School is back in session just about everywhere, and it’s
time that we all find our designated cliques and take our seats. Before we
start our school day, let’s take a look at the movies that offer all of us a
place to fit in.
We don’t want to be too elitist like the Mean Girls.
We want to find true friends like the girls in Clueless. Maybe we can
find a cute boyfriend with All the Right Moves. If we don’t fit in, we
could always go Winona Ryder on our friends like in Heathers.
Some ‘80’s school daze features include Fast Times at
Ridgemont High, Revenge of the Nerds, and Bill and Ted’s
Excellent Adventure. These films focus on the goofier school rivalries and
relationships and incorporate some “far out” plotlines to pit the unlikely
heroes (nerds and stoners) against the villains (jocks and preps).
If you can’t get enough music in your movie, pick up a copy
of Grease, West Side Story, Hairspray, or High School
Musical. These movies all portray gifted students with a knack for bursting
into song when things get tough… or confusing… or fun—really for any reason at
What if you need a little help in class? We could call in
the faculty from the 1984 film Teachers. Nick Nolte as a teacher? Maybe
not. Suffering from teen angst? You might want to spend time with The
Outsiders. If Michelle Pfeiffer is more your type, take an evening to watch
Dangerous Minds. She’s tough enough to reach even the hardest students.
The Breakfast Club has something for everyone. John
Hughes’ 1985 classic showcases a group of kids from every high school circle,
including a jock, a prep, a brain, a stoner, and a Goth. While stuck in
Saturday detention hall, they discover that they have much more in common than
they imagined. With an incredible soundtrack, The Breakfast Club became
an instant hit and still receives top ranking for films about high school kids.
Another Hughes’ must see is the 1986 film, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. One of my favorites,
this one features a charismatic senior who just wants a day off from school
before graduation. The thing that I love about this movie is that everybody at
school, regardless of clique or creed, loves him. “They think he’s a righteous dude!”
That is, of course, except his sister, Jeanie, and his
principal, Ed Rooney—they are out to stop him at all costs. If you have never
seen Ferris Bueller, “…Bueller… Bueller…” your assignment for this week
is to rent it right away and watch it with a friend.
Something I enjoy about seeing these movies starring teenagers is that almost all of them launched incredible careers for the young
actors. Watch them and you’ll see some young but familiar faces. Please share
with the rest of the class your “High School Film Favorites.” There will be a test!
That’s a wrap for this Toast to Cinema! Thanks for reading!