It’s mid-September, which means school is in full swing, whether it’s high school, college, or university. High school is as awkward as it is fun. A time when we develop crushes, learn to drive, develop new friendships, while going through puberty, dealing with embarrassing parents, and simply trying to fit in. Films have tried to channel all these different aspects of being a teenager in school to varying success. So for everyone in high school, here are my five favorite films set in high school.
5) 21 Jump Street
I may be cheating a little bit here because the main characters aren’t in high school but that’s why I phrased the article’s title the way I did. I don’t think anyone expected 21 Jump Street to be as awesome as it is. A film that parodies the vast amount of reboots we have been dealing with over the last several years has to hit all the right notes exactly perfect, and this does with flying colors. If it wasn’t for the chemistry between Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, the movie may not have worked out as well as it did. They play well of each other and Tatum proved that he can do more than the rom-coms he had been mainly known for prior.
4) Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Everyone wanted to be Ferris after watching this movie. Ferris manages to skip class without getting caught and have the most exciting day ever in Chicago with his girlfriend, Sloan, and best friend, Cameron. Meanwhile, his sister, Jeanie, tries to expose him to their parents and his principal, Principal Rooney, tries to prove he skipped class. The back and forth between Ferris and Rooney and Ferris and Jeanie are some of the best moments of the film. I wouldn’t have minded being Ferris during high school, if only for a day.
Easy A is the film that placed Emma Stone on the map. She has had many roles over the last couple years but for me, this will be one of her most iconic. She absolutely nails it as Olive and it is hard to believe anyone as good looking would go by unnoticed for four years but hey, whatever. The movie has a great message about how quickly information can be passed along and skewed in today’s digital age. Easy A has some of the best support characters in a movie with Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson as Olive’s parents. They are hysterical and may be the definition of “relationship goals.”
This was almost my number one selection until I saw my number one playing on TV and thought “How could I forget about that?!” This may be one of the most accurate representations of what it feels like to be a high schooler on film, albeit a bit exaggerated. Which makes sense given Seth Rogan wrote it while he was in high school. This has everything high school seniors deal with: trying to get the girl, wanting to be accepted as “cool,” being embarrassed by parents, and even moving away from your best friend when you both go off to college. Seth and Evan are very relatable which makes the adventure they go on with their third buddy, Fogell, all the more enjoyable.
1) Back to the Future
Back to the Future is one of those films that if you come across it playing on TV, you have to watch it for a little bit. It is a classic that I don’t think I will ever get tired of watching. Marty McFly accidentally goes back in time to when his parents met and interrupts their first meeting. This causes one of the most hilarious situations in a movie ever: Marty’s mother begins to to fall in love with him. Now Marty has to get his parents to fall in love before he vanishes from history. It sounds like the bad spin off “How I Met My Mother.” It’s hard to believe that this classic almost stared Eric Stoltz instead of Michael J. Fox, even though I have a hard time picturing anyone else other than Fox as Marty. Of course, I can’t forget to mention the fantastic score by Alan Silvestri, one of my favorite film composers. Simply put, everything comes together perfectly.
Honorable mentions include American Pie, Grease, Risky Business, The Karate Kid (1984), and The Breakfast Club. What are some of your favorite films set in high school?