Head of the class

Top 5 back-to-school movies


Mia Thompson

After several months of leisurely days and party-filled nights, the impending doom that is school has revealed itself again. That being said, there’s no better way to get back into the groove than with a list of the best back-to-school films.


Can’t Buy Me Love

What better way to start the year than with a good ol’ ‘80s classic? ‘Love’ centers on nerd Ronald Miller (Patrick Dempsey) and his hopes of clique-jumping. Once senior year rolls around, he’s had enough, and is ready to change social status. In order for his dreams to become reality, he pays fellow senior Cindy Mancini (Amanda Peterson) to “date” him for a month. She doesn’t believe that their short-term fake-dating will have an affect on his status, but he quickly disproves her theory. This film is sure to put you back in the swing of long nights, early mornings and no headphones.


Musicals haven’t always been popular — with the exception of “Grease.” This film has been adored since it hit the big screen, and was at one point, the highest-grossing movie-musical of all time. For a film that has been loved for generations, it only makes sense that it would be on our list of back-to-school flicks. “Grease” focuses on Danny Zuko (John Travolta), the leader of the “greasers” at Rydell High School. While on summer vacation in Australia, he falls for goodie-two-shoes Sandy Olsson (Olivia Newton-John). Once school starts, it seems unlikely that Danny will see Sandy again — or so he thinks. Trying to keep it cool for his boys but respectful for Sandy, he falls into a “rock and a hard place”-type situation. Lots of super-catchy singing ensues.

Mean Girls

If you haven’t seen “Mean Girls,” you must be living in another world, as girls constantly reference this film. With its endlessly quotable dialogue and deeper meaning, it gives its audience a look at the teenage girl savagery that happens in all schools. When former African dweller Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) is enrolled in public school, she faces several challenges, including the Queen-B of the school, Regina George (Rachel McAdams). The two soon befriend each other, but with intentions that aren’t pure. This film is sure to have you belly laughing and put you back in the mood for the jungle that is school.

10 Things I Hate About You

A new take on Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew,” “10 Things” gives its viewers an inside look at what it’s like to be the school’s biggest “witch.” The film focuses on Kat Stratford (Julia Stiles) a protest enthusiast, indie-rock lover, and believer of being true to yourself. Her sister, Bianca (Larisa Oleynik) finds herself wanting to date, but can’t because of their dad’s rule, which states that Bianca can’t date until Kat does — and Kat has zero interest in romance. This leads Bianca to convince a friend to set Kat up with the biggest bad boy of the school, Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger). Trouble ensues — but feelings begin to change. Nothing says ‘90s angst like teen heartbreak.

Easy A

Students love to gossip and talk behind each other’s backs, so it only makes sense there’d be a movie to show how rumors run their course in the high school environment. When Olive Penderghast (Emma Stone) tells her friend that she went on a date over the weekend and things got spicy, the rumor spreads throughout the school and Olive becomes known for things not everyone would be proud of. She embraces her new personality and sews a red — no scarlet — ‘A’ onto all her clothes. Watching Olive deal with her struggles, come to terms with them, and then tell everyone the truth allows for students of all ages to prepare for their return to high school.