Five movies for back to school season

Whether it’s your freshman year of high school or your last semester in college, class is back in session whether your like it or not. To ease the transition or fill time between classes, here are five movies to get you back into the school spirit.

1. The Half of It (2020) dir. Alice Wu

The Half of It is a romantic comedy about high school senior Ellie Chu, the incredibly smart but socially awkward daughter of Chinese immigrants who helps Paul Munsky woo the girl of her dreams through letters. With sharp observations on subjects like love, loneliness and faith written in prose bordering on Shakespearean, it’s a film that is brutally honest yet still hopeful about the messy and nonsensical world of young love. Make yourself a taco sausage and grab a Yakult before settling in for an emotional roller coaster. Pineapple. Owl. Caterpillar with glasses.

2. The Breakfast Club (1985) dir. John Hughes

An obvious choice isn’t always the wrong one, and a movie everyone’s seen isn’t bad by default. The classic film set in detention holds up surprisingly well, even with discourse that has started about Hughes and his films in recent years. Despite some of the actors being or looking closer to their mid-twenties than their teens, they’re still one of the most honest and accurate depictions of teenagers put to screen. Whether you’re a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess or a criminal, there’s something in this movie for everyone.

3. Jessica Darling’s It List (2016) dir. Ali Scher

A film for the younger set, Jessica Darling’s It List is about the titular Darling struggling to navigate her first year of middle school. To help, her older sister hands her a list of goals to accomplish to guarantee the perfect school experience. When following the list leads to confusion and disaster, Darling must figure out how to forge her own path. A fresh take on a tale told many times, Jessica Darling is a charming film with an encouraging and positive message for tweens and the inner child in all of us.

4. Along for the Ride (2022) dir. Sofia Alvarez

Adapted from the Sarah Dessen novel of the same name, Along for the Ride follows study bug and insomniac Auden West as she spends a summer in the small beachfront town of Colby breaking out of her shell before she goes to Defriese. Enter Eli, a fellow insomniac looking for a second chance after a devastating loss. Together, they embark on a quest to fill in the gaps of Auden’s adult-like childhood. A fun and relatable film for the transition from high school to college, Along for the Ride is quirky summer fun for general audiences and a reminder to readers of the book why they loved it.

5. Legally Blonde (2001) dir. Robert Luketic

A modern classic in its own right, Legally Blonde takes romantic comedy conventions and smashes them beneath a designer shoe. Sorority girl Elle Woods moves across the country from sunny California to attend Harvard Law School in an attempt to get her boyfriend back but ends up finding herself in the process. If the montage after the Halloween party isn’t reason enough to watch this again, watching Elle prove her worth without compromising the “girlier” parts of her is.

Are you back in school this semester? What are your favorite school-themed movies? Let us know!


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