To continue my back to school series, I have my first guest post! Caroline from CultureCoverage gives you five college movies you must-see before going to college! Whether this will be your first time going away to college, or you’re starting your senior year, these college movies are awesome and cult-classics. I’m embarrassed to say that there are a few of these I still need to see! Happy watching!
Great films can prepare you for life by instilling great wisdom, solving unanswered questions or just providing a much-needed laugh or two. Throughout any good college career, all three of these predicaments are bound to pop up, and as every good student knows, studying is the key to success.
Be it relationship know-how or learning how to confront your inner demons, these five films can be the helping hand to discovering your own path without the feeling you’re being taught a lesson.
Good Will Hunting
This Oscar-winning flick starring Matt Damon, Robin Williams and Ben Affleck is the kind of feel-good film that reminds viewers what becomes of judging a book by its cover, hard work and working toward a dream. Good Will Hunting begins with 20-year-old South Bostonian Will Hunting, a menial laborer, who is discovered by a mathematician to be an analytical genius after he completes a particularly complicated math problem on the hallway chalkboard of MIT where he is a janitor.
Once discovered, he enrolls in classes and private tutoring in mathematics, but after he assaults a police officer, his life changes again when he’s required by a judge to attend therapy sessions with Dr. Sean Maguire (Robin Williams). Between the college courses, a new girlfriend and long sessions where he’s forced to confront his past, Hunting discovers that growing up is less about acting tough and more about opening yourself up to the possibilities of the future.
Mona Lisa Smile
Professor student mentorships are some of the best relationships around—a great professor can open many doors for students—and such is the basis for Mona Lisa Smile with the arrival of a particularly liberal professor at Wellesley College in 1953. When Katherine Watson, a UCLA graduate, shows up at Wellesley to take over the Art History classes, she’s met with a particularly gifted class of young women with extreme intelligence but antiquated ideas about women’s roles in society. With themes of going against the grain and opening up a very traditional college to new ideas, this movie is a feel-good story about what can be gained when knowledge is allowed to inspire people to think outside of the box.
Into the Wild
Based on the true story of Christopher McCandless—an Emory student who graduates college, leaves all his worldly possessions behind and donates his $24,000 life savings for a life outside of society in Alaska—Into the Wild is the stark story of one man who takes on the unknown only to find it’s harder than it’s all cracked up to be. Starring Emile Hirsch, Vince Vaughn, Catherine Keener and Marcia Gay Harden, it’s a tale of one man’s journey to discover life and the characters that one meets along the way. I suggest this story for anyone who’s feeling that the confines of society occasionally ask too much and for lovers of Cormac McCarthy’s On The Road.
While this 1967 favorite isn’t so much about college as it is about navigating adult relationships, it’s a pop culture icon that shouldn’t be missed. When disillusioned college grad Benjamin Braddock, played by Dustin Hoffman, gets seduced by an older woman on his return home from school, his whole world takes a turn away from attending graduate school and into a life of uncertainty. Despite having an affair with Mrs. Robinson, the wife of his father’s law partner, he is encouraged by his parents to date Elaine Robinson, the daughter of his lover—and that’s where all the mess begins. A perfect movie for feeling like you’ve got your life under control, The Graduate will deliver that “real life” dread people say exists after receiving your diploma as well as plenty of laughs to make you feel better about it all.
For lovers of the film, you can also watch Rumor Has It starring Jennifer Aniston, Shirley Maclaine and Kevin Costner, a romantic comedy about a woman who learns that her family is the inspiration for the film during her sister’s wedding. It’s available on US Netflix (international viewers just need to change their IP address before accessing), and it’s a lighthearted take on the same story.
Known for helping Selena Gomez shed her Disney good girl image and break into her adult career, Spring Breakers is a tale of an already crazy college tradition gone wrong. When college students Candy (Vanessa Hudgens), Faith (Selena Gomez), Brit (Ashley Benson) and Cotty (Rachel Korine) realize they can’t afford the typical college movie Spring Break, they knock over a diner before heading to Florida only to find that their crimes have led the police straight to them. Also starring James Franco as a wannabe rapper and career criminal, this action comedy is as much a warning about the college tradition as it is about a life of crime.
While some of these movies are inspiring tales of hard work and great relationships, there’s also a few cautionary tales and laughs mixed in for a well-rounded attempt at a pre-college education. So grab the popcorn and get to watching!
About the Author
Caroline is an internet security and entertainment blogger who loves to combine her two greatest loves: technology and entertainment. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to educate and prepare yourself for college by kicking back with one of these great flicks. You can find Caroline on Twitter at: @CultureCovC