It’s graduation season, the time where high school kids can look forward to more freedom, and where college kids can be scared to death about entering the real world. Instead of a business card holder or a briefcase, I’m giving you my Top Ten Graduation Movies.
10) Into the Wild
This is a fantastic movie, and I’m only putting it this low because it’s a little crushingly depressing at the end.
9) Can’t Hardly Wait
The complete opposite of Into the Wild — a feel-good high school graduation party movie. Wooooo!!
8) St. Elmo’s Fire
It’s easy to look back on St. Elmo’s Fire and make fun of all the whininess and the 80s-ness of it all. But it actually does a pretty bang-up job of capturing the feeling of recent graduates as they decide what to do with their lives.
I really enjoyed this movie. It makes the life of a carnie seem so charming.
6) Say Anything
Lloyd Dobler is my copilot.
5) Reality Bites
Apparently the main thing college students studied in the 80s and 90s was how to revel in post-collegiate angst.
4) Dazed and Confused
Great music, great performances, and Austin as the setting. It’s one of my favorite movies.
3) American Graffiti
With excellent music, awesome cars, and an incredibly young-looking Harrison Ford, American Graffiti makes life in the late 50s/early 60s seem pretty sweet. It’s almost like they weren’t dealing with the tail end of McCarthyism and the looming threat of nuclear war. The good old days!
2) The Graduate
Anyone who graduated college surely knows what it’s like to have that aimless feeling that leads you to have an affair with your girlfriend’s mother and then disrupt a wedding. We’ve all been there. Right?
1) Kicking and Screaming
No, not the Will Ferrell movie: the Noah Baumbach-directed film with Parker Posey and Eric Stoltz. It handles the same issues of St. Elmo’s Fire and Reality bites in a quirkier, funnier way. If you haven’t seen it before, it’s definitely wor