Washington Square News

Staff Recs: High school films

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The WSN staff recommends their favorite high school movies.

The WSN staff recommends their favorite high school movies.

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The WSN staff recommends their favorite high school movies.

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“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”

by Maddie Pazzani, Assistant Managing Editor

“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” is perfect for those days when you’d prefer to look back on your years in high school with rose-colored glasses. Written and directed by John Hughes, the king of high school films, the movie follows Ferris as he decides to ditch school, grab his girlfriend Sloane and his best friend Cameron and head to nearby Chicago for a packed day of teenage hijinks. Between hiding from authority figures, dancing in parades and catching foul balls at Wrigley Field, the group grapples with their impending adulthood in a way that still feels relevant to us college kids. The movie is most lovable, however, for its portrayal of all the potential and happiness possible at the end of high school, before things like waiting in line at Trader Joe’s diminish it. Ferris is the guy we all wish we knew in high school, and it’s incredibly fulfilling to see him get away with his day of shirked responsibility.

“Heathers”

by Zach Martin, Film Editor

The poster for “Heathers” shows Winona Ryder and Christina Slater embracing and beaming at the camera in a typical pose for a high school romance film. But fair warning, the film is anything but typical. It definitely works best if you’re unaware of the direction the story takes, so here’s the bare premise: Veronica (Winona Ryder) is a member of the foremost clique at her school, comprising herself and three girls all named Heather. Things get progressively more bizarre when Veronica meets the school’s new bad boy, J.D. (Christian Slater), and they begin a relationship. Toppling the conventions of the genre, “Heathers” is a masterpiece of cynicism. It’s dark, surreal and twisted, more akin to “Fargo” than “Sixteen Candles.”

“Easy A”

by Anne Cruz, Copy Chief

First off, let me say that I love everything that Emma Stone is in. By default, I love this movie because of her presence. However, “Easy A” is so much more than classic Stone snarkiness and signature eye rolls. The movie is an homage to “The Scarlet Letter,” so you can tell your friends you learned literary things while watching Emma Stone sing in lacy lingerie about woodchucks during a high school pep rally. That never happened in my high school, but a tiny part of me wishes it did. The film is cheeky and definitely worthy of a nostalgic view to remember the best and worst parts of high school life.

“Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”

by Audrey Deng, Arts Editor

Scott Pilgrim, played by Michael Cera, is a genial Canadian who must battle Ramona Flowers’ (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) seven evil exes in order to become her boyfriend. “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” seamlessly integrates video-game graphics with cinematic winter Canadian imagery, making the film feel like a video-game in which Scott always wins. Amusing quips from Aubrey Plaza, Anna Kendrick and Alison Pill (playing Julie Powers, Stacey Pilgrim and Kim Pine, respectively) make this film a must-see for fans of “Parks and Recreation,” “Pitch Perfect” and “The Newsroom.” Watch this film for the innovative filmography and the heightened reality, not necessarily for the depiction (or lack thereof) of the high school experience.

Email the Arts Desk at [email protected]

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About the Writers
Zach Martin, Editor-at-Large
Zach Martin, former Arts Editor, is an Editor-at-Large for the Washington Square News. He is a junior in CAS studying Comparative Literature with minors in Metropolitan Studies and Cinema Studies. He enjoys watching movies and then thinking about them too much, eating ice cream, and complaining about the continual failure of various D.C. sports teams. When...
Maddie Pazzani, Assistant Managing Editor
Madge Panini is an Italian-American who has risen to the ranks of Assistant Managing Editor in this fine news organization. Despite having convinced NYU administrators she is college-aged, she is in fact 80. In her spare time she tends for her pet plants, and dances even if there’s clearly no music playing and it weirds...
Audrey Deng, Arts Editor
Audrey Deng joined WSN thinking it stood for Whoa, Snacks’n Naps. Alas, it turned out to be a newspaper organization, of which she now serves as Arts Editor. On weekends, she enjoys roaming art galleries and listening to Prairie Home Companion. On weekdays, she goes to classes for her English major and drinks lots of...
Anne Cruz, Abroad Editor
Anne Cruz is the Abroad Editor for the Washington Square News. She is a junior from Orange County, CA studying journalism and politics and minoring in French. She loves judging couples on HGTV shows for their life choices and rock climbing. She tweets, but mostly to alert the local media about cute dogs.
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