Higher education arouses deep nostalgia, particularly for those youthful transgressions you just can’t get away with now. Your were not nearly as cool as you think you were during those 4.5 years you spent at junior college, which is why these college movies that never get old. Gather some great material for your own upcoming collegiate hijinks or revel in the sweet memories of those ridiculous times as that evil grin belonging to your 19-year-old self resurfaces Break out your college sweaters, grab some libations and submerge yourself in the funniness of the cinematic college experience.
Jeremy Piven destroys anything that comes into view with a sarcastic wit that is timeless and perfect for a college movie. Teamed up with a larger Jon Favreau, Piven gives lessons in college etiquette along with an enlightened and useful view of classes to take as a freshman that are the Rosetta Stone of education. PCU takes no hostages among the various factions at their school, demystifying the higher education experience with an almost religious fervor. Roll around in the genius of this movie until you stink of old sheets and older pizza crusts. Pay particular attention to Piven’s advice about overcoming the lack of a car.
Surpassing adolescence as the premier rite of passage into adulthood is the cross-country car trip with your buds. Road Trip tosses together an unlikely group of friends and acquaintances and sends them across America to take care of a certain mistakenly sent package to one of their girlfriends. An amusing college movie that shows off a deep love for the buddy travel genre, Road Trip bookends the journey with the universally dreaded end of term finals—the heart of the movie is the companions realizing they need to be freed from from thei high school past in order to experience the present.
A soul check of a movie because if you’re not dying of laughter by the time a certain flying tackle into a fountain that takes place, then there’s a probably a good chance you spent your childhood torturing small animals. The college frat gets a remodel when a bunch of guys well past their prime decide they can start up their own—and it steam rolls into the land of belly laughs and snorts from there. The inability to let go of their early twenties is the main center of focus here, but it’ buried under a surface of the classic bonding of miscreants and weirdoes who form the same bonds that a typical fraternity would produce. Will Ferrell is on point in Old School with Vince Vaughn flanking him as they combine into a Voltron of awesomeness making this a college movie you can watch again and again.
Ingenious in its concept about a fake college acceptance letter that snowballs into the need to actually build a fake university to perpetuate the lie, Accepted makes your adolescent fears of not getting in anywhere a reality and then pushes it off a cliff. Timeless is the fear of rejection and the necessity is the mother of invention and all that jazz. Seeing Lewis Black play a dean and eventual professor alone is worth seeing, not to mention you’ll garner some valuable insight into the sheep-like pursuit of higher education. Whaddaya know, you might just learn something.
Back to School
Back to School doesn’t even bother saying hello before it tears into the sanctity of college with wild abandon. Rodney Dangerfield is at his peak as a father who feels out of touch with his son and chooses to attend school with him so they can share the experience. The problem being that Dangerfield plays a rich businessman and therefore knows how money makes the world go round and applies it to his classes and his free time. Quips and one-liners bounce off the scenery with enough slapstick to satisfy any type of comedy lover. Without any need for a moral anchor, this film strives to deliver as much laughter as possible while carrying along a story that’s built on a foundation of the love between a dad and his son.