Millennials are constantly in the headlines. Here at DVD Netflix, a few of us Gen Xers noticed this and remembered how our own generation was labeled as slackers — and a movie was even made about it!
After a lengthy throwback session, we wanted to show our Millennial friends some love and suggest some of our favorite movies, stemming from the movies you already love. To start, if you liked Mean Girls, you will love Heathers.
Based on a nonfiction self-help book, Mean Girls is all about cliques of wealthy, popular girls in high school and the damage they cause. Heathers is a darker, blacker, twisted story, taking the mean girl story to its logical conclusion: murder.
Obviously, this is satire, and in 1988, in the middle of our happy-go-lucky teen years, we Gen Xers all thought this movie was a little dark and scary. But it was ahead of its time. Given Millennials’ interest in dystopian films like The Matrix (more on that in our next installment), we think Heathers is a film you’ll love.
More Movies like Mean Girls
There are a number of movies that follow the same themes as Mean Girls, such as the dark sides of high school popularity and learning to accept yourself. Here are similar movies that we think will be right up your alley.
Molly Ringwald was the heroine of a lot of '80s movies, playing characters both nice and snotty. Pretty in Pink explores the social classes of the high school environment, featuring a deliciously nasty James Spader. It also boasts an iconic '80s soundtrack, including The Psychedelic Furs and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark — plenty of making out was accompanied by “If You Leave" in our day.
This was Reese Witherspoon's breakout role. She plays a young and wealthy law school student who initially appears ditzy and self-absorbed, but is transformed and revealed to be a brilliant and kind woman. We just can’t get enough of Reese.
Speaking of Reese, an earlier movie of hers is all about high school popularity. Election is fantastic study of gender, ambition, power, and persuasion, all set in a high school. Based on a novel, the story is based on two real events:
- The Bush vs. Clinton election campaign in 1992 — in which a third party candidate (Ross Perot) gummed up the works.
- An incident in Eau Claire, Wisconsin where a homecoming queen was pregnant, so the staff switched up the votes and burned them to cover it up.
Adapted from the novel by Jeffrey Eugenides, this movie was the directorial debut of Sofia Coppola (Lost In Translation). Set in Grosse Pointe, Michigan (an upscale suburb of then-wealthy Detroit) in the 1970s, the story is about five sisters who are doomed, and the various ways the community around them are attracted to them, and how that community struggles to find understanding for the things they girls do.
Yes, this one’s dark. But no one said being a teenage girl was easy.
Casting a bit further back, we thought it’d be fun to share a movie that was popular with our parents. This movie is about spring break in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida — but not spring break as we know it now. Back in the 1960s, movies were much tamer. But Where the Boys Are would change that, as it was the reason that the idealized concept of spring break became as popular as it is today. It was also one of the very first movies to take a frank look at teenage sexuality (breaking the very G-rated mold of the day, as demonstrated by Andy Hardy movies).
Fun Fact: The birth control pill was approved in the same year, and this movie predates the entire second wave feminist movement.
One can’t consider coming-of-age as a girl without discussing puberty. Carrie has a scene set in a girls’ locker room that is pretty much what most adolescent nightmares are made of. We’d be remiss if we didn’t suggest Carrie — it’s a study about bullying, and how one girl uses her supernatural powers to lay her bullies to waste. Carrie is based on a novel written by Stephen King, which would catapult him from a poverty-stricken high school English teacher to world-famous novelist.
Fun Fact: King’s wife, Tabitha, rescued Carrie from the trash bin. King had written the infamous shower scene, but was afraid to go further, citing that he didn’t know much about teenage girls. Tabitha said she’d teach him and that the story had to be told. The rest, as they say, is history.