Best College Movies
Good Will Hunting
Eric Norcross: Good Will Hunting is my all time favorite movie that has anything to do with college. The MIT setting and the filmmakers’ approach in developing the characters is unique and incredibly original (it hasn’t really even been copied by other filmmakers, which says a lot about how difficult it is to write something as good as this).
Calibertholomew Winfield: For all the reasons Conrad mentioned & more. Will is such an interesting character, and someone I feel like I could watch for days. Robin Williams delivered arguably his best performance to date, breaking off from his usual wackiness and going tit for tat with Damon & Affleck as far as talent. The scene where he verbally crushes the jerk at the bar is one of the greatest scenes of all time, and something virtually everyone would love to do.
The only shame, is they haven’t finished up Good Will 2: Hunting Season. Apple sauce, bitch.
Tony Beaulieu: Harold Lloyd’s “The Freshman” is an underappreciated classic of silent cinema. Lloyd is often dismissed as lacking depth in comparison to Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin (Keaton’s “College” is also a decent college comedy) but “The Freshman” is a truly hilarious and artistically shot and edited masterpiece of american comedy. Paved the way for films like “Animal House,” “Revenge of the Nerds,” and “American Pie 2”
James Cochrane: Malcolm McDowell’s first film If… takes place at a fictional private boys college, and is an allegorical warning about how if society keeps constricting it’s rules, and made up constructs of apparent proper ideals that it will burst. It is fairy tale in that it never happened, but, in the din of the Webley echo over the ending title card, If…, as if to say, “There is still time.” Because the purpose of college is not just to place the words etched in the heavy school tomes firmly in our heads, but to teach you to think for yourself, and yet adhere to the archaic rules they put forth… and, more importantly, Survive
Derek Johns: While admittedly I prefer the films of Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton nevertheless has more than his fair share of classics too. One such classic is College. Perhaps his finest film with the exception of The General, Keaton shows not only was he one of the great physical comedians but a darn good athlete as well.
Ruby Le Rouge: It took me a while to think of one, I like a lot of college flicks. Surprisingly, not that many college based horror movies though. My pick this week is Wonder Boys, based on the novel by Michael Chabon. I love this movie from every perspective. Michael Douglas as a Writer/professor that needs to grow up, and has used every excuse not to, causing writer’s block. Toby McGuire as the student that doesn’t fit in, so decides to go the opposite way, in addition to being a compulsive liar. Robert Downey Jr.’s character is awesome too. I love a movie about Writers, that are in themselves excellent characters, even emphasizing the ones that are pompous fakes, like Q.
Bethany Lewis: My choice is the Marx Brothers’ 1932 movie Horse Feathers. All you really need to know is that Groucho is a college dean who plots to win the big football game. Meanwhile, all the male characters are trying to woo the “college widow”. Song, dance, and zaniness naturally ensue. This is one that my siblings and I will quote to each other regularly. It also happens to be one of the main influences for Woody Allen’s 1996 musical romantic comedy Everyone Says I Love You.
Shawn S. Lealos: I was going to say Animal House, because that was the frat movie that really set the template. Then I was going to say Old School because that movie just really made me laugh and I loved Jeremy Piven playing the opposite of his PCU character. Then I decided to go with Van Wilder. Just like Animal House, Van Wilder was a National Lampoon movie and the film that made me a huge fan of Ryan Reynolds. Honestly, he was just fantastic in that movie as the ass who stayed at school too long because he didn’t want to leave. It isn’t the best and it isn’t a classic, but it is my favorite of the genre.
Mike Luxemburg: Animal House forever! That movie perfectly articulates a special kind of collegiate aimlessness; a period in life when all that matters is how much fun you can have and how far limits can be pushed. Belushi, Metcalf, and the rest of the cast capture a very special, very real type of comedy. This film sits near the top of Harold Ramis’s near incomparable catalog. I’m not sure a college movie ever put the pieces together quite like this one, and I’m 100% positive no movie understood what makes college a special time better than Animal House.
Derek Ciapala: It’s Road Trip for me. There are other fine college movies out there, including one of my all-time favorites, Goodwill Hunting. However, Road Trip is much more of a college movie, and a hilarious one at that. I’ll never forget Tom Green playing Barry the eight-year college student. Nor will I ever forget the group’s visit to a Tennessee frat house. Most importantly, the movie came out during a time of my life where I needed something to make me laugh, and that movie did the trick for me.
Patricia Márquez: It also took me awhile to think of one, and I realized my favorite college movie in high school and up until recently is Road Trip. It’s quite funny and suspenseful and the acting is up to par. Tom Green has a bad rep, but I think he’s hilarious in the movie and it’s possibly his best role. The movie is also the quintessential college movie because it spans cross country and campuses. Oh, but what I remember most of all was that it was considered very offensive and stupid and sexist when it came out, but now all the major studios utilize the same sort of crude humor in their comedies and even to more extremes. Today, Road Trip looks mild in comparison. Anyway it will always hold a special place in my heart. The car- jumping- the- bridge scene is still once of the funniest sequences I’ve ever seen. “It’s just the wheels!” (Explosion).
LJAY: I said A few weeks ago that the what makes a good movie is one that you HAVE to watch if you find it on flipping through the channels. Old School is that movie, especially If I can catch it before Blue dies (spoiler alert). When Old School first came out I understood (being fresh out of college). Why a bunch of old guys would what to create a frat and go crazy at a college campus. Being more than 10 years removed from college I desperately want to go back to that time and no post graduate fraternal function my frat can come up with can come close to simple things like impromptu parties or homecoming. In so many words Old School is the shit because its real for all of us. The other thing that the movie Old School seemed to lead the way for is a string of movies featuring the Hollywood dubbed “frat pack”. This designation was given to Owen, Luke Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Will Farrell and Ben Stiller. Sadly the only movies that housed the Frat pack was Zoolander, Wedding Crashers, Anchorman and Dodgeball. In closing WE WANT MORE FRAT PACK!!!by