Top Films about Student Life

We’re often nostalgic for our college years – in any case, a themed movie will come in handy. We’re sure you’ve already seen Legally Blonde, Will Hunting’s Good Will, or Mind Games, but good theme movies aren’t limited to them. The website that writes essays for you looked back at the best movies about college life, both in its severe and rambunctious kind: from rave parties to the first experiences of political debate. 


Another film is about the power of female friendship multiplied by study and self-belief. Despite its chances of being a good movie about college girlfriends, “The Perfect Voice” maneuvers so successfully among the genre’s pitfalls that it has gained both an army of fans and even a sequel. The plot sounds like a plot for fans of the show “The Voice,” but the audience for this film is much broader. A female student assembles a cappella group to compete against other colleges. The girls sing well and cleanly, but the main thing is not all the accompanying: the heroine, Anna Kendrick, killer Rebel Wilson, and great jokes. A lot of the film’s success is due to Elizabeth Banks, who produced it, and the shooting was more like a singing master class for friends. In general, everyone who watched “The Perfect Voice” then tried to replay its famous “Cup Song” more than once.


A prequel about monsters Mike and Sally: as students, they dislike each other at first, but as is usually the case, it is from such rivalry that the most vital friendship can grow. Monster University operates under quite human rules: Mike is a simple guy following his dreams despite his lack of natural gifts. Sally is the perfect muscular pledge for the prestigious fraternity and the heir to the blue (possibly literal) bloodlines in the world of professional scarecrows. They don’t yet know that a child’s laughter is more powerful than any scream and go to college to learn how to scare for real. The story does not end with a happy ending. Instead, the creators chose a more modern idea: you can become successful, not necessarily graduating from an elite university. If the soul asks for it, it is never forbidden to bypass traditional education – it is complicated, but no less valuable way.


A controversial adaptation of the equally provocative novel by Bret Easton Ellis. The film, translated in Russian as “sex” instead of “attraction,” is mostly about sex–and what students are willing to do for it. Don’t think this is just another cute comedy that you can watch with your family without blushing once. After all, the main character is Patrick Bateman’s younger brother from American Psycho. Though hard to believe, Sean Bateman is played by James Van Der Beek. After falling in love with the virgin Lauren, he unwittingly becomes part of a love triangle by getting caught by her bisexual ex-boyfriend Paul (a chance to see a young Ian Somerhalder). It’s equally a comedy and a cynical drama about the lives of privileged students at fictional Camden College who don’t know what “no” means and are used to getting whatever they want.


A follow-up to films about college students couldn’t help but make a benchmark movie about alumni who don’t like life outside their alma mater. When it comes to graduation, you have to watch the classic “Back to School” with Rodney Dangerfield; when it comes to university life outside the classroom, you have to look at “Old School” with Will Ferrell, Luke Wilson, and Vince Vaughn. Wilson’s character leaves his girlfriend taking part in orgies. His friends, torn by contradictions and suffering from a thirty-something crisis, decide that their fraternity will help them solve all their problems. Why would you want another Ferrell movie, you ask? Well, for one thing, he’s hilarious running around naked there. Well, secondly, it’s an essential film about the fact that if you want to, you can carry the best experiences of your college years through your life – and you don’t have to have a pseudo fraternity and torture pledges to do it.


Denzel Washington’s soul-stirring drama is set in the American Depression and the Lynch trials. Washington himself played the lead role of a courageous teacher at a traditionally African-American college in Wiley, Texas, recruiting members for a debate club. “The Big Debaters” is based on the life of Professor Melvin Tolson, who taught oratory and debating skills in the 1930s. His team, composed entirely of African-American students, won a national competition for the first time, beating the then perennial leader, Harvard University, in the adaptation and the University of South Carolina in real life. “Big Controversial” reminds us of the power of the spoken word to move mountains, a vital though often omitted in modern education.


Noah Baumbach’s directorial and screenwriting debut, which you may well have missed even if you can’t imagine life without indie cinema. Singer of “the problems of ordinary white people,” Baumbach’s first film was logically about college, or, more specifically, about not being afraid of graduating and starting adulthood. His characters are a group of friends and acquaintances going through the everyday situations familiar to everyone: some break up, some leave, and some go into their tenth year to avoid facing reality. To truly let go, you need to follow all the events, which is what the friends do. Throughout To Forget and Remember, the viewer, along with them, realizes that we are all unwitting participants in the grandest deception in history: no one feels like an adult, and no one knows what to do with themselves. All that remains is to move forward.


“Saving the drowning is not the job of the drowning,” Greta Gerwig’s heroine Violet Whistler piously believes. She sees the problems of her fellow students and can not leave them in distress. Her ideas of help, however, are specific. On the other hand – if they were expected, we would not have seen Gerwig in the lead role. In her spare time, Violet runs a depression center where they teach tap dancing and personal hygiene (one of Aubrey Plaza’s “victims” has something to say about that); she takes custody of a new girl and strongly suggests dating less successful men – to maintain their self-esteem. “Girls at Risk” is like “Mean Girls” in reverse. Everyone here tries very hard to like each other and clash solely on ideological issues, interspersing romantic infatuation with a mission to transform a masculine campus into a civilized place of learning.

Dear White People, 2014

Last year’s festival hit, for which its director Justin Simien took a special jury prize at Sundance. “Respectable White People” doesn’t walk around talking about racial discrimination and stereotypes. Sam White (catch the irony?), the show’s host explaining to the “white” part of college what they’re wrong about, is the voice of African-American students. Through her, the filmmaker answers the troubling questions of contemporary pop culture, among them, for example, “why can’t you touch an afro?” At the same time, he tries to figure out where, in the end, political correctness ends and counter-racism begins – as both sides of the conflict at a traditional Ivy League university go too far. By asking uncomfortable questions, the filmmaker pushes back against the current political and cultural context, trying to figure out norms of respectful behavior toward one another. “Respectful White People” proved to be an apt and timely satire on racial discrimination in today’s world, both “white” and “black.”


Jana Rooheart is a blogger with extensive expertise in creative writing, psychology, and digital learning tools. Jana shares her expertise on the blog, specifically sharing tricks in the field of academic writing. Jana gives practical tips that help a large number of students when attending college or university.

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