28 April 2009

Listless Tuesdays: Top 5 School's Out Movies -- Lucas

Getting out of school is one of those few experiences shared across nearly all social divisions of American culture. Everyone knows that feeling of elation that comes with not being held down, with having the world open to you. Here are five movies I think best capture that spirit.

5. Adventureland

Yes, yes, it's still in theaters, but it is a perfect school's out movie... The characters are finally on their own in the world, and they realize that in some ways it sucks, but in a lot of ways they have freedom they lacked in school. Greater responsibility, but greater power, if you will.

4. Superbad

Superbad has a tried-and-true theme: nerds try to get laid before college. The standard trajectory is here: the boys have some comic mishaps, they find the right girls, they realize it's not all about the sex, then they get the girls. I could have put American Pie at the beginning of the paragraph and no one would have noticed. But Superbad does it funnier, dirtier, and sweeter.

3. Almost Famous

This one might be a stretch to call it a school's out movie, but William's journey with Stillwater is the ultimate tale of getting out of school and into the real world. He misses his own highschool graduation to be on tour with a rock band, writing an article for Rolling Stone. Along the way, he learns that the world isn't quite the place he thought it was, but the friendships he develops win out, and he gets his article.

2. Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Like Jay says, it's not exactly a "school's out for summer" movie like the rest, but it might as well be. The repeated scenes of Ben Stein's monotonous econ class make the fun capers Ferris pulls off seem even more exuberant, and the lesson of the movie, enjoy life and youth while you still have it, is the perfect lesson for a getting out of school movie.

1. American Graffiti

George Lucas used to be an indie director. For people like me, who grew up with Star Wars a movie my parents went to see when they were in highschool, that's hard to wrap my head around. Even more amazing to people of my generation... he used to be a good director. The plot has all the classic elements of a end-of-highschool movie, but they are all done well, and the actors, nearly all of whom went on to become famous, nail their parts. Harrison Ford, especially. A classic movie about how to deal with life out of school.

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