From Romeo & Juliet To Hunger Games: Why We’re In Love With Young Love

I’m not naming names, but some people in my life ask me pretty often: Why do you care about all these teen things? A reasonable question, given the fact that I’m 35, a mom and have an office jammed full of YA novels. I have given a lot of explanations about how the stakes feel so much higher for teenagers, which makes their drama more entertaining. Plus I don’t want to watch a bunch of 30-somethings sitting around in Brooklyn cafes — I want escape. But nothing I say can match the eloquence of Phylicia Rashad (on ANY subject). Ms. Clair Huxtable herself, whose daughter Condola is starring in Romeo and Juliet on Broadway right now (opposite Orlando Bloom) really explained it well.

“It’s innocence and the purity of love,” she said. “No matter how complex the world gets and no matter how tired we become of its complexity, we all look to love, and we love love. Yes we do.”

“When you are at that age, you are of the purest heart,” Condola Rashad added. “To see two young people fall in love in spite of everything around them is the most touching thing you can see.”

So, it’s no wonder Romeo and Juliet is also hitting the big screen once again this Friday, this time played by Douglas Booth and Hailee Steinfeld, in adaptation directed by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes. And though everyone wants to point to the tepid box office performance of Beautiful Creatures and The Mortal Instruments earlier this year, I’m not willing to discount EVERY SINGLE MOVIE that happens to feature people of that age range. Hunger Games did gangbusters last year, remember. Catching Fire could match it still. And don’t even get me started on how excited I am for Divergent, The Fault in Our Stars and Vampire Academy. Or for every Thursday night when Glee and Vampire Diaries air.