On the Big Screen: The Top Five Movies About College

Photo courtesy of imdb.com

Photo courtesy of imdb.com

Rachel Tropp ’16
EE Senior Entertainment Editor

As the school year draws to a close, most of us dread the return of fall. But for the senior class, the nearing of September means the start of an exciting and long anticipated new chapter. To get a preview of the best myths and legends of college, check out some of these great movies.

  1. Legally Blonde

Although most of this movie is about grad school, not college, it begins with heroine and sorority girl Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) as she finishes up her senior year at UCLA. She has a 4.0 in fashion merchandising and excitedly awaits her boyfriend’s proposal. Her only aspirations are to get married and live a perfect, privileged life. She is stunned when her boyfriend Warner (Matthew Davis) dumps her for not being “serious”  enough, and she decides to follow him to Harvard Law School against all odds. The film is adorable and promotes girl power, revealing the hidden potential lying within all the women whose abilities go unseen as they are taught to value their looks over their skills. While the stereotyped vision of sororities and college life is probably very untrue to reality, it is worth watching.

  1. Sydney White

Back in 2007, when Amanda Bynes was the hottest star, she came out with a Snow White story about life in college. New student Sydney White (Bynes) attempts to pledge the sorority her mother belonged to in college, but is denied and left without housing. She befriends the seven dorks,  Terrence (Jeremy Howard), a genius; Jeremy (Adam Hendershott), puppet-wielding and shy; Gurkin (Danny Strong), the off-beat blogger; Spanky (Samm Levine), who is scared of girls; George (Arnie Pantoja), the childish boy scout; and Embele (Donté Bonner), a Nigerian student stuck on the wrong time zone schedule. Sydney moves into their house and fights to take down the evil sorority president, Rachel Witchburn (Sara Paxton), in a heartwarming and extremely innacurate portrayal of what it is like to be a student in college.

  1. Monsters University

The long-awaited prequel to the beloved Monsters, Inc. was released in 2013 and fully lived up to its franchise. It tells the story of Mike (Billy Crystal) and Sully’s (John Goodman) college experience as they navigated fraternities, classes, cheating, and popularity – the typical college experience, plus classmates of different species and the desire to be the best scarer. The well-loved characters and skilled animation will help psych you up for the approaching school year, and their failures and friendships will prove that grades are not all that matter. After all, they both end up as the best workers at Monsters, Inc., and if that is not encouraging, what is?.

  1. Pitch Perfect

Pretty much everyone has seen this new-ish comedy, the sequel to which came out May 15th. It tells the story of a reluctant student named Beca (Anna Kendrick) who joins the Barden Bellas, a failing all-girl a cappella group. The members vary in personality from quiet, yet scary Lilly (Hannah Mae Lee)  to exuberant and bizarre “Fat Amy” (Rebel Wilson).The group takes on fellow campus a capella group The Treblemakers, as well as several other groups, to fight for the national a cappella championship, all while fielding friendship drama, projectile vomiting, and vocal nodes. For those interested in college a cappella, the movie is a must-see, though probably not very representative of real life.

  1. Good Will Hunting

This movie is not about the sorority or extracurricular drama prevalent in most college movies. Rather, it centers around a 20-year-old genius janitor who anonymously solves an MIT grad professor’s challenge questions, drawing the professor, Gerald Lambeau (Stellan Skarsgard) to help him turn his life around. After the janitor, Will Hunting (Matt Damon), is arrested for assault, Lambeau gets him to agree to psychotherapy and mathematics study. Though he shows little interest in this help at first, Will eventually accepts his inner demons and falls in love, becoming a new man. The movie shows the value of education and the unfortunate effect circumstance can have on the brightest among us. With its star-studded cast, including Ben Affleck and Robin Williams, it is worth watching.

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