Great White Snark: So fetch.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

So fetch.

I saw this movie last night and LOVED it. I saw previews for it way back in like, April, and have been anxiously awaiting its release ever since. There are very few movies that I go see in theatres that REALLY make me laugh, heartily and out loud. This was definitely one of them. It was refreshing (albeit predictable), hilarious, quotable, and had a really sweet message beneath it all. I'm nearly certain it'll enter the "High School Movie Canon."

That got me to thinking about my favorite high school movies. Thought I'd compose a short list!

Mary's Top 5 High School Movies (in no particular order):

1. Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

There is no gray area for this movie: either you love it or hate it. I'm in the former camp. I don't know what it is about this movie...the deadpan one-liners? The weird nondescript chronological setting? All the zany quotes? I have no idea. I just really like it. I feel like it was the first movie of its kind (whatever that kind may actually be...). Others have since tried, but failed, to hit the mark.

Synopsis: I remember when this movie came out, everyone was like, "It has no plot! I still don't know what it's about!" Honestly, they're kind of right. But to do the best I can, I'd say it's a story about an asbolutely bizarre guy named Napoleon and his journey to make all his "flippin' sweet" dreams come true. It's also about his cousin Kip's search for his soul mate, his friend Deb's search for belonging, and Pedro's quest to become school president. All of these things end up working out. But a lot of really odd stuff happens in between (including, but not limited to, Napoleon's grandmother breaking her coccyx jumping dunes on an ATV, tossing food at llamas, a heinous job at a chicken farm, thrift store adventures, awful drawings, karate classes with "Rex Kwan Doe," an awfully awkward dance scene, and dance lessons with D-Kwan, all followed by a an epilogue involving a "honeymoon stallion" and karaoke about technology with Kip).

Starring: Jon Heder, Haylie Duff, Aaron Ruell, Efren Ramirez, Jon Gries

Notable song: "We're Going to be Friends," by the White Stripes.

2. Mean Girls (2004)

I saw this movie in high school and loathed it. I watched it once I'd been out of high school for a few years, and ADORED it. I love this movie. It is hilarious, quotable, and overall, I think, has a good message.

Synopsis: Cady Heron is a transfer student who had been previously home-schooled in Africa her entire life. She's completely naive to the politics of American public high school. Enter "the Plastics," the school's most cruel and popular clique. They decide to make a project out of Cady by adopting her into the group. Cady and her artsy friends decide to use this as an in by which to destroy the Plastics. A whole lot of stuff happens, but ultimately sweet Cady is morphed into one of the Plastics, and wreaks her own brand of Plastic-esque havoc on the group. It culminates in an epic school-wide free for all fight, and an excellent (and hilarious) intervention scene which stars Tina Fey. Ultimately, the catty politics are eradicated, the Queen Bee is hit by a bus (seriously), the Plastics disband, and Cady emerges a sweet and better-dressed version of herself. It's a story about how popularity is bad, and you need to not judge other people and be true to yourself, which is totes a recurring theme in high school movies.

Starring: pre-trainwreck Lindsay Lohan, RACHEL MCADAMS, Amanda Seyfried, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler

Notable Song: "Pass That Dutch," by Missy Elliott.

3. 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

I adore this movie. Thanks to films like this, "Clueless," and the TV shows "Saved by the Bell" and "Full House," this was the ultimate epitome of high school coolness in my young childhood mind. I dunno though. I mean, I still tend to think of Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger as total badasses.

Synopsis: Loosely based on "The Taming of the Shrew," this movie starts with a young Joseph Gordon-Levitt who plays a nerdy guy pining over the high school pretty girl, Bianca. Unfortunately, as a rule instated by Bianca's father, she's not allowed to date until her rebellious, bitter, angry, man-hating sister, Kat, dates too. Enter a scheme to find a guy willing to date Kat. Also enter Heath Ledger, bad-boy with a tender heart from Australia. Although he doesn't just date Kat willingly--he needs to be paid in order to date Kat. Again, stuff happens, and Patrick (Heath Ledger's character) falls in love with Kat. Big climax, fighting, resolving, etc. In the end everyone ends up happy and together.

Starring: Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles, Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Notable Song: Heath Ledger's touching version of "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You."

4. Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)

So I had wanted this list to be John Hughes free. Alas, I could NOT leave out Ferris!!! SAVE FERRIS! If you haven't seen this movie, kick yourself for being even less functional in the modern world than I am, and go see it NOW. It is hilarious and awesome, and kind of like the #1 best high school flick EVER. Also, it has this quote, which might be the best quote ever: "Ism's in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an -ism, he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon, "I don't believe in Beatles, I just believe in me." Good point there. After all, he was the walrus. I could be the walrus. I'd still have to bum rides off people."

Synopsis: It's literally a movie about this guy, Ferris, who takes a day off from school. And it's a pretty EXCELLENT day. He goes to a baseball game at Wrigley Field, steals his friend's dad's antique Ferarri, visits the Sears Tower and the Chicago Art Institute, and gets atop a float in a downtown parade and sings "Twist and Shout" to the entire city. The best thing? He makes it home before his parents manage to catch him.

Starring: Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara, Jeffrey Jones

Notable Song: "Oh Yeah," by Yello.

5. Better Off Dead (1985)

This movie never seems to make those "greatest high school movies" lists, and I haven't a clue WHY NOT. I love this movie. It's absolutely bizarre, and hilarious, and touching. I feel like it's a relatively weird and accurate look at high school life, too.

Synopsis: Lane Meyer is your average high school guy who just got dumped by his gorgeous girlfriend, with whom he's 100% in love, for the high school ski captain. Lane is so depressed that he half-heartedly attempts to commit suicide over and over again, failing each time (and it's funny, not depressing). Through a series of events, Lane gets to know a French foreign exchange student, Monique, who's staying with his neighbors. She restores his confidence in himself and his enjoyment in life, and the film ends with a climactic ski race between Head Ski Guy and Lane. And it ends with Lane overcoming his depression, and being a generally happy guy. Also, there's a genius/playboy younger brother, a stop-motion animation scene involving hamburgers gone awry, Barney Rubble trying to get Lane's girlfriend, and a best friend who's willing to snort anything from nasal spray to snow. It's AWESOME.

Starring: John Cusack, Curtis Armstrong, Amanda Wyss, Diane Franklin

Notable Song: "One Way Love (Better Off Dead)," by E.G. Daily

So those are my top 5 high school movies. I don't know if it's because high school has generally not changed at all, or if everyone's experiences, while varied, are pretty much the same, but high school movies are kind of timeless. And a good reminder to enjoy the present, and that sometimes "growing up" isn't all it's cracked up to be. It's good to embrace your inner 16 year old kid sometimes! Anyway, I highly recommend seeing these films sometime. If nothing else, go see "Easy A" one day. It was highly enjoyable.

Do you have a high school movie you like or would rec? Let me know! Have a lovely weekend, loves.

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