Are you in the mood?
Don’t lie to me. We all do it.
We curl up on the couch with a bowl of popcorn, a Diet Coke and soak up every minute of teenage nostalgia, especially the angst-y, heartbreak-y, hormone-driven parts that come with the High School Movie. We may be out of high school, but that doesn’t mean we’re over it. Our very fascination with those 4 years and the events that might have changed our lives is secretly compelling to us. So we watch. And we love it.
And that’s OK. There is nothing wrong with enjoying a little high school drama (and an occasional choreographed dance) again. There is so much to be learned from those flicks and so much happiness to be gleaned from the fact that we are no longer living them.
Just to let you know that indulging in high school drama is a healthy and well-adjusted way to waste your free time, I created a list of the best/awesomely funny/most ridiculous high school movies you will ever see.
Because breaking up is never funny (all the time) but getting over it is. High School Basketball star Burke Landers (Ben Foster) gets chucked by his girlfriend, who then takes up with the cocky, arrogant, “Mary Poppins sounding” Striker (Shane West). Burke ends up stalking them into the school play A Midsummer Night’s Dream, landing a lead role (after a series of unfortunate events) and develops a closer relationship with his best friends’ sister (Kirsten Dunst). If the way Burke attempts to get over the girl doesn’t get you, his “hip and understanding” parents will make you cringe and the boy band-esque song Ben Foster and Shane West perform will make you wet your pants… or vomit in your mouth.
Oh, I almost forgot: Sisqo of “Thong Song” fame has a supporting role.
2. Drive Me Crazy
They’re next door neighbors, former BFFs before high school. She’s preppy (Melissa Joan Hart). He’s alternative (Adrien Grenier). She wants to get a date for prom. He wants his girlfriend back. Quid Pro Quo. They fall for each other under watch of the scheming socialistas of high school. Nothing says true love like scheming for a prom date. Pre-Entourage Adrien Grenier is still oh so pretty. Yes, pretty.
Btw, they use similar SAT words that the supposed 15 year olds of Dawson’s Creek encouraged. Love it.
Classic. Mary Stuart Masterson is Watts. Her BFF is Keith (played by Eric Stoltz) is in love with the popular girl (what else is new). Watts, out of the kindness of her heart, helps him and realizes she’s falling for him. Why watch? Because Mary Stuart Masterson is amazing. She’s the tomboy you want to be.
John Hughes, writer/director/producer of Brat Pack film fame, gives this movie Pretty in Pink ‘s original ending. Is that a teardrop I see?
4. Dead Poets’ Society
You know how comedic actors try serious roles and are super successful and under rated? (Will Ferrell in Stranger Than Fiction, Jim Carrey in The Majestic and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) This is Robin Williams’ moment. John Keating is the teacher above all teachers. Walt Whitman never made me cry harder than when Ethan Hawke saluted his teacher with O Captain, my Captain. Aw man, here I am getting misty eyed again.
This movie captures the awakening of adulthood within teenagers. It explores sex, suicide, love, and passion. It encourages Thoreau’s view that “the universe is wider than our views of it.”
This movie gets you.
Ren (Kevin Bacon) moves to a town that banned public dancing and music. Think about how that would affect your life. Especially with a soundtrack this danceable!! You’ll sing along to “Let’s Hear It for the Boy” when he teaches his best friend Willard to dance. There’s also a lesson to learn about teenage relationships and abuse. (Dear Rihanna, I thought of you and CB.)
Kirsten Dunst has a knack for choosing fantastic roles. In this movie she is Lux Lisbon, the oldest in a family of five girls. The sisters suffer under their overprotective parents after the youngest sister commits suicide. The Lisbon girls are placed under house arrest and home schooled by their parents after Lux returns home the morning after a dance, their records are taken away and it seems like there’s nothing to live for. The story is told by the boys who lived next door and were fascinated by the girls. It’s a beautiful story. A bit bland but still heart wrenching. I guess the ending won’t be much of a surprise.
7. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
If you don’t know, get familiar. Enough said.
Tagline: For everyone on the outside looking in…your moment has arrived! I saw this movie when I was 14 and I have always remembered it. Before James Van Der Beek found the Creek, he was a bully with a seriously tweaked sense of humor who tormented Angus. Angus is ostracized and humiliated by his peers because of his obesity. In addition, the girl of his dreams is the girlfriend of the bully of his nightmares. Armed with no confidence and fading hope, Angus tries to be invisible until he can leave the school.
The Original Mean Girls!! They’ve got sex appeal and intimidation down. The Heathers could eat Regina George alive! Though Veronica is the one that should be feared. She killed them all. There are two lessons to learn from this movie:
1. Mean people suck!
2. Popularity leads to murder?
Still working on that last one.
You are not an overachiever if you’re not Tracy Flick. She slept with, then blackmailed her teacher to win an election. I bet you’ve only made straight A’s. BO-RING!
There you have it. The best of the best high school movies.
Order from Netflix, visit Blockbuster, or buy online. Just watch em!