NADINE'S UNDERRATED EARLY-2000s PLASTIC FLORAL CUP
hopscotch credit: the edge of seventeen
yeah, we get it, 'what's so perfect about a cup?' - but as we like say, it's not just the big picture that makes a motion picture. it would be a major shame to overlook the little things in a film, even the most minuscule props!! so, please follow our code of conduct and - hashtag footloose - never, never, never underestimate something as basic as drink-ware...especially, nadine's underrated, early-2000s, plastic, floral cup.
just as much as actresses and actors present a direct connection between the viewer and film, portraying the characters in the feature and allowing the story to be told through their performance, props do the same. just not verbally. subtly, however immensely, they add to a character's personality and aesthetic, sparking the audience's subconscious curiosity of 'why does this person have this?' and grossly embedding characteristics, quirks, motives, and reasonings to a further layer a character's complexity, more so than the script or exaggeration of actions. even if only sitting on a shelf in the back corner of a room, similar to a flash back, props allow the audience to be deeper connected with the plot.
so, once again, what's so perfect about a cup - and in this case - nadine's underrated, early-2000s, plastic, floral cup? well, right when nadine first grabbed the cup in the bathroom scene, we both instantly smiled at its shear appearance and ability to perfectly incapsulate the complete randomness, yet realistically tacky aptness of a childhood plastic cup on screen. getting a kick out of the lovable relativeness of the cup's gaudy nostalgia, this single prop made this movie even more keen at nailing the environment of an off-beat, middle-class, seventeen-year-old teenage girl on the head. nowadays, with the increasing trendiness to upscale or blur the realities of the younger generation, seen primarily with popular tv shows (ex. riverdale) that try too hard to be stylish and incorporate iconic aesthetics from popular decades, the attempt to be cool ends up costing the film's value and ability to connect deeper with the audience by removing its realism. now we're not saying that nadine's cup isn't rad af, but this statement piece, in all its bulging oddity and glory, allowed the viewer to feel more in touch with nadine, and, potentially, allow them to see themselves as the main character.
so rad or sad, one last, tad more sophisticated, angle on this cup's almighty design is how it serves a juxtaposition to the scene and greater symbolic observation to the film as a whole. as we know, the scene of nadine waking up in the bathroom the next morning, hungover, is quickly followed by the ever so earth-shattering scene of nadine finding her best friend, krista, in bed with her older brother, darian. eeh! consequently, this marks the pivotal shift in the movie between nadine's emotional codependency with krista and her sudden solo flight of feelings, taking on her insecurities head first without the buffer of a best friend. to this, knowing that this disruption, that will result in the tipping point of nadine's character evolution, is about to occur, having the bold, eye-catching pattern of the cup in the bathroom, before nadine is shocked to her core, helps embody nadine's feelings of freakishly standing out and being off-putting that will later be revealed in the film's forecast.
closing, we know that's a lot to get from just a cup. and we're not just trying to psychoanalyze plastic, but hopefully by now you realize that it's really not just a cup. keeping it simple, in our eyes its perfect even if only in the film for a few, brief, seconds. :-)