


Would you recommend this to a friend? Why or why not?

Danielle: No, because its mostly character driven and slow-paced.
Nerissa: I would recomennd this movie. It’s the perfect balance of teenagers overcoming vulnerability and being true to their feelings. The characters each grew by getting over their egos and defying “machismo”. By being vulnerable they matured. Overall, the movie was the perfect mix of comedy, a coming of age story and a perfect depiction of of growing up black-latino in New York.
Juliette: Yes, because it’s like nothing I’ve ever watched before and it’s very raw and authentic.
Danny: Yeah, to my friends who have the same mindset as the main character.

Join us for the next FREE Pizza and a Movie!



 How to RSVP for Pizza and a Movie Night:

Seating is limited, so you must lay claim to your seat & slice by selecting “Free Ticket- RSVP HERE” on the Pizza and a Movie event page at Fill in your information and you will receive a reminder email the day before the event. Please let us know exactly how many people you’ll be bringing. If you have any questions, feel free to email Briana, Teen Programs Assistant at EncodedSuccessfully EncodedEncodedSuccessfully Encoded

 PLEASE NOTE: This is a TEENS ONLY event.