This is the week that most teenagers across America hear the only three words they dread hearing more than "21 and over"–"Back to school." So in honor of the Class of 2009, we’ve assembled a guide to six movies set in and around high school that aren’t exactly the way things really are. –Tim Karan



















Can’t Hardly Wait

(1998)


True, the characters in this graduation-night comedy are actually pretty true-to-life (especially in the case Seth Green’s pretty fly suburban thug). But would there ever really be a party at which every different clique would not only co-exist, but even be invited?


Cruel Intentions

(1999)


Nobody’s arguing that high school girls can be manipulative or that high school boys can be heartless and self-obsessed. But this adaptation of the French novel Les Liaison dangereuses (Dangerous Liaisons) makes the meanest girl at your school (who’s pretty effing mean) seem as spiteful as Joey from Full House.


Donnie Darko

(1998)


It isn’t the complicated time-travel, quantum physics or weird, creepy bunny-suit guy that make this movie unrealistic. It’s the fact that nobody could ever have teachers as cool as Drew Barrymore and Noah Wyle.


American Pie

(1998)


We won’t even harp on the fact that most foreign exchange students don’t have implants and typically have accents that are spoken in at least one region of the world (and aren’t played by an actress who is 26 years old). Instead, let’s harp on the fact that while, yes, most senior-class boys are hopelessly preoccupied with sexual conquests, nobody anywhere would be so frustrated that they get intimate with pastry.


The Breakfast Club

(1985)


First of all, do schools really have detention on Saturday mornings? Second of all, how is it that of the five students there, all of them (except for one) have never been in trouble before? Third of all, could two romances really blossom from pure hatred in the matter of a couple of hours? Fourth of all, smoking pot in the library seems highly impossible. Were the ’80s really that different from now? Because even Back To The Future (and, to a lesser extent: Back To The Future 2) seems more realistic than this.