Say hello to the actors who’ll be gracing your laptop screen for the foreseeable future!
Ah, the ’80s. When every coming-of-age, teen romantic comedy had at least one member of The Brat Pack in it.
The group, which included Ally Sheedy, Judd Nelson, Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, Anthony Michael Hall, Emilio Estevez, Andrew McCarthy, and Molly Ringwald were in a constant rotation of films with each other.
Every member of the Brat Pack had their strengths, which were so beautifully outlined in the John Hughes classic The Breakfast Club. You had your nerds, athletes, basket-cases, princesses, and criminals. The plots to most ’80s movies involved each of these tropes, so recycling Hollywood’s favorite young actors just really worked.
And it looks like Netflix is taking note. Instead of just becoming the next powerhouse for rom-coms and cheesy teen movies that are destined to become cult-classics, they’re creating their very own Brat Pack to bolster viewership, keep up the chemistry on and off screen, and keep viewers coming back time and time again.
So whether you’re the schmuck paying for the Netflix account or the one mooching off of your friends and family (or ex, I won’t judge) here are the movies and their key players that you should be paying attention to: You’ll be seeing them everywhere
Let’s start with ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’ because it truly is a perfect teen rom-com.
Like Can’t Buy Me Love but without Patrick Dempsey,To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before involves two teens who are from different worlds faking a relationship, only to find out that they’re perfect for each other. It’s tender and sweet and everything you love about a rom-com. It has also given us our first two members of the New Netflix Brat Pack: Lana Condor and Noah Centineo.
1 Lana Condor
Lana Condor burst onto the Netflix scene with To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and we can see her effortlessly stepping into Molly Wingwald’s role in the OG Brat Pack. She’s the perfect rom-com protagonist in so many ways. She’s worried about her grades, but not in a nerdy way. Funny, but not in the “funny best friend” way. The love interest, but almost by accident.
Netflix is priming Noah Centineo to be in every single romantic comedy they produce until the end of time. The 22-year-old is already becoming a household name after the major success of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, where he played the popular guy who destroyed every stereotype you’ve ever had about a jock. He’s sweet, thoughtful, respectful–Emilio Estevez would be proud. He’ll also be starring alongside fellow New Brat Pack member Shannon Purser in Sierra Burgess Is a Loser as, you guessed it, the lovable jock.
Speaking of ‘Sierra Burgess Is a Loser…’
Purser’s big role playing the titular character in Sierra Burgess Is a Loser has dropped her in the middle of a classic ’80s comedy story line: Girl loves popular boy, popular boy falls for her in a case of mistaken identity, girl tries to fix it but only gets herself in deeper. It’s a classic Cinderella story that makes it easy to name Purser a member of the pack.
Purser’s character Barb from Netflix’s Stranger Things was so popular that the streaming giant took note and gave her some more screen time.
Purser easily takes on the role of the outcast that we root for in both her role as bullied Sierra Burgess and her portrayal of the “goody two-shoes” best friend in Stranger Things. What we like about her involvement in this Brat Pack is Netflix turning that lovable loser role on its head and giving her a bit of agency. She may be the outcast like Ally Sheedy’s character in The Breakfast Club, but she’s so in right now.
Then there’s the over-the-top, super cheesy, ‘The Kissing Booth.’
The Kissing Booth, in all of its campy, cliché glory, even includes an appearance from OG Brat Pack member Molly Ringwald. It’s like the ’80s rom-com gods have smiled down upon Netflix and Ringwald is giving her blessing. It’s also where they introduced us to Joey King and Jacob Elordi.
Joey King plays the spunky, yet romantic, yet naive Elle in Netflix’s The Kissing Booth, which almost instantly went viral. Like To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, fans ate up the romance and the drama that came along with a classic case of forbidden teenage love. The film, which was super successful, is bound to get a sequel. 5 Jacob Elordi
Playing Joey King’s forbidden love (and her IRL boyfriend) the 21-year-old Aussie Jacob Elordi has so much potential to be the bad boy with a heart of gold. Complete with a motorcycle and a leather jacket, he gives us major Judd Nelson vibes when he steps into his role as Noah Flynn. His role as Noah, by the way, almost went to Noah Centineo, which only proves my theory that Netflix is churning out teen heartthrobs like butter.
Then there’s ‘Alex Strangelove’ with all of its teen angst.
Anthony Michael Hall who? Daniel Doheny is Netflix’s lovable brain. In Alex Strangelove he’s a popular guy who’s at the top of his class and class president. He also stars in Netflix’s series Adventures in Public School where he plays an awkward, super-smart teen who’s adjusting to life in public high school after being home schooled his whole life. Doheny is earnest and lovable, which means that his spot is secured as the geek who we want so badly to win.
And finally #RealityHigh.
This film has a bit of everything. It’s got some of the running themes from Sixteen Candles and Pretty in Pink: high school cliques, unrequited love, the mean girl doing the most, and the friends who try to get you through it.
There’s room for more than one princess in Netflix’s New Brat Pack and Nesta Cooper is it. The 24-year-old plays the nerdy girl with very few friends who changes her outfit, suddenly gets a ton of attention, and starts to lose who she ~*really is*~ in #RealityHigh. Sound familiar? It was the plot to half of the popular rom-coms of the ’80s and ’90s. 8 Anne Winters