1. Scott Pilgrim VS. The World
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is a comedic movie based off of the graphic novels that is great for watching with friends. This fast-paced film has video game-like qualities that will encapsulate you and your friends into the movie. It includes quirky and complicated relationships between the main character, Scott, and a couple of girls as well as a “battle of the bands” storyline. This movie is fun for any viewer with its almost cartoon-like editing style and is surely a top pick for a movie night with friends. Scott Pilgrim will leave you and your friends talking about it for weeks because of its comical atmosphere.
2. Perks of Being A Wallflower
The film Perks of Being a Wallflower, directed by Stephen Chbosk, depicts a reserved teen as he discovers the highs and lows of high school. Charlie’s enigmatic behavior is confusing at first, but as the film reveals his origins, his actions and personality begin to come together in the viewer’s mind. Charlie has experienced everything from sexual assault by his aunt to his best friend, killing himself throughout his life. While these might be extreme examples, it gives the viewer something to relate to as everyone has some sort of inner turmoil to suppress. Charlie’s relief comes in the form of two amazingly caring friends he meets in high school. The pair slowly pulls Charlie out of his long term depressive state and coerces him into various social situations which end up shaping his high school career into a period of tremendous growth. The film shows the viewer the fragility of growing up and just how valuable a few good friends can be.
Centered around a poor girl attending a high school surrounded by rich kids, the film Ladybird dives into the dreams and hopes that many individuals develop leading up to college. The protagonist constantly vocalizes her goal to escape her hometown of Sacramento and embark on a college journey to New York City. By watching her receive both rejection and acceptance letters, the audience is on edge, wondering if her dream can actually come to fruition, considering her strange background and quirky personality has seemingly only distanced her from her goals thus far in the film. Ladybird is a relatable character and story with conflicts that can be compared to every college student.
This comedic movie follows the journey of a high school teenager who is rejected from college he applied to. Of course, unwilling to admit this detail to his parents, he decided to transform a building in his hometown into a full-blown University. After telling his parents about his exciting “college acceptance,” he gets ready to move out, little does he know, other students at his high school have the same idea. Now he is faced with having to run a University for misfit teenagers who were rejected from every other school. This is a relatable college movie because you can look back and laugh at the schools you got rejected from – even if one was, in fact, your dream university.
5. Good Will Hunting
A list about college movies could not be complete without the film classic, Good Will Hunting. The film follows an intellectual, yet unmotivated young man who works as a janitor at MIT. After receiving help from a professor, he begins to realize his potential and gain hope for his future. Unwanting to leave behind his childhood persona, lifestyle, and friendships, he waivers, and questions whether or not an intellectual lifestyle is really his to pursue. After a push from friends, he ultimately follows his talent and passion for school. This story is motivating and can help remind us, college students, to be appreciative of our resources, opportunity, and, most importantly, our own individual ability.
6. Hot Summer Nights
This film documents a teenage boy who has to balance his mistakes, his passions, and his love life all at once. As a college student, this movie relates to the constant stress and overwhelming factors that fly at you in college. Hot Summer Nights is a teenage depiction of falling in love and represents how important people may become to you when you are at certain vital ages throughout your life.
7. Dead Poets Society
The classic film touches on a variety of topics relevant to college students. These include mental health, the importance of friendship, and even the idea that you should take every opportunity presented to you within college. Dead Poets Society follows a group of originally misfit boys throughout their education and mandated need to learn about and how to write poetry. Although most peg poetry as boring and unnecessary, by the middle of the film, the group flourishes as a friend group due to their inseparable bond formed from poetry and their professor.
8. Pitch Perfect
This film is perfect for a movie night in college because it is humorous, relatable, and a total sing-along show stopper. Anna Kendrick plays a college freshman who becomes involved in an acapella group that seems similar to that of a sorority. After ups and downs with the girls, a back and forth situationship, and ultimately pursuing her passions, Kendrick learns who she truly is and finds real friendships along the way.
9. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
This iconic high school tale is always a good movie pick to watch with friends in college. The film follows a rascal teenager through his plans to ditch school and the turmoil that follows. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off has stood as a relatable and unmatchably comedic film in history. It will forever be a novelty to any college teenager who had to endure the growing pains of high school.
10. The Breakfast Club
Also, an iconic class, The Breakfast Club, is an hour and 37-minute ode to the tragedies and benefits of detention. An oddball group of kids who would have never met otherwise, join together amongst their individuality and awkwardness during detention to learn things about themselves through one another. This can be considered eligible for a list regarding college movies due to the melting pot that colleges have become. Any student can attend school if intellectually qualified, meaning you can run into and become friends with anyone and everyone if you have an open mind.
11. American Grafitti
A great movie to watch with friends in college is the Francis Ford Coppola produced, and George Lucas directed American Graffiti. This 1973 classic takes place during the last night of summer vacation in a small Californian town during the summer of 1962, as a group of friends spends their last night before going off to college. Though the movie has a core friend group, the group does not spend their last night together, as the film is split into four separate plots between the nerd, the tough guy car racer, the popular guy, and the timid guy, as they all embark on their own journeys. Unlike many movies, this movie takes place during a single night, as the film starts with the sun setting and ends with the sunrise the following morning. Though this movie is about a group of friends from high school, the core theme of the movie is a coming of age story, which is something all college students can relate to. With the comedic and dramatic undertones of the film and a great soundtrack and cast (including a young Harrison Ford and Ron Howard), American Graffiti is a must-watch film to enjoy with friends.
12. Mean Girls
This movie is strictly comedic and is a top pick for college movie night due to the well-known iconic lines said by leading Mean Girl, Regina George. Follow the girl squad terrorize high school, and meet an incoming student who does not fit in all that well along the way. This movie is a good time to look back in high school and be grateful you are OUT.
What are your favorite college movies? Let us know in the comments below!
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My name is Aja Ward. I am from Southern California, but I currently attend college at Hofstra University in New York. I am a freshman journalism major, and currently exploring a minor in design. I am involved in my school’s radio station 88.7 FM WRHU which is the #1 non-commercial radio station in the nation, and one of my biggest passions is fashion.