Staff Recs: High school films

Zach Martin, Maddie Pazzani, Audrey Deng, Anne Cruz
The WSN staff recommends their favorite high school movies.

“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”

by Maddie Pazzani, Assistant Managing Editor

“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” is perfect for those days when you’d prefer to look back on your years in high school with rose-colored glasses. Written and directed by John Hughes, the king of high school films, the movie follows Ferris as he decides to ditch school, grab his girlfriend Sloane and his best friend Cameron and head to nearby Chicago for a packed day of teenage hijinks. Between hiding from authority figures, dancing in parades and catching foul balls at Wrigley Field, the group grapples with their impending adulthood in a way that still feels relevant to us college kids. The movie is most lovable, however, for its portrayal of all the potential and happiness possible at the end of high school, before things like waiting in line at Trader Joe’s diminish it. Ferris is the guy we all wish we knew in high school, and it’s incredibly fulfilling to see him get away with his day of shirked responsibility.

“Heathers”

by Zach Martin, Film Editor

The poster for “Heathers” shows Winona Ryder and Christina Slater embracing and beaming at the camera in a typical pose for a high school romance film. But fair warning, the film is anything but typical. It definitely works best if you’re unaware of the direction the story takes, so here’s the bare premise: Veronica (Winona Ryder) is a member of the foremost clique at her school, comprising herself and three girls all named Heather. Things get progressively more bizarre when Veronica meets the school’s new bad boy, J.D. (Christian Slater), and they begin a relationship. Toppling the conventions of the genre, “Heathers” is a masterpiece of cynicism. It’s dark, surreal and twisted, more akin to “Fargo” than “Sixteen Candles.”

“Easy A”

by Anne Cruz, Copy Chief

First off, let me say that I love everything that Emma Stone is in. By default, I love this movie because of her presence. However, “Easy A” is so much more than classic Stone snarkiness and signature eye rolls. The movie is an homage to “The Scarlet Letter,” so you can tell your friends you learned literary things while watching Emma Stone sing in lacy lingerie about woodchucks during a high school pep rally. That never happened in my high school, but a tiny part of me wishes it did. The film is cheeky and definitely worthy of a nostalgic view to remember the best and worst parts of high school life.

“Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”

by Audrey Deng, Arts Editor

Scott Pilgrim, played by Michael Cera, is a genial Canadian who must battle Ramona Flowers’ (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) seven evil exes in order to become her boyfriend. “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” seamlessly integrates video-game graphics with cinematic winter Canadian imagery, making the film feel like a video-game in which Scott always wins. Amusing quips from Aubrey Plaza, Anna Kendrick and Alison Pill (playing Julie Powers, Stacey Pilgrim and Kim Pine, respectively) make this film a must-see for fans of “Parks and Recreation,” “Pitch Perfect” and “The Newsroom.” Watch this film for the innovative filmography and the heightened reality, not necessarily for the depiction (or lack thereof) of the high school experience.

Email the Arts Desk at [email protected]

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