It’s back-to-school season and I love this time of the year. School and I weren’t always BFFs, but I loved shopping for new school supplies and clothes as a child. Even today, all the back-to-school ads and displays bring out a warm, fuzzy feeling inside of me. I also happen to love movies where high school plays a prominent role. Sure, those movies aren’t really reality based, but still loads of fun.
10 High School Movies that Earn an A+ from Me
My rules are simple. I must have seen the movie (i.e. this is why Fast Times of Ridgemont High is not on the list). No scary movies allowed (i.e. Faculty or Scream). The movie has become every day lexicon in most cases.
And one last reminder: high school movies only (i.e. Pitch Perfect is ineligible)!
10. American Pie
This movie hit all the big beats of high school movies: horny teens, losing your virginity, friendships and moving on. It is also stupidly hilarious. MILF, anyone? Or “this one time … at band camp” Admit it: You never looked at an apple pie the same way again. 😀
9. Never Been Kissed
Today I rarely watch romantic comedies, but I loved them when this movie came out. I adored Drew Barrymore and thought Michael Vartan was so handsome. The nerd heart that beats inside me went pitter patter at their somewhat forbidden romance and cheered wildly when Josie (Drew) received her first kiss. To be honest, it still does.
8. Dead Poet’s Society
This movie surprised me. First, it’s not about sports or a comedy, which tend to be the genres of most high school movies. It is also the first time I saw Robin Williams be serious. I cannot hear “O’ Captain O’ Captain” without thinking of him and tearing up.
Reese Witherspoon won a well-deserved Oscar for Walk the Line, but I still consider her work in Election to be some of her best. We all know or have a Tracy Flick in our lives. Or perhaps, a little Tracy Flick resides inside of us too. Ahem.
I remember singing along to all the songs when I was a kid, much to the consternation of my Mom, which confused me. Of course, once I actually understood the lyrics, I got it. 😀 Because I saw this movie first as an impressionable child, I thought high school would look like Grease. It most definitely rama lamma lamma ka dinga da dinga dong didn’t.
5. Sixteen Candles
This movie doesn’t necessarily age the best with all the terrible Long Duk Dong jokes but Jake. Oh, sweet Jake. With his rolled pants, red Porsche (I think — not great with cars) and birthday cake. Jake … Jake … Jake. That’s all. Just Jake.
One of my friends rented this movie for a sleepover and I had never even heard of it. Honestly, it confused me the first time I saw it. I err … lived a sheltered life. But today, I get it and love it. Just like “I love my dead gay son!”
As if! As if I wouldn’t include this classic movie. Sure, it’s chock full of silly, spoiled rich kids but dang! I laughed and enjoyed it so much. And weirdly, looking back, I’m pleased all the rich kids weren’t white. Sure, Stacy Dash became a commentator on FOX News for a time but still… Beverly Hills wasn’t lily white in Amy Heckerling’s world. And I leave you with Cher’s oddly thoughtful defense of allowing immigrants into the US:
… But by the end of the day it was, like, the more the merrier. And so if the government could just get to the kitchen, rearrange some things, we could certainly party with the Haitians. And in conclusion may I please remind you it does not say R.S.V.P. on the Statue of Liberty. Thank you very much.
2. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Another classic movie that I have seen countless times as has pretty much every single person. Bueller? Bueller? Bueller? I watch the movie every time I see it one TV and know so many of the lines. As kids, we all wanted to have the chutzpah of Ferris Bueller and to live his rather insightful motto:
Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
1. The Breakfast Club
Don’t you … forget about me. How could I? Or anyone? The Breakfast Club may be more than 30 years old, but it remains the quintessential high school movie and beloved by all.
Brian Johnson: Dear Mr. Vernon, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. But we think you’re crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us — in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain…
Andrew Clark: …and an athlete…
Allison Reynolds: …and a basket case…
Claire Standish: …a princess…
John Bender: …and a criminal…
Brian Johnson: Does that answer your question? Sincerely yours, the Breakfast Club.
Oddly enough when I was looking at lists for inspiration, The Breakfast Club topped virtually every list. A great movie endures and The Breakfast Club remains head of the class when it comes to high school movies.
Now You Tell Me Your Favorites!
High school holds many memories — some good and others not-so great. But whether you loved it or not, it remains a rite of passage, just like high school movies. I told you my favorite high school movies, now tell me yours!
And be sure to come back on Thursday when I am sharing the perfect treat that will make the high-schooler in you cheer wildly.