The crushing dread, the recurring nightmares, the first-day-back phobia—September scaries have officially arrived, but back to school doesn’t have to be all bad vibes and prison break fantasies. Here are 10 v chic school flicks so you can face the return to the lecture hall with a smile on your face.
This bold and brassy ode to the ‘50s will have you hand-jiving all the way to class. There’s forbidden love, serious squad goals and a pre-Scientology John Travolta, looking all James Dean in a leather jacket and way too much hair gel.
10 Things I Hate About You
Think your love life is complicated? Bianca’s father won’t let her date cutie Cameron (young Joseph Gordon-Levitt, hello!) unless her DGAF sister Kat (queen of eye-rolls Julia Stiles) miraculously starts giving a f**k about boys. Enter Heath Ledger’s (RIP) dimples and it’s countdown to prom.
Add a little a cappella to your typical new-girl-at-a-new-school premise—plus hilarious Rebel Wilson and our fave Anna Kendrick—and voila: beloved Teen Choice Award-winning cult hit. Prepare to have perfectly harmonized “I’m bulletproooooooooof, nothing to loooooooose!” stuck in your head all day.
A legit fashion classic. Come for killer ’90s style inspo (plaid skirts, pastel crop tops, bedazzled chokers) and stay for Paul Rudd and all the best memes.
Never Been Kissed
Believe us, no matter how much you’re dreading school, it can’t be worse than 25-year-old undercover reporter Josie Geller (Drew Barrymore) reliving her painfully awkward “Josie Grossy” days…
Lindsay Lohan takes on Rachel McAdams in this sassy new-girl-vs-mean-girl high school dram-edy written by Tina Fey aka. the funniest woman alive.
The Breakfast Club
Apparently eight hours of detention was a thing in the ’80s? Putting aside the legality of a full day’s high school imprisonment, this is probs the best teen movies of all time and certainly one of John Hughes’ finest flicks.
High School Musical
Because singing in harmony with your pals fixes all your high school woes! Also, baby Zac Efron.
Bianca (Mae Whitman) finds out she’s a DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) and enlists resident hot guy to help her de-DUFF-ify because that’s totally realistic. (JK, it’s not but this isn’t a documentary.)
The next time you think it might be a good idea to publicly pretend to sleep with your friend as a favour, remember Emma Stone fake rocking all the nerd-y boys’ worlds and, the social fallout that followed, and maybe reconsider.