School is a theme explored a lot in movies, especially since it’s a universal process we all go through. For those who are graduating (lucky you), here is a list of the top 10 graduation movies to check out for the summer – or until you actually find a job.
The Graduate: A classic 1967 movie that gave Dustin Hoffman his first big role. Hoffman plays a college graduate trying to figure out what to do with his life. His father’s business partner’s wife then seduces Hoffman. This film has been parodied in dozens of other works, so its kind of fun to play “spot the reference.”
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: Director John Hughes masterpiece of adolescence and getting away with one last prank before graduation. Ferris (Matthew Broderick, The Producers) and his friends hatch an elaborate plan to ditch school and tour the wonders of Chicago. Meanwhile their principal (Jeffrey Jones, Sleepy Hollow) tries to chase them down.
Muppets take Manhattan: A seemingly odd choice but the Muppets play recently graduated college students trying to sell their sure-to-be-hit musical, Manhattan Melowdies to Broadway. A pile of great guest stars pop in, including Liza Minnelli and Joan Rivers, to help them out. This is definitely one of the best Muppet movies out there.
Legally Blonde: Reese Witherspoon runs around Harvard as Elle Woods, a west coast sorority girl who is determined to become a lawyer. It’s a fun romp showing the differences in attitudes between both east and west coast colleges and the difference in social classes (no pun intended).
Dead Poets Society: This is a down to earth drama about a prep school fortunate enough to get Robin Williams to teach at it, where he teaches the boys to be themselves and seize the day. It’s moving, heartwarming and a good reminder what we’re doing in school in the first place.
Billy Madison: Before Adam Sandler became a bland shell of an actor, he got to make this one-of-a-kind comedy. Sandler has to complete every grade of school without his rich father cheating for him so he can inherit his father’s company. Meanwhile he tries to seduce his fourth grade teacher, the hot teacher, Veronica Vaughn (Bridgette Wilson, The Wedding Planner). Chris Farley makes an appearance and is absolutely hysterical as usual.
Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion: Mira Sorvino and Lisa Kudrow play two high school friends returning for their reunion. They decide beforehand to embellish a little on their achievements by saying that together they invented Post-Its. It’s great for anyone who’s ever had to dread going back and facing the people who made the “best time of your life” a living nightmare.
Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure: Featuring another actor before he became emotionally dead, Keanu Reeves plays a clueless “high schooler” with Alex Winter as his sidekick. Together they travel back in time collecting historical figures for an amazing presentation that’s sure to win them an A, and as a result save all of time. It’s hysterical in its stupidity.
Son of Paleface: A real classic from 1952 starring Bob Hope. It’s a great little farce following Hope, fresh out of Yale, as he tries to deal with a bunch of cliché Wild West figures in hopes of finding his father’s long lost gold. Definitely a must-see.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2: Why? Because they are graduating. Just go with it.