Vacation is Over: 5 Back to School Movies

The vacations are ending, and we bring you a list of recommended movies to help you get ready. These are 5 back to school movies.

Still from the movie 'School of Rock'

Photo: School of Rock

LatinAmerican Post | July Vanesa López

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Leer en español: ¡Se acaban las vacaciones!: 5 películas sobre el regreso a clases

The vacations may have gone by fast, and returning to school may be closer. If you want to relax before the responsibilities begin, we bring you 5 back to school movies. that will bring a smile and remind you why school can be fun.

“Dead Poets Society” (1989)

This film, directed by Peter Weir (“The Truman Show”), tells the story of John Keating, played by Robin Williams, a literature professor who comes to teach at a private school governed by four principles “tradition, honor, discipline, and excellence.” Keaton sets out to teach his students to reflect on life, to question what they have learned so far, and to “live life in the moment” through poetry.

With this in mind, the film uses quotes from famous authors and a well-structured script that uses poetry and literature to build moments of tension, nostalgia, and emotion for an uncommon learning experience. It also introduces us to a Keaton who, more than 30 years after his debut, continues filling anyone who enthusiastically hears his words. Therefore, it is no surprise that this film and its protagonist are essential in cinema.

“Rushmore Academy” (1998)

Directed by Wes Anderson and starring Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Olivia Williams, and Luke Wilson, this film is perfect to see Anderson’s first steps in the world of cinema. This is the second film by a director who proved that the comedy genre can indeed have auteur traits. This one, in particular, uses music (precisely that of the British Invasion) as an aesthetic element that guides the narrative and builds the main character, Max Fisher. He is a student who does multiple activities and is enrolled in all courses and extracurricular groups. Despite this, he does not stand out for his academic excellence and is even rather mediocre.

The story begins when Max establishes a friendship with Herman Blume, a millionaire who is the father of two Rushmore students. The two share common interests and have similar ways of thinking. However, their friendship is jeopardized when they fall in love with the same teacher, Rosemary Cross. From that moment, their friendship turns to enmity, each seeking to conquer her in ways that border the absurd. “Rushmore Academy” explores first love in high school in a very particular way while showing how it can shake the bonds of friendship.

“School of Rock” (2003)

This movie starring Jack Black may seem simple to pass the time. However, it is more profound and more interesting than it looks. Its director, Richar Linklater, is also known for his “Before” trilogy (Before Sunrise, Sunset, and Sunset) and the nominated and award-winning “Boyhood.”

In “School of Rock,” we follow Dewy Finn, a man whose reason for existing is rock. At the film’s beginning, Dewey is kicked out of a rock band that pays more attention to maintaining a grunge aesthetic than the music. Desperate for money, he impersonates his roommate and accepts a position as a substitute teacher at a private school, where he gradually introduces his students to the world of rock. All this is in secret from the headmistress and parents.

With this premise, Linklater explores the nostalgia of music and how it plays an essential role in personal discovery and freedom of thought.

“Mean Girls” (2004)

“Mean Girls” went down in history as cinema’s most essential and best-constructed chick-flick, leading it to become even a cult film. Starring Lindsay Lohan and Rachel McAdams and directed by Mark Waters (“Freaky Friday”), the story follows Cady’s arrival at an American public school after spending her childhood and most of her adolescence in Africa. Her life is turned upside down as she enters a world where adults don’t trust her. There are many appearances, academics take a back seat, and there is a queen who rules all: Regina George.

From this, we see how Cady understands and becomes part of the dynamics of a high school while becoming a completely different person by becoming obsessed with the most popular girl in school. It is a hilarious movie that perfectly portrays the pop culture and became iconic in the representation of the chick flick and coming-of-age genre.

Booksmart (2019)

Olivia Wilde’s (“Don’t Worry Darling”) debut feature follows the last two days of school of Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) and Molly (Beanie Feldstein), two inseparable friends who are characterized by a particularity: both are highly dedicated to their studies and always proved to be the best. However, the day before the end of their classes, they discover a truth that shatters everything they believe about life and themselves. They thought staying in the library and avoiding teenage pleasure was the only way to get to prestigious universities and succeed. Still, they learn that their classmates, who never stopped going to parties, had boyfriends and girlfriends, and enjoyed their last years of school to the fullest, will also attend universities like Stanford and Harvard or even go directly to be developers at Google.

Desperate to wear out their adolescence in the library, they decide that on their last day as students, they will enjoy their youth to the fullest and live what they never dared to do for fear of failing in their adult life. However, throughout the night, they have difficulties getting to the party that will ultimately change their lives.

The film has been praised for the fluidity with which it carries the plot and for its similarity to genre classics, such as “Superbad.” Although this film is about the end of school life, it cannot be missing from this list for its potential to remind us how vital this stage is and how enjoying it should be a must, ideal for going back to school.

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