08 September 2016

Thursday Movie Pick--College Movies

Ah, College! Fodder for some of the funniest movies ever made. Because college is funny as hell. And fun. And messed up (I have one of those today!). And crazy. And fun.

And my first little 8th graders I taught are already Juniors in college. And that makes me sad. Then happy. Then fucking jealous.

It's College Movies for Wandering through the Shelves Thursday Movie Picks. And I have a Top Five this week.

Here it is:

5. Road Trip
dir. Todd Phillips, 2000


4. Kicking and Screaming
dir. Noah Baumbach, 1995

Because no movie gets first-year post-college better. You know? That year when you still want to be in college but can't be, so you hang out with your buddies at the same college bars and work the same college job just to avoid real life...

3. Animal House 
dir. John Landis, 1978

For being my favorite movie to quote, and for having more iconic movie characters that I can count on one hand.

2. The Rules of Attraction
dir. Roger Avary, 2002

Because of the soundtrack mostly...Donovan's "Colours"; Nilsson's "Without You"; George Michael's "Faith"... And the visual style. And the depravity.

1. Everybody Wants Some!!!
dir. Richard Linklater, 2016

Because he made the best high school movie ever too. And this one will be in my year-end Top Five. I don't care how good this Oscar season is. The last scene of this movie is, alone, enough to make it the most relatable college movie of all-time.

And just so you know...the 1998 masterpiece Dead Man on Campus damn near made this list. Becuase Cliff!


  1. I knew Everybody Wants Some would be on your list! Aside from Everybody Wants Some and Kicking and Screaming, I've seen all your other picks and your bonus, but I don't remember much from any of them.

    1. Haha! It had to be. I think you'd like Kicking and Screaming. Try it out.

  2. I've seen all of these!

    Road Trip and Dead Man on Campus are preposterous things that are funny despite themselves. I wasn't crazy for Everybody Wants Some, I liked it but I doubt that I'll return to the well again. It's been so long since I saw Kicking and Screaming I barely remember any of it and sorry but I really hated The Rules of Attraction.

    Animal House is a stone cold classic.

    I was so happy I could use my first movie this week, it's a comedy that I could, and have, watched innumerable times. My others have a more serious bent.

    Back to School (1986)-When business tycoon Thornton Melon (Rodney Dangerfield) discovers his second wife is cheating on him he gives her the boot and decides to visit his son Jason (Keith Gordon) at college. Discovering that the stories Jason has been feeding him about his success both in school and on the swim team aren’t true and he’s considering dropping out Thornton decides to enroll and offer support. Problem is Jason is a misfit with one oddball friend Derek (a purple haired Robert Downey Jr.) and Thornton the gregarious, party hardy type who sees studying as an inconvenience which he foists off on his employees until one of his professors catches on and threatens him with expulsion. Thornton’s under the gun but everyone including the sultry classics professor he’s fallen for (Sally Kellerman) pitch in to help. What distinguishes this from other college comedies is that Dangerfield’s character is so darn likable.

    The Paper Chase (1973)-James Hart (Timothy Bottoms), first-year law student at Harvard Law School feels the pressure of keeping up with all of his studies, especially when he engenders the enmity of contracts professor Kingsfield, the toughest teacher in the school (an Oscar winning John Houseman). Things don’t get any easier when he starts dating Kingsfield’s daughter (Lindsay Wagner).

    The Sterile Cuckoo (1969)-On a bus heading to their different but nearby colleges uptight Jerry meets the free spirited but insecure Pookie Adams (Liza Minnelli) and they become friends. When Pookie shows up on Jerry’s campus they become more intimately involved but her increasingly neurotic behavior puts a strain on their relationship. Billed as a comedy but really a mediation of loneliness and the struggles to mature. Liza is compelling, sad and raw.

    Groovylicious Time Warp-The Strawberry Statement (1970)-At a San Francisco college in the 60’s during the time of campus unrest and the counterculture, student Simon (Bruce Davison) is content to view all the upheaval from the sidelines until he meets the committed Linda. Becoming aware of the things they are protesting he becomes a leader and foments violent action during a sit-in leading to a confrontation with the police. Very much a document of its time with dialogue to match this tied for the Jury Prize at the 1970 Cannes Film Festival.

    1. "...preposterous things that are funny despite themselves..." Great line! Perfectly describes those movies. I have seen bits and pieces of Back to School. I'm sure it's hilarious. Love Dangerfield. I've also seen the first bit of The Paper Chase. My Mom really likes it and was watching it one night when I was a teenager or home from college or something. I ended up leaving not long in. It seemed great.

      Thanks for sharing, man.

  3. I really need to see Everybody Wants Some!!! soon. I was kinda sad to miss it in theaters. Rules of Attraction I also picked and I honestly think it's one of the best movies about college ever made. It just FEELS like college.

    I like Kicking & Screaming just fine but I can think of another movie that gets the feel of the first post-college year really well, and possibly better: The Graduate.

    1. Yes! See it. Rules of Attraction is one of the best for sure. I really loved it and fell in love with it in college. The Graduate is a totally different thing than Kicking and Screaming (which is much closer to my own experience and why it made it here.). It is the better movie, but it doesn't feel like a "college movie" to me.

  4. Love Rules of Attraction! Such an energetic movie, need to rewatch it soon

  5. Everyone raved about Everybody Wants Some - it didn't seem like my sort of thing... but with a tidal wave of praise, we'll see.

    Kicking and Screaming sounds good and very familiar.

    1. I knew from the moment it was announced that I would love Everybody Wants Some. As it turns out, that was true. Kicking and Screaming is great. Very mid-90s. But great.

  6. Animal House is awesome, nuff said 'bout that. Glad to see Road Trip get a nod. It's a movie that somehow manages to be better than lots of people give it credit for and simultaneously not as good as many others say. Hope that makes sense.

    1. Most definitely. And you make a lot of sense. Road Trip is fun and solidly well-made and acted comedy. It's not great by any stretch, and it isn't meant to be.

  7. I have not seen any except for the great Animal House. I love that film and secretly wished I could have been part of that nutso place although my university years still have some wild times.

    1. Animal House does make you envy a certain experience. Mine was fine though.

  8. I'm so happy to see Everybody Wants Some!! on someone else's list. It's not just a great film about college but a great film, period. I haven't seen the others, but some of them are on my watchlist already.

  9. I've only seen Everybody Wants Some. And I thought that was excellent.

    Because you piqued my interest, I did buy The Rules of Attraction on DVD this weekend. I plan to watch it soon.

    I own Animal House, but I haven't watched it.

    I want to watch Kicking & Screaming, but I haven't had any luck finding the Criterion DVD of it.

    I haven't seen Road Trip, although it does look pretty funny.

    I haven't heard of Dead Man on Campus, but after looking up what it's about, I really want to watch t. It definitely sounds like something I'd be interested in.

    My only pick for this week was Old School.

    1. Old School was very close. I went with Road Trip (another Todd Phillips movie) instead.

  10. Rules of Attraction!!!!

    LOL, watch the commentary version with Carrot Top. It's HILARIOUS! I saw that drunk with some buddies one night and I swear I have never cried so hard laughing.

  11. The only one I've seen is Road Trip - not that I can remember anything...and also your small mention Dead Man on Campus which I do remember liking.

    I feel like Everybody Wants Some!!! just came and went quietly, like I hardly heard it being mention anywhere. I think the only reason I knew about it is because it is a Linklater film.