Don't You Forget About: Classroom Comedies

We all feel down this time of year. Hot summer evenings are gone and early chilly mornings are back, heavy textbooks and bulky backpacks in tow, as you begin to the dread the endless nights of cramming and coffee. Aside from school getting cancelled until the end of time, there's not much that can cheer you up. But I can try with this line-up of hilarious forgotten school-themed comedies.

5) Orange County

If you haven't seen Orange County, you cannot profess to be a Jack Black fan. This film is Black at his best: stoned and insane. Shaun Brumder (Colin Hanks) would have gotten into Stanford, even despite a grade transcript mix-up, had it not been for his underwear-frolicking older bro Lance (Black) and his unlabelled drugs. As if that weren't enough, Lance also seduces the admissions secretary and sets the building on fire with their post-sex cigarettes. Yeah, Shaun, your moronic bro just completely ruined your future. And your relationship with your girlfriend. And your entire life.

Photo: allmoviephoto.com

4) Never Been Kissed
Josie Gellar (Drew Barrymore) has "never been kissed." Now she's got the chance to re-write her high school life and try to win over Mr. Right. Cliché? Well, yeah, but it's also one of the sweetest rom-coms ever! Josie Grossie (as she was referred to back in her real high school years) is copy-editor who wants out of the mundane crossing Ts and dotting Is, so when she gets assigned the task of reporting undercover at a high school, she's more than ready to return to school and face her frightening brace-faced memories of her own time there. But this time, she's determined to make it different. She's going to be cool this time. Except her mistaken conception of cool is white jeans with a feathery frock, getting every answer right in class and calling her gal pals "girlfriend." You also know it's bound to be good when it fits into the Barrymore filmography right after The Wedding Singer and Home Fries.

Photo: fanpop.com

3) Election
Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon) is madly obsessive. Paul Metzler (Chris Klein) is a complete idiot. Tammy Metzler (Jessica Campbell) a rebel who just wants revenge against her brother for stealing her girlfriend. And they're all running in the high school election while poor Mr. McAllister (Matthew Broderick)  has to monitor it all. Like the two previous films, this film is heightened to awesomeness thanks to one actor and in this case, it's Witherspoon. As the uncontrollable, out-of-her-mind main character, Witherspoon delivers what may be one of the best performances in her entire career. She's so perfectly psychotic as perfectionist Tracy, who is determined to win the election because she can settle for nothing less than the best. If you don't believe me, just watch the scene when one of Tracy's campaign posters won't stay pinned to the wall so in a burst of frustration and madness, she runs rampant through the school tearing down Paul's posters until her hands are bloody. Crazy much?

Photo: starpulse.com

2) Saved
Saved takes place at all-Christian school where the convo through the halls is all Christ-love and de-gayification. It's all satirically hilarious fun in a film where friendships fall apart, teenagers fall in love, sexual identities are questioned and loyalty to the Lord is reconsidered. Like I said in my column in June, it's a film brought to life by characters. Jena Malone plays Mary, the girl whose boyfriend just came out of the closet this summer so she decided to try to "help" him by having sex with him to revert him to heterosexuality. Mandy Moore plays Hilary Faye, the leader of singing ensemble the Christian Jewels, who is secretly a Bible-pitching bitch. There's also Patrick (Patrick Fugit), the sweet, understanding new guy who's smitten with Mary. Then there's couple paraplegic Roland (Macaulay Culkin) and badass Cassandra (Eva Amurri), freely defying all rules. As I said before, it's a film all about that "mucky mess that is adolescence."

Photo: YouTube screencap

1) Billy Madison
Until his most recent letdown of films (see, or rather don't, Funny People and Growns Ups), I was convinced an Adam Sandler film could be nothing short of hilarious. Yeah, I know, Mr. Deeds only had a 17% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes and most of his other films only did marginally better than that. But I like to think Sandler films are an acquired taste. Because if you ask me, anything from Billy Madison to You Don't Mess with the Zohan more than rocked my silly socks off. For me, this back-to-school film was the one that started the Sandler saga. In this film, he plays a rich guy who flunked school and has been given the chance, thanks to a little green, to do a crash course through school again to get his degree. I cannot do justice this film's hilarity by explaining. I can only say that if lines like "So hot. Want to touch the heiney." and "Billy's not here. I'm a dog." do not get you then you are missing out on some hilarious, numskull humour.

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