Senior Week Must Be Stopped

By: Brian O’Conor


New York, NY:

A new movie hits theaters next month, glamorizing the illegal and immoral behavior of high school graduates during the Maryland rite of passage, Senior Week.

The Graduates, a new comedy from writer/director Ryan Gielen, is the story of four friends who travel to Ocean City, Maryland to drink, take drugs, and attempt to have sex. Gielen, a Maryland native, claims his film does not glamorize illegal behavior, but merely attempts to reflect truthful activities.

“My film is based on years of research,” says Gielen, “I went to several senior weeks and wanted to show people just how much fun it actually is.”

In The Graduates, four young men- friends since elememtary school- travel to Ocean City while bragging about the amount of sex they will have, and the amount of beer they will drink. The entire twenty minute opening is accompanied by an indie rock soundtrack (one of the only highlights of the film), making the entire experience look like one big party.

How does Gielen reconcile this?

“The Graduates is hysterical, people really respond to the characters and the humor,” says Gielen. “I think kids have a right to have fun, and the characters in The Graduates do.”

With movies like Superbad and The Graduates relying solely on catering to the worst elements of youth, how can we protect our children? The solution would be to shut down Senior Week.

Parents all over Maryland are responding to this idea, and a movement is taking hold. “Senior Week is little more than an excuse to drink illegally and sleep around, without any consequences,” says Dan Lefkowitz, a concerned parent in Montgomery County. “The stories these kids come back with are horrifying, and I think we have a responsibility to prevent our kids from unsupervised celebrations.”

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The Graduates opens in select cities this May and the entire soundtrack is available for free on the film’s website: www.thegraduatesmovie.com

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