Though it’s hard to believe it, summer is just about over. Which means it’s time to get the kids ready to go back to school.
And what better way to do that than by showing them a couple of movies?
We’ve compiled a list of our five favorite movies about high school, movies that explore the good, the bad and the ugly of what may or may not have been the best years of our lives.
Check them out below.
‘The Breakfast Club’ (1985)
Even if you were captain of the cheerleading team, odds are, you still felt like an outcast in high school. Arguably no other movie explores those feelings better than John Hughes’ 1985 classic ‘The Breakfast Club,’ in which five teenagers fight, cry and eventually bond during a Saturday afternoon in detention. Though they’re from completely different cliques, the students quickly realize that they’re pretty much the same people, with the same problems. Now if only somebody could have told us that while we were still in high school.
Lindsay Lohan navigates the tricky waters of high school cliques in this instant-classic comedy, about a brand-new student from Africa whose meteoric rise to the top of the social ladder causes chaos among her female classmates. With spot-on characterizations by writer Tina Fey, ‘Mean Girls’ is a pitch-perfect look at the hellish life of a modern-day high school student – the ‘Heathers’ of the ’00s. It also provides an example of the promise Lohan once showed as an up-and-coming moviestar. As the film’s lead character, Cady, she’s positively fetch. (Yes, we’re still trying to make fetch happen.)
Wholesome Aussie Sandy Olsen (Olivia Newton-John) enrolls at an American high school, only to find out that her summer fling, the rebellious Danny Zuko (John Travolta), goes there, too. From there, Sandy and Danny struggle to make their relationship work in the fast halls of Rydell High, complete with such classic musical numbers as ‘Summer Nights,’ ‘You’re the One That I Want’ and ‘Hopelessly Devoted to You.’31 years later, ‘Grease’ is still the word.
In what may be the definitive look at ’90s American culture, this modern-day retelling of Jane Austen’s ‘Emma’ explores the highs and lows when a popular student (Alicia Silverstone) gives a totally clueless girl (Brittany Murphy) a much-needed makeover. Sadly, Silverstone was never able to capitalize on her star-is-born performance, and has since become a relatively low-key figure in Hollywood. To which we say, As if!
‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ (1986)
Sure, we’ve all called in sick to school before. But our sneaky days off typically involved sleeping in and watching cheesy soap operas, not launching musical parades in downtown Chicago or crashing our best friend’s dad’s sports car. Which are just some of the crazy antics that take place in John Hughes’ ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,’ in which a student (Matthew Broderick) fakes sick and tries to see how much he can get away with in one day. Though we encourage all kids to stay in school, we’ll admit this day off was pretty cool.