Never remiss to the needs of kids, Movie Maniacs have asked Services for Children, Teens, and Families to post a list of Back-to-School movies for the age range of those who are ACTUALLY going back to school! For all you older kids who are still wearing out the tape on your fave John Hughes movies, you might be interested in some of these *cough* newer *cough* titles as well.
The first recommendation is Easy A – starring the delightful Emma Stone (who we’ll be seeing frequently on the big screen this year) and quite a few other familiar faces (Stanley Tucci, Thomas Haden Church and Malcolm McDowell for the older crowd, and Teen T.V. perennials Penn Badgley, Cam Gigandet and Amanda Bynes for the younger). Olive is a high school bookworm who studies Nathaniel Hawthorne in her favourite English class. When she helps a socially-challenged friend rank a little higher in the pecking order by lying about their romantic exploits, the rumor mill runs rampant. She embraces the Scarlet Letter that Hawthorne's character never could, until things start to backfire. Surprisingly intelligent, hugely entertaining, and truly heartfelt, this movie gives a fresh and fun nod to the classic teen flicks of the 80s while remaining totally original. PG-13
There’s not a lot I can say about the next film on my list, Napoleon Dynamite. You’ll either love it or you’ll hate it, and you’ll know within the first twenty minutes whether its deadpan style is for you. If you missed this 2004 release the first time around, it’s worth a borrow, if only because this highly quotable movie is the source of a lot of pop culture references today. Heck yes! It's flipping sweet. PG
Another [slightly] oldy-but-goody is Mean Girls, also from 2004. Scripted by 30 Rock’s hilarious Tina Fey, this fictional movie adaptation of the non-fictional Queen Bees and Wannabees stars Rachel McAdams and Amanda Seyfried (before they were anyone) and Lindsay Lohan (before she was… well… just too much for anyone). While it views like a regular teen-chick flick, full of the fashion and backstabbing that is so overproduced by MTV these days, it is actually incredibly insightful and genuine. I wonder if the High School experience of these girls resonates as deeply with everyone as it does with me. PG-13
Superbad: An inappropriate and side-splitting story of underage underdogs trying to make all thier dreams come true at the last High School party before graduation. Rated R and it deserves it, but if you can make it through the language it’s extremely entertaining and oddly, kind of lovely.
And just for the 13 and unders, here are a couple of the fun and totally PG movies available at Calgary Public Library starring real children, not just adults pretending to be teens:
Nancy Drew (with Emma Roberts)
Harry Potter (the epitome of school days movies -- on blu-ray and DVD)
Sky High (fun for the whole family)
School of Rock (check out Miranda Cosgrove! She's like ten!!!)
Diary of a Wimpy Kid (we love the graphic novels because they get kids reading, but the movie had me in stitches!)
A Little Princess (it never gets old, but I like this 1995 version best)
Thanks to our Guest Blogger Alex for the above list. This is a niche I tend to avoid because often I just can't make it through the current teen offerings. But I have seen several of the above, and I know she has seen them all, so have a look. While you're at it, drop in to the TEEN ZONE BLOG where they have myriads of book recommendations, some great contests and are just generally plugged into all things kids and teens. Thanks Alex.