Is there any good way to prepare for going back to school? Once you’ve stocked up on pencils, replaced the old backpack, picked out the first day ’fit, and shed an appropriate number of tears, there’s not much left to do but watch as tomorrow becomes today and September closes in. By the time you’re reading this, you’ve passed the hallowed date, slid back to that 8-3 slog, and prepared mentally for another round of Meatless Mondays. So what better way to break yourself in for the coming months than watching a back-to-school movie?
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a movie all about skipping, something no Lakesiders would ever do, even for economics assemblies, and so at first glance it doesn’t seem very relatable. Then you realize it’s a movie all about being independent and not doing what people tell you to—and it still doesn’t seem very relatable. It’s really funny, though. Ferris Bueller, Matthew Broderick’s most iconic role, is a kid who just wants a day off from school and a couple friends to joyride around the city with. Of course, things go wrong, making for a nice series of adventures punctuated with fun and self-aware humor. It’s a classic for a reason.
If you’re like most Lakesiders, the mere mention of Shakespeare is enough to make you uncomfortable. Maybe 10 Things I Hate About You will change that. Loosely adapted from one of his most misogynist works, this high school love story has a cast of ’90s teen actors like Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. It was even filmed in Seattle. Though no teen movies give a realistic portrayal of high schoolers, at least no fun ones, 10 Things gives you a cast of believable-enough characters and a set of stupid and unlikely events. Combine that with the joy of seeing Heath Ledger alive again and you’ve got a pretty great viewing experience.
After the corny trash 10 Things shoves down your throat, maybe it’s time for a realistic romance with some realistic high schoolers. Easily the funniest movie on this list, the story of a few incompetent kids trying to buy booze for a party takes the Ferris Bueller adventures to another level. With a star-studded cast including Emma Stone, Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Bill Hader, and even Seth Rogen, Superbad shows us high schoolers who make realistically terrible choices and do stupid things for stupid reasons. It’s not a movie to watch with your parents, of course, but alone–or with friends–it’s the perfect way to remind yourself what kind of people you’ll be seeing in the hallways for the next nine months.
You’ve probably got more than enough homework tonight, and tomorrow night, and every night until June, but you can always fit in a movie. So what if you end up wiping tears off of your math paper at 1 a.m.? These three are probably the best films you could pick to get yourself in the school mindset again. Hopefully they can make slogging through the halls a little more fun, or at least give you something to dream about while you’re falling asleep in a long block STEM class. Enjoy.