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Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Weekend Watchlist: Films about college

Six perfect films for college enjoyers or soon-to-be-graduates

It’s somehow already late April, and big changes are in the air.

With graduation right around the corner and the college decision process wrapping up, this weekend is a perfect time to delve back into old favorites or new flicks about college. Enthusiastic college students, seniors and new Eagles coming this fall are sure to love this six-pick weekend watchlist.

Legally Blonde” (2001)

This first pick is perfect for any seniors who are committed to law school or a graduate program.

While “Legally Blonde” is not centered around undergrad, its enthusiastic and (very) pink depiction of law school never fails to leave viewers smiling. Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) takes on the trials and tribulations of Harvard Law School alongside her trusted chihuahua Bruiser, meeting a zany cast of classmates along the way, including her maddening ex-boyfriend Warner (Matthew Davis).

The film is so popular that it was adapted into a Broadway musical and earned a sequel film in 2003; “Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde” (which is a perfect movie for current or graduating policy wonks). Though, nothing quite beats the original.

Following Elle on her law school journey is the perfect source of inspiration for future lawyers and students moving on to graduate school.

“Legally Blonde” is available to stream on Max.

Good Will Hunting” (1997)

“Good Will Hunting” is an incredible film about college, but more importantly love, loss and finding yourself.

This nineties classic centers around Will Hunting (Matt Damon), a young man from south Boston working as a janitor at MIT. Professor Lambeau (Stellan Skarsgård) discovers Will’s exceptional gifts in mathematics and immediately takes him under his wing, pushing Will to excel in graduate-level math research.

Will’s therapist Sean (Robin Williams), who he is required to see after being arrested, brings out the best in Will. He encourages Will to follow his own path and be unafraid to face his childhood trauma head-on, transforming Will’s outlook on life.

This film is ideal for seniors following their own path after graduation, and may make some tears fall.

“Good Will Hunting” is available to stream on Max.

Pitch Perfect” (2012)

A cappella fans and participants will love this next selection.

“Pitch Perfect” is the quintessential 2010s college film, set on the fictional campus of Barden University. Beca (Anna Kendrick) is a freshman who loves DJing and only went to college at her father’s behest. Despite Beca’s prickly personality, she reluctantly ends up in the newly disgraced a cappella group titled the Barden Bellas.

Beca’s strategy to turn the group around — while unwelcomed by the group’s leader — eventually lands the Bellas at finals. Will they choke or succeed? You’ll just have to wait and see (or put together context clues from the fact that this movie has two sequels).

“Pitch Perfect” is an ideal watch for any students who participate in or are fans of American University’s a cappella groups (especially a cappella seniors).

“Pitch Perfect” is available to purchase on Amazon Prime.

When Harry Met Sally” (1989)

On a technicality, “When Harry Met Sally” can be considered a college movie.

The opening scene features a freshly graduated Harry (Billy Crystal) and Sally (Meg Ryan). Harry is hitching a ride with Sally to New York City, where they will both start their post-grad endeavors. 

This film takes you through their on-again-off-again friendship and tumultuous adult lives in New York. Somehow, they always find their way back to each other, albeit unsuccessfully quite a few times. While college plays a minimal role in this film’s plot line, it brings Harry and Sally together in a way they never could have imagined.

“When Harry Met Sally” is the perfect love and life story for graduating romantics.

“When Harry Met Sally” is available to stream on Philo.

10 Things I Hate About You” (1999)

This next selection can also be considered a college movie, but on a mere technicality.

High school senior Kat Stratford (Julia Stiles) plays soccer, has a knack for feminist literature, dislikes condescending men and wants nothing more than to get into Sarah Lawrence College. Her younger sister Bianca (Larisa Oleynik) is not allowed to date until Kat does, creating quite a bit of sisterly tension between them. Everything changes when Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger), the school’s “bad boy” archetype, is placed in Kat’s path.

“10 Things I Hate About You” is ideal for incoming freshmen excited about attending their dream school, but who primarily enjoy a good late nineties rom-com with a little enemies-to-lovers.

“10 Things I Hate About You” is available to stream on Disney+.

The Graduate” (1967)

This last selection will impress even the film bros in your life.

“The Graduate” is a critically acclaimed film about wayward recent college graduate Benjamin (Dustin Hoffman) and his simply wild love triangle with Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft) and her daughter Elaine (Katharine Ross). In the midst of his romantic affairs, Benjamin must also reconcile with the fact that he has no idea what he wants to do with his life and has no more safety net to shield him from adulthood.

“The Graduate” is considered one of the greatest films of all time, with its then-groundbreaking portrayal of post-grad isolation and disillusionment. This film is a good source of consolation for anyone who doesn’t know what they want to do after graduation. At least your life is going better than Benjamin’s.

“The Graduate” is available to watch for free on Tubi TV.

This article was edited by Bailey Hobbs, Sara Winick and Abigail Turner. Copy editing done by Luna Jinks, Charlie Mennuti and Sydney Kornmeyer.

movies@theeagleonline.com 


Editor’s note: This podcast discusses topics like suicide, sexual abuse and violence.

In this episode of Couch Potatoes, hosts Sydney Hsu and Sara Winick talk about shows that are created to elicit an emotion response from viewers. Listen along as they discuss past and current trends within media, and how they have affected audiences.


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