Call me a nerd, but I always enjoyed the first day of school more than the last day. There was something special about seeing everyone you missed over the summer, knowing little to no homework would be assigned, and getting to taste that delicious beef cheek bourguignon the dining hall always served on Mondays in September (although it was occasionally a tad too haute for my palate). But movie characters seldom enjoy their first days of school -- it's usually a minefield of bullies, teen angst and a message of being true to yourself. Since I'm definitely not going to back to school today, here's the five movies that would help me revisit those days the best. What are yours?
1. The Boy Who Could Fly -- Remember this odd gem? What puts this at No. 1 for me is the unshakable scene where Fred Savage's character is tardy for his first class, and after he closes the door all of his classmates lock eyes on him. The few times I changed schools, this scene was always my worst nightmare for what could happen.
2. Donnie Darko -- "Where should I sit?" "Sit next to the boy you think is the cutest!" So says teacher Drew Barrymore to cute-as-a-button Jena Malone as she walks into her English class for the first time. What is the teacher trying to accomplish by saying this? Who knows, but it would make for a nice classroom interruption.
3. The New Guy -- This movie is far better than it should be, and I love it for the WTF cast of cameos (Vanilla Ice, Henry Rollins, Lyle Lovett, Gene Simmons, etc.) and its general lampooning of the typical new student at high school comedy.
4. The Rules of Attraction -- I had to include this here since it also stars Fred Savage, this time as a heroin addict in college. Maybe he's really the same character from The Boy Who Could Fly? There's also very little (any?) of students going to class in this movie, so it's a pretty good parallel.
5. Three O'Clock High -- It's hard being the new guy in school, but even harder when you don't want anyone to touch you, and worse yet if you happen to be the unlucky chap who touches said untouchable one. A great movie all about the lead-up to a fight after school. "Cripple the dick."