[Guest Post] Higher Learning: College Life in Movies
If you’re having trouble mustering up some excitement over going back to school, maybe what you need is the right movie to get you in the spirit. After looking into identity protection with a company like Lifelock and some good antivirus software to protect your identity in a crowded college dorm, one of the most important things to subscribe to as a student is a good movie service like Netflix. If you can watch these movies for free or for a low monthly cost, then you don’t have to worry so much about saving money for entertainment.
Studying can get to be a real drag at times, so take the time to sit down with a good film now and then. If all you ever do is cram and cram and cram, then you’re probably not going to make it the whole semester. Spend some time with these films that define certain areas of college life. From nerds to super nerds to super bums, these college films are as definitive to college as frat parties and hangovers in art history.
Revenge of the Nerds
This goofy comedy flick was one of the first to really champion the socially awkward. While the movie arguably presents a cleaned up, Hollywood version of nerdom, its heart was in the right place and it helped young geeks, dweebs and space cadets to learn how to take pride in their intelligence and their quirks before being ashamed of their lack of social standing.
The Social Network
Speaking of nerd alert, the David Fincher-directed Oscar winner about the origins and founding of Facebook entranced audiences and critics alike. Spotlighting the raucousness of college as much the algorithms that became a social media craze, “The Social Network” boasted top notch acting from stars Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, and Justin Timberlake. The sharp-tongued dialogue and strangely ominous tone of the film made this college story one for the ages.
Speaking more about life after college than life in college, 1967′s “The Graduate” saw Dustin Hoffman leisurely floating around his pull in sunglasses and getting really familiar with his girlfriend’s mother. The age of the Cougar began with Anne Bancroft seducing Hoffman’s college grad and creating a cult following, both cinematically and socially. The film asks a lot of questions about what to do after you graduate college. Well, according to the film, spending your days swimming and dating older women is a good start.
Good Will Hunting
This movie about a working class genius will instill any student from a blue collar background with a sense of pride. If your background is closer to Will Hunting’s than it is to Mitt Romney’s, then you need to succeed with all odds against you. “Good Will Hunting” is a great movie for showing us that that’s a fight that you can actually win. Speaking on what true friendship is, what real love is, and what forgiveness is, this emotionally-charged masterpiece has solidified itself in the bloodstream of American cinema forever.
Back to School
This underrated comedy gem follows Rodney Dangerfield as he returns to college after a divorce to show his son how to live it up. A silly, silly movie, but you may be surprised to learn that it features a cameo from none other than Kurt Vonnegut himself (a personal friend of the film’s director). It’s not the most serious academic film, but it offers quite a few laughs.
“Animal House” is seen in the public eye, most frequently, as a movie about John Belushi screaming “Toga! Toga! Toga!” The movie is not quite the mindless celebration of Greek excess it’s made out to be. Though the movie has more than its share of laughs, it provides some biting social commentary in the mix, championing the underdog while addressing issues of elitism and privilege in academic circles as a macrocosm of the same in society at large.