Heartfelt movies for upcoming graduates
Published: Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Updated: Friday, May 17, 2013 12:05
With graduation rapidly approaching and in order to get into the emotional spirit of the season, here are a few movies that relate to the good and difficult times that graduates may face upon graduating.
“Reality Bites”—Directed by Ben Stiller, this early ‘90s comedic drama follows Winona Ryder after her college graduation. Working as a videographer, she documents the lives of her friends (also graduates) and people close to her. Featuring the struggles of life after college, the friendships we make during this time and the opportunities of success, Stiller’s film is able to be both dramatic and funny. With an outstanding cast that also includes Ethan Hawke, Steve Zahn, Jeneane Garofolo and Renee Zellweger, the trends of the ‘90s and a great soundtrack, the film remains a perceptive and nostalgic look at ‘90s culture.
“Adventureland”—Based on writer/director Greg Mottola’s own experiences of life after college, the film follows Jesse Eisenberg working a summer job at an amusement park. Combining broad humor and smart dialogue between its memorable cast of characters, Mottola creates a funny yet also affecting story about having certain expectations after college and seeing them play out. The film also has a killer soundtrack with the best of the ‘80s including Lou Reed, Velvet Underground, New York Dolls and more. “Adventureland” is a nostalgic coming-of-age story that appeals to the student in all of us, wanting to see what happens after college. The cast includes Eisenberg, Martin Starr, Ryan Reynolds, Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader and Kristen Stewart.
“Into the Wild”—Adapted by Sean Penn from the celebrated Jon Krakauer bestseller, it tells the true story of Christopher McCandles, who after graduating college leaves all his possessions and heads into the wild. Powerful, beautifully shot and poetic in its presentation of men and nature, it might be too serious but it’s absolutely worth watching. Emile Hirsch stars as McCandles in a revelatory performance and its great supporting cast shines as well. “Into the Wild” presents the alternative of what to do after college for those wanting to escape modern society and live an adventurous lifestyle.
“The Graduate”—From its haunting opening titles set to Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence” to its great ending, this Mike Nichols film (Academy Award winner for Best Director) has stood the test of time as a generation-defining classic. Starring Dustin Hoffman as a recent college graduate returning to his parent’s house in Los Angeles, who wonders what he’ll do over the summer and is seduced by Anne Bancroft only to later fall in love with her daughter. Funny, contemplative, impressively constructed and iconic, “The Graduate” (which received six Oscar nominations including Best Picture) catapulted up-and-comers into stardom with a story that represented its time and place to perfection.
“Say Anything”—Before Cameron Crowe showed us behind the scenes with a rock band in “Almost Famous,” he wrote and directed this 1989 romantic comedy with John Cusack, about a high school underachiever who falls in love with a valedictorian planning to go to England after their high school graduation. Touching, sweet and romantic, “Say Anything” is a delicate romantic comedy set after those insecure times after gradu