As you enjoy your last winter break before college, you’re probably starting to realize that your high school years are almost over. While in the midst of college applications, exams, senior activities and banquets, sometimes it seems impossible to remember to take some time to relax and enjoy the end of high school.
If you and your friends are looking for something fun to watch during this important time in your life, curl up with one of these movies that are all about senior year. You’ll be surprised at how closely you relate to the struggles the characters are facing!
1. The Spectacular Now (2013)
This movie (which is based on a book of the same name), starring Shailene Woodley (from The Secret Life of the American Teenager) and Miles Teller (from the 2011 remake of Footloose), showcases the very different lifestyles of two high school seniors. The main female character, Aimee, is a sheltered good girl who is under the stiff control of her mother. She does well in school, keeps to herself and only has a few friends. Then she meets Sutter, a party-crazy bad boy who is focused on the “now” more than the future, caring more about his girlfriend that his future.
Sutter finds himself on Aimee’s front lawn after a rough night when heblacked out and fled from his friends. The two soon become friends and become closer than they ever intended, forming a love that is unlikely and unique.
The movie emphasizes the anxiety and uncertainty that senior year brings in terms of college and the future, reminding you that you’re not alone in your struggles. The main message is to live in the present while also being responsible for your future. Since the movie just came out in theaters in August, the DVD will be released January 14, 2014.
2. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
With the spirit of Chicago in mind, writer, producer and director John Hughes created his classic film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off about a high school guy who skips school for the day to spend time with his girlfriend and his best friend. The only problem is that Ferris doesn’t tell his parents, his sister or the dean about his plans, and he has to be extra cautious that he doesn’t get caught. He fakes sickness to his parents, uses his best friend’s father’s car to get around town during the day and causes a ruckus between his sister and the dean. Overall, this movie gives a whole new meaning to having an epic senior skip day and reminds you to live life to fullest.
3. High School Musical 3: Senior Year (2008)
During your middle school years, the first High School Musical movie was released on the Disney Channel, and it became an overnight sensation. When you combine Zac Efron, sweet musical numbers and realistic high school cliques, it’s close to impossible not to tune in! In the final film of the High School Musical trilogy, the main characters deal with the common struggle of realizing that they will soon be separated once their high school journey ends. The main male lead, Troy Bolton (Efron), deals with the additional struggle of pleasing his father. Assuming that he will attend the University of Albuquerque to play basketball, his father puts pressure on him based on his expectations for Troy’s future, which Troy finds unsettling since he still wants to participate in theater. He also deals with separate issues with his girlfriend, Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens), as they decide how to keep their relationship together despite the fact that both of them are heading to college.
If you’re a pre-collegiette worrying about what will happen between you and your current boyfriend once high school ends, you’ll really relate to this movie. Also, you’re probably concerned about what lies ahead once you and your friends part ways after high school, and the characters in this movie are going through exactly what you’re going through.
4. Grease (1978)
This classic film starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John deals with young love in an exhilarating and music-filled manner. After Danny (Travolta) and Sandy (Newton-John) meet during the summer before senior year and fall in love, they wonder if they’ll ever be able to stay together, since Sandy’s family is expected to move back to Australia. After her family decides to stay in America, Sandy enrolls in Danny’s high school, unaware that he goes there.
After she befriends The Pink Ladies, a clique of popular girls, she mentions Danny’s name and discovers that he attends that high school. When they’re reunited, the dynamics of their relationship change as Danny tries to maintain his bad boy image in front of his friends. One of the coolest parts of the film is the end credits, which resemble the style of a high school yearbook!
5. Footloose (2011)
The original version of this film came out in 1984, but a remake was released in 2011 with contemporary actors such as Kenny Wormald, Miles Teller and Julianne Hough. The seniors in this movie are dealing with the community ban on dancing after Hough’s character’s older brother and his friends get into a car accident after a late night of partying. City officials deem dancing as one of the causes of this accident, and therefore dancing is banned in their small town of Bomont, Georgia.
When Ren McCormack (Wormald) moves to Bomont from Boston to live with his uncle, aunt and cousins after losing his mother to leukemia, he soon meets Ariel (Hough) and the two start crushing on one another, even though Ariel already has a boyfriend. The film emphasizes having fun while you’re still young and making the most of senior year. It also shows that you can find love in the most unexpected places!
6. A Cinderella Story (2004)
Hilary Duff stars in this 2004 film about a girl struggling to make it through senior year while dealing with her mother’s death, a vicious stepmother, evil stepsisters and an online romance that she’s unsure will ever lead to anything permanent. After losing her mother when she was a young child and her father in 1994, the main character, Samantha, works hard to save up enough money to attend her dream college, Princeton, while living with her evil stepmother. She starts talking to a guy named “Nomad” online who also wants to attend Princeton. Little does she know that the true identity of her online romance is Austin Ames (Chad Michael Murray), the most popular guy in school, which she eventually finds out during a school dance.
The main themes of the film deal with working hard for what you want and standing up to those who try to get the best of you, which are important lessons to learn before heading off to college!
Before you receive your high school diploma, pack your bags and head to college, be sure to watch one of these entertaining, heartwarming films about senior year. You and your friends will soon see that regardless of when each movie was released, each of them carries important and relevant life lessons.