A movie is a product of its time. But epic school or college movies will still speak to audiences across generations. They are the ones we go back to watch when we are nostalgic. The ones our parents showed us. The ones we show our kids.
This is the definitive guide to the movies that stood the test of time. From toga parties to study sessions, these are the movies you absolutely have to watch.
Mean Girls follows Cady Heron, who was educated in Africa by her scientist parents, as she goes to school in America for the first time. She becomes part of the school’s popular girl clique – the Plastics – as a sort of double agent reporting to her “art freak” friends, but becomes caught up in their world. It is a high school satire chock-full of one-liners that seem just as fresh (and fetch) 15 years later.
National Lampoon’s Animal House
An epic college party movie, Animal House tells the story of a misfit group of fraternity guys who challenge the authority of the dean of their university. Although it might be dated by today’s standards, Animal House made way for other college movies to thrive and it still stands as a classic.
The Breakfast Club
Five very different high school kids are forced to spend a Saturday together in detention. But then they end up bonding and finding common ground. That is what The Breakfast Club is all about. It was directed by John Hughes, the king of 80’s teen movies, and it’s often considered one of the best films from its decade.
A stereotypical sorority girl applies to Harvard Law School to win her ex-boyfriend back. By trying to be “serious enough” for him, she ends up realizing she is a pretty great lawyer. Legally Blonde is empowering and hilarious. And it proves that “girly girls” can be anything they want to be no matter how much pink they wear.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
In this classic high school comedy, senior Ferris Bueller pretends to be sick to skip school and spend a day in Chicago. This movie has made a huge impact on pop culture. It has inspired band names, tv shows, and a number of scenes in other teen movies. Basically, it has everything: fun, drama, romance and a wonderfully random musical number to a Beatles song.