Movies like High School Musical and Grease forever engrain their catchy songs into our minds perpetuating the high school love story clichés, the stereotypical social groups and themes of coming of age. However, the accuracy of these movies is questionable. The expectations and ideals placed by these movies are present. Clueless enamors it audience with the glamor of Cher and her indestructible confidence. The Breakfast Club inspires viewers with the clash of different high school stereotypes. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is stirring in its portrayal of a high schooler with no respect for the rules. The most notorious movies play on typical high school themes of romance, rebellion and adventure. They create expectations for the high school experience that students glorify. These movies hold great influence in the decision making of students. They are inspirational and move students to life a live that reflects the big screen. Some may criticize them as detrimental to how high schoolers view their high school experience. Movies that consist of a high school scene and a message on high school tend to imply that the teenage experience is sorting into one of the typical social groups (jocks, goths, populars, nerds, etc.) and that of these groups there is a type of hierarchy between them. None of the members of these cliques are officially inaugurated, however, the existence of these ‘said’ cliques can weigh on students like they typically weigh on the main character. Mean Girls exemplifies this well when Cady struggles to fit in. Every high schooler can relate to the desire to fit in, but the movie gives representation to it. Some may argue that these movies urge students to conform to stereotypes, make friendships that are redeeming, have a magical kiss over a candle- lit birthday cake or win a renowned sports competition. These stories make high schoolers realize their high school years are limited and promote risky or rebellious decisions validated by the ‘YOLO’ or ‘I ain’t here for a long time, I’m here for a good time’ philosophy. These movies make us want to ‘live a little’ and step outside our comfort zones or test the waters. This period of self- discovery is what is ultimately depicted in high school movies, and what high schoolers go through. They inspire us to make the best out of our time, although they may push cliché groups and depict inaccurate ideas on high school, they deem high school years the best years of our life which force us to make the most.
Story by Jaci Stickrod