ANIMAL HOUSE: The godfather of all college movies, Animal House is required viewing for anyone who ever plans on going to a university. Mixing equal parts of raunchiness and hilarity, Animal House is sure to please anyone who appreciates a little over-the-top comedy. This classic comedy works so well due to the good-natured and fun-loving brothers who you cannot help but root for.
ROAD TRIP: Who has not wanted to go on a road trip in college? Josh (Breckin Meyer) finds himself on such a journey, traveling to prevent his girlfriend from receiving a sex tape of himself and another girl, which was accidentally sent to her in the mail. The simplistic plot leas to many funny situations, notably involving E.L. (Seann William Scott) and Kyle (DJ Qualls). This movie is also special because several scenes were shot on Tech campus (D.M. Smith building and Skiles walkway).
VAN WILDER: National Lampoon has not done anything worthwhile in quite some time. They did, however, make one smart move in 2002 by having Ryan Reynolds star in Van Wilder. Though the story is of typical college fare, Reynolds is ridiculously charming and able to save a decent movie that Tara Reid’s “acting” is hell-bent on destroying. An entertaining performance by Kal Penn and a surprise cameo from Animal House’s Tim Matheson also help to make this critical antagonist a little more likeable.
PCU: When high school student Tom (Chris Young) comes to visit Port Chester University (PCU, also playing on abbreviation for “politically correct”), he runs into Droz (Jeremy Piven) and finds himself in the middle of a battle to restore the school’s Greek system. The upcoming movie, College, to be released later this summer, looks as though it has borrowed a lot from this film. Also look for Jon Favreau in an early supporting role, before he went on to bigger things (i.e. Swingers, Iron Man).
DEAD MAN ON CAMPUS: Tom Everett Scott plays Josh, a freshman trying to keep his scholarships. He gets paired to room with a partier Cooper (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) who doesn’t take school seriously. After both learn they have no chance of passing their classes, they discover a loophole that guarantees a student straight A’s in the event that a roommate commits suicide. What follows is a quest to find the most suicidal student on campus and have him relocated to their three-person room.
RUDY: Rudy was around long before those other based-on-a-true-story, feel-good sports films ever started the circuit. Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger (Sean Astin), despite always dreaming of playing football for Notre Dame, has always been told that he couldn’t play college football. With some high school football experience, he manages to make the football practice team at Notre Dame, but gets put on the sidelines. Four years of waiting in the wings pays off when he gets put in a memorable game against our own Jackets.
REVENGE OF THE NERDS: While most of these movies can apply to all college students, there may never be a movie more appropriate for Tech students than Revenge of the Nerds. The story follows Gilbert (Anthony Edwards) and Lewis (Lewis Skolnick) during freshman year, as they are bullied by fraternity boys. The two gather with other “nerds” and form an unlikely team, as they battle to defeat the Alpha Betas by forming their own fraternity and wooing unlikely female companions.
OLD SCHOOL: Even though it’s far from great, everyone loves Old School, probably because Vince Vaughn, Will Ferrell and Luke Wilson work so well as the thirty-somethings who turn back into frat boys. Throw in an uptight Jeremy Piven as their nemesis along with the now iconic “Blue,” and suddenly you have a movie worth watching. Ferrell especially shines as the clueless Frank, first streaking through the streets and later tranquilizing himself.
THE RULES OF ATTRACTION: Based on Bret Easton Ellis’s excellent novel of the same name, The Rules of Attraction takes a darker, perhaps more realistic look of the college life. Just like most of the other movies on the list, The Rules of Attraction still revolves around sex and alcohol, but the film delves into the emotions of the characters far more than is expected in a college film. A smart young cast and artsy directing make this one a cut above the rest.
GOOD WILL HUNTING: This film presents its audience with a remarkable story that led to several Oscars for those involved. Will Hunting (Matt Damon) is a janitor at MIT who also happens to be a hidden genius with the knowledge to solve complex math problems that seem impossible. Although none of the main characters are actually attending college during the timeline of the movie, the setting of the film more than makes up for this technicality.