Booksmart is a dream of a high school movie. It’s got everything you could possibly look for in a teen comedy: goofy hijinks with teachers, over-the-top party scenes, and all the cliques you expect to see populating the schoolyard, from rich snobs to the nerdy girls in the lead role. Where Booksmart really stands out from the rest is in its handling of those cliques. While other movies might feed into the stereotypes of those cliques, Bookesmart subverts them. There is no true villain in the movie; instead each and every character is treated with empathy and care, so that then the audience is rooting for everyone. It depicts the kind of high school so many people wish they could have attended, and that’s a big part of the joy of watching it. If Booksmart left you wanting more high school flicks, here are seven movies about high school that will feed that craving.
Whether you’re looking for a dark satire or more heartfelt rom-com, this list is jam-packed with modern classics that are sure to speak to some part of your high school experience. There is one thing that all of these movies has in common: They all have a female lead. Booksmart is filled with girl power and celebrates female friendship, so these high school movies can help you continue that celebration.
Before Molly and Amy were running around Los Angeles, there was Cher (Alicia Silverstone) and Dion (Stacey Dash) and all their Emma-inspired So-Cal antics. Is Clueless a movie to skip? As if!
In a lot of ways, Booksmart‘s Molly is the spiritual sister of Election‘s Tracy Flic (brilliantly played by Reese Witherspoon). Both are go-getters who will stop at nothing to win high school, and both make fabulous high school movie leads.
Mean Girls is easily one of the most quoted movies of all time, so kick back and "get in, loser, we’re going shopping." Come for Tina Fey’s brilliant writing, stay for the early 2000s fashion.
Sometimes you’re looking for less of a happy high school fantasy and instead something much darker. In that case, Heathers is your pick. Plus, this movie offers plenty of pre-Stranger Things Winona Ryder.
This was one of Emma Stone’s first big roles, and it’s the perfect movie to showcase all her comedic chops. If you’re looking for another movie with a good kid trying to redo her reputation, like in Booksmart, then this is an excellent choice.
The titular character of Juno (played with perfect quirkiness by Ellen Page) doesn’t have the most traditional of high school experiences, but the movie does perfectly capture the feelings around trying to find yourself in high school and falling in love for the first time.
‘The Breakfast Club’
What happens when five very different teenagers – a brain (Anthony Michael Hall), an athlete (Emilio Estevez), a basket case (Ally Sheedy), a princess (Molly Ringwald), and a criminal (Judd Nelson) – spend one full Saturday in detention together? They realize they’re not quite as different as they thing, and a classic high school movie is made.
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