Start summer after finals with these films

Transport to another time by watching these ’80s and ’90s films after exams.

These films are great picks to watch after finals. (Kilyan Sockalingum / Unsplash)

There’s only a little over a month left until the spring semester ends and finals are over. For people who don’t currently have any jobs or internships lined up, what better way to spend summer break than by binge-watching some movies? 

By watching these movies, the viewer is transported to another time that is significantly different from now, when technology was more limited. These movies offer a chance for relaxation after the stress of finals.

“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (1986)

“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” is a comedic movie set in Chicago. Written and directed by John Hughes, the most prolific filmmaker who created teen movies during this time period also set in Chicago, the film depicts high school senior Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick), who devises an elaborate plan to skip a day of school with his best friend Cameron (Alan Ruck) and girlfriend Sloane (Mia Sara). His dean and his sister go to extreme lengths to catch him trying to skip school.

With all the unusual acts he does during the movie, such as joining a parade in the streets of Chicago or pretending to be “The Sausage King of Chicago,” the viewer wants to be him. The movie not only features comedic moments like that; the movie leaves the viewer satisfied with its main emotional arc, which revolves around Ferris’s best friend Cameron. 

This movie is great after finals; with moments that would be impossible to recreate in real life, along with its fourth-wall breaks, it can serve as a much-needed source of entertainment to reduce stress after finals. 

“Back to the Future” (1985)

“Back to the Future” is a classic sci-fi movie from the 1980s. The film depicts high schooler Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) who feels as if his life has gone completely downhill. His dad is unable to stand up to his co-worker Biff Tannen (Thomas F. Wilson), who also bullied him when he was in high school. He’s also friends with an eccentric scientist, Doc Brown (Christopher Loyd), who calls him over in the middle of the night one day to test out a time machine. Marty ends up traveling 30 years back into the past, to 1955. His goal now is to get back to 1985 while also making sure that his parents get together so that he doesn’t get erased from existence. 

While there are parts of the movie that make the viewer want to be Marty, there are fewer moments than in “Ferris Bueller” (1986). The movie is an interesting look at how people 40 years ago viewed a time that was 30 years in the past for them. 

“Back to the Future” is the first movie in a trilogy. While it does end on a cliffhanger, you can continue the story in the following movies.    

This is a great movie to exercise creativity, as after watching it, the viewer might wonder what people nowadays might think about what life in the 1980s was like and about the plausibility of a time travel machine like the DeLorean in real life. 

“10 Things I Hate About You” (1999)

“10 Things I Hate About You” is a comedic movie that serves as a bit of a parody of other teen movies that were released around that time. It is a loose adaptation of Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” set in — what was at the time — a modern-day high school. The film features an ensemble cast and tells the story of multiple teen characters, with future Academy Award-winning actor Heath Ledger playing one of the starring roles. 

Unlike most other teen movies, the characters appear to act like actual teens of this time period. This can be a great movie to watch to be able to laugh and have a good time, something that would be much needed after finals. 

“Clueless” (1995)

“Clueless” is also a loose adaptation of a classic novel, “Emma” by Jane Austen, that also changed the character’s names. With a main cast filled almost entirely with women, it has been called the “Mean Girls” of the 1990s. 

This movie primarily focuses on popular student Cher (Alicia Silverstone), who thinks of herself as a matchmaker at her school. When a new student arrives, Cher decides to make her into her new project; however, it ends up backfiring in ways she doesn’t expect. 

With classic comedic moments such as Cher mispronouncing “Haitians,” which stemmed from a moment when actress Alicia Silverstone mispronounced it and the director chose to keep it in the movie, the film is an entertaining way to spend an afternoon but is not without heart. As California residents, this movie is a great way to relax after finals and see what California teenagers were like 20 years ago. 

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