Whether they were the best four years of your life or not, high school movies tend to do an excellent job of taking you back. This week the staff at AiPT! discuss our favorite high school movies. Joining us this week will be two of AiPT!’s newest contributors, Vicky and Megan.
What is your favorite high school movie?
Davis Pittman: There are several that I really love, Grease, Footloose (2011), Some Kind of Wonderful immediately come to mind, but I think Election is my favorite.
Justin Cohen: This is really tough as this genre is one of my favorites and there are so many great ones. I think I have to go with American Pie. I’ll never forget when it came out and all of the parents tried to make sure none of their kids saw it because it was quite raunchy for the time. We obviously all found a way and it paved the way for how I would envision high school and eventually college to be. It was hilarious, it had heart, it had memorable characters, and it had one of the best soundtracks (The members of blink-182 are actually IN the movie!). American Pie 2 and American Reunion were both incredible sequels (I wasn’t as big on American Wedding since it only had some of the characters in it) and it has stood the test of time as one of the definitive high school films.
Megan Wallen: My top three would have to be Heathers, Scream and The Breakfast Club.
Vicky Almaguer: One if my favorite high school movies would have to be Sixteen Candles. The soundtrack, the characters, everything wraps together nicely. Plus Jake Ryan is just beautiful.
High school movies either focus on teenagers in high school or adults that are returning or dealing with their kids. Which do you prefer?Justin: I prefer high school movies focusing on teenagers in high school but I love both types. The ones focusing on high school were just so relatable to me back in that time that they hold a special place in my heart and even now the nostalgia of that time makes me appreciate them in a different way, even more possibly. The American Pie films, Superbad, Dazed and Confused, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Scream, and The Breakfast Club are all up there for me as favorite movies and all are ones that focus on teenagers.
Davis: I think it’s honestly either for me, I like a lot of the movies that focus on teens, but sometimes I don’t like watching them because my high school years were pretty s----y and it reminds me of those times. Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion is one that I love that’s about them as adults looking back
Megan: I would have to agree with Davis. Either is fine, but I’d probably be more into the ones centered around students. It’s because I haven’t seen nearly as many that focus on the adults. One that comes to mind is Fist Fight, and it was okay. I really only watched it because I’m a Charlie Day fan.
David Brooke: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. It only gets better with time.
Michael Rosch: I could easily go with Ferris Bueller or Breakfast Club but instead I’ll pick Wes Anderson’s sophomore effort, Rushmore. Max Fisher belongs next to the likes of Ferris Bueller and John Bender in the annals of iconic cinematic high schoolers. He’s almost an anti-Ferris. While Broderick’s teen is universally beloved and would rather be anywhere but high school, Max is a loner who never wants to leave.
Vicky: I really don’t mind either or. We can all relate to the students going through their high school days and creating memories and teachers going back is entertaining to see.
Which high school movie most accurately depicted your high school years?Justin: Superbad. It was so accurate it hurts. Haha. I graduated high school just before that movie came out and I remember all of my friends and I losing it over how much we could relate. The way they talk about girls and embarrassingly fail in front of them, trying to buy alcohol with terrible fake IDs, everything about the film felt genuine and relatable. It’s in close contention with American Pie as my favorite high school movie.
Davis: I really don’t think there’s been a movie made that could depict my high school years, mine was just s----y and boring honestly. I went to a strict religious school where I was mistreated. The only silver lining for me was a couple good friends. I suppose Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion is the one I would relate to most though, since they stuck together and didn’t exactly fit in. Plus, I always wanted to tell off the assholes that mistreated me.
Megan: I can’t think of a movie that I’ve seen that can be compared to my time in high school. I mostly just showed up, kept my head down, and anticipated the dismissal bell until I got into home-schooling in tenth grade, which I also didn’t complete. Honestly, I didn’t really have much of a high school experience. Tragic, I know.
Vicky: Not really. I think these movies are really exaggerated and nothing really epic happened during high school. I was just a typical overachiever joining as many clubs as possible.
There have been some memorable cliques in high school movies. Which clique would you have been a part of?Justin: My friend group was very similar to the group of guys and girls in American Pie. I don’t think they had a name, but that’s the most similar.
Dave: Easy A, mostly because I was an anonymous kid that most didn’t really know, but I got along with most groups. Minus the gossip about sex parts of course.
Michael: I can’t think of a film that was necessarily very similar to my own high school experience but The Perks of Being a Wallflower felt particularly authentic to me.
Megan: I couldn’t name a movie-related clique to describe my group of friends. My friends all lived on the same cul-de-sac, but we were either never in the same grade or in the same classes. I would have liked to have a group of school friends like the one in the movie Michael mentioned, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower. I have yet to see the movie, but I’ve read the book by Chbosky, and I feel like I can relate to the main character a lot.
Vicky: I can’t think of one that relates to my friends. Maybe all the nerds? We were all the overachieving kids worrying about their GPAs and joining clubs, but there was a very reliable friend of mine that reflected the character Ducky from Pretty in Pink.
Did your group of friends that you hung around with in high school have a cool name?Justin: No cool names. I think coming up with a name for your friend group should only happen in movies…
Dave: We had team names whenever it was 1 vs. 1 or 1 grouping vs. one grouping. Team Awesome Domination vs. Team Cheat to Win.
Michael: No nicknames I can remember. That seems like one of those elements that exists only in the movies.
Megan: Nothing but whatever the popular kids called us behind our backs probably. I hated high school.
Vicky: Nope but again we were pretty much the nerds so maybe that.
Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!