year of college can be rough. Right about now your son or daughter is probably
having lots of anxious thoughts like, "Why am I here?" and "Will I get through
this?" and "Can I make ramen in the toaster oven?"
it takes to ease their minds is to see something they can relate to, inspires them or gives them some perspective on their new world. Here are
five movies that take place in college that might give them some food for
thought and maybe show them that they're not alone.
(I didn't include that
perennial college favorite "Animal House" because we don't want to encourage these
impressionable kids to spend their time at naked drunken dorm parties—although
let's face it that's probably what they're doing right this very minute.)
1. "The Social Network"
Besides the fact that this is a really good movie, I think the story of Mark Zuckerberg and the creation of the monster that is Facebook goes to show that being an awkward outsider isn't necessarily a bad thing. Forget those stupid frat parties; instead hole up in your dorm room and invent something on the Internet that ends up making you a billionaire—and leads to a very
successful motion picture being made all about you.
2. "Pitch Perfect"
Sure it's got a great soundtrack (weren't you humming "Don't You Forget About Me" for days afterward?) but this movie also serves a very important purpose: vindication for every art and
performance major who was ever looked down on in college. If you want to dance
or paint or sing a cappella with your besties, you should just go ahead and do
it, even if everyone keeps asking you what your "real major" is. Side note: Lady
Gaga was a music major in college and that didn't turn out too badly for her.
3. "Legally Blonde"
It's easy to
dismiss this as fluff and completely detached from reality, but who can resist
cheering on Elle Woods as she cleverly and inexplicably finds a way to gain admission to Harvard
Law. Yes, it's just to win back her slimy boyfriend, but along the way she
realizes what a douche he is and moves on and up with the help of her loyal friends. See, you can do anything with a fearless determination to be yourself and your trusty college crew by your side.
Entering college freshmen should watch this for all of
the reasons that "Pitch Perfect" is on this list, and also because it's one of
the few films to feature the black college experience. It's about overcoming
adversity, following your dreams and that sometimes the football game is just something that happens before and after the halftime show. Also, this movie will guarantee you'll never look at the
band geeks in the same way ever again.
It's a great
movie with an outstanding script and Robin Williams' moving performance, but the real-life inspiration comes from Ben Affleck and Matt Damon's first screenplay getting an
Academy Award. Apparently Affleck left Occidental College after his creative
writing teacher ridiculed an early draft of "Good
Will Hunting," leaving us all to wonder what was going through that teacher's
mind when Ben and Matt were on stage accepting their Oscar. This is not an
endorsement to drop out, but more a lesson about believing in yourself and your
work. Stay in school, kids!