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Neuman’s Movie Monday: High School

cinema clapper and video film tape on disc
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Since school is back in session, here are Neuman’s Top 10 choices for movies about high school. (We excluded movies about high school sports. That will be in a future Movie Monday.)

As we are all in the full swing of school, here is Neuman’s list for the best movies about high school and why.

10. Sixteen Candles

Universal Pictures
Channel Productions

John Hughes was the king of 80’s teen comedies “Sixteen Candles” is right up there. It’s actually strange to think that his movie probably wouldn’t work in 2017 because if you put your birthday on Facebook, people wouldn’t have forgotten. But that is just the start of the troubles for Samantha (Molly Ringwald.)

 

9. Napoleon Dynamite

Fox Searchlight Pictures
Fox Searchlight Pictures

This is one of those movies where I didn’t laugh once the first time I saw it and couldn’t stop laughing the second time. “Napoleon Dynamite” is all about the dialogue. It’s an okay plot with really good lines. They have a typical high school in Idaho from the standpoint of the kid that everyone knows but isn’t popular.

 

8. Grease

Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures

How can this musical not be on this list? The rebel reunites with his summer love and it turns out she is the cheerleader type. He tries to impress her without losing his “cool” status with the guys. The only thing that really is odd about this movie is that Stockard Channing was 34 years old and portraying a high school student. Even if you hate this movie, I bet you still know every word to Greased Lightnin’, Your the One That I Want, and Summer Nights.

 

7. Back to the Future

Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures

I didn’t really think of this as a high school movie until I was looking up movies for this list. But what’s interesting about this movie is to be able to see a depiction of high school in the 80’s and the 50’s.

 

6. Dazed and Confused

Gramercy Pictures
Gramercy Pictures

Even though this movie happens on just one day, you still feel the relief of the last day of school, the teenage angst of being the top dogs as the new seniors, and the worry about becoming a freshman. The most memorable scene is the “No More Mr. Nice Guy” hazing scene.

 

5. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures

We can learn a lot about high school life from the extra day away from school. Another John Hughes film, and this one shows it probably takes more work to get away with skipping school than it does to be at school.

 

4. Mean Girls

Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures

The college that I went to had a movie channel and my roommates said that “Mean Girls” was going to be on soon and that since Tina Fey wrote it, we should check it out. I think we all had a blase mindset going into it. We’ve been through high school drama, do we really want to watch a whole movie about it? We were so surprised how funny this movie is. This movie strips high school down to its core. It was also a good move to feature the girls as juniors because everyone knows that seniors just don’t care about the drama any more.

 

3. Dead Poet’s Society

Touchstone Pictures
Touchstone Pictures

This is just a good movie pure and simple. You see the lives of boys at a prestigious preparatory school and a teacher who preaches the dangers of conformity and the right of free thinking. As good as Robin Williams is as the teacher, Ethan Hawke does a fantastic job at just 19 years old and in his third movie of his career. This movie is a different take on high school life. Usually a high school movie is about a kid who has the pressure of failing a class. Here, we see the pressures students go through when parents and teachers consider an A- as a failing grade.

 

2. The Breakfast Club

A&M Films/Channel
A&M Films/Channel

This could easily take the top spot for high school movies. It is the quintessential high school flick. This is another John Hughes “brat pack” movie and another movie that lasts just one day. Each social clique is represented in the form of a Saturday detention. They all quickly become friends before coming to the realization that they probably won’t be come Monday morning. Each character is relatable in some way and the movie can still hold up in 2017.

 

1. Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures

Fast Times is just the best. There’s no real plot. Just a movie wedging itself into the lives of a few high school kids. Everyone knows someone like, Stacey, Brad, Spicoli, Damone, Rat, and Linda (everyone’s childhood crush.) The soundtrack is great, the football scene is a fantastically ridiculous montage, and no matter what problem you’ve ever had, it can always be fixed with the ultimate set of tools when your old man is a Television Repair Man.

 

 

 

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