With the onset of August, we get college football, NFL, baseball playoffs, hurricanes, and people going back to school. So what better time to list my favorite school-related movies than now? August’s list is dedicated to High School; September’s will be dedicated to College. As always, I must have seen the movie; so there will be no listing of Pretty in Pink. I do want to give honorable mentions to five movies that involved some school, but it was not the primary focus: The Goonies, Gotcha!, The Freshman, The Sure Thing, and South Park.
Now, before the teacher docks points for not being posted in August:
Everyone knows this one — it is the word that you heard. Sure the actors were in their 30’s, but who cared. We wanted to harken back to an era of greasers and bobby soxers. Most women I know prefer this one over Titanic for true love.
Sixteen Candles (1984)
The start of the John Hughes legacy. Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, John Cusack all were launched from this movie. The fact that nearly 25 years later that it is still considered one of the benchmarks movies are measured against with regards to teenagers and life speaks volumes.
An outsider trying to fit in; kids wanting to be kids; and a battle over morality. While dismissed as fluff by most, this movie, with John Hughes’s library, helped define movies for a generation.
The Breakfast Club (1985)
Another iconic film still used for inspiration today (see JC Penney’s latest ad campaign), it was one that sparked discussion in the Cross household. Having watched it just a few weeks ago,, I am amazed how it is truly a timeless piece, with the only pop-culture references being the music.
Better Off Dead (1985)
We have all been Lane Meyer; heck, I identify with him a lot, except for the dead part. While initially lost amidst the John Hughes shuffle, it gained footing on video and cable.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
This is Matthew Broderick’s signature movie. We have all wanted one crazy day like this in high school. This one holds even more nostalgia for me: it is the movie I saw on my first date, ever.
A very dark comedy, but an interesting study of social circles. Winona Ryder and Christian Slater played a very odd, violent couple.
Pump Up The Volume (1990)
Another movie about trying to find one’s place, Christian Slater did a great job with the role. It highlights some of the pressures we all face from all facets of life.
10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
Released at a time when everyone was ripping off the Bard for teen-oriented movies, this retelling of The Taming of the Shrew launched two careers: Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger. It also produced one of the better overall soundtracks.
American Pie (1999)
Viewed as the relaunch of the gross-out teen-oriented comedies, it really is a good story about the awkwardness of being a teenage guy — something not always addressed in movies.
Not Just Another Teen Movie (2001)
One of the best parodies of teen movies, this one runs the gamut of John Hughes to Varsity Blues. It does use She’s All That as the framework to hang all of the comedy on.
Mean Girls (2004)
Lindsay Lohan’s last movie before all of the real-life drama started affecting her work. Written by Tina Fey, one can see influences of Heathers in it.