How high school movies are getting it wrong


courtesy of CNN

Movies like Mean Girls over exaggerate high school cliques.

In preparation for the real thing a few weeks back, I decided to spend the Friday night prior to Prom watching the Disney movie about it. It was every bit as cheesy as I had remembered it to be, clad with a sappy romance and just the right amount of drama. However, amidst the expected cliches, I noticed something: they got high school all wrong.

With high school ending in a week, I guess I would consider myself pretty aware of how things work. Somehow, it seems that not a single movie director remembers their high school days. Movies, such as Prom, are riddled with over-dramatized events and scenarios, many of which never actually take place in the halls of a high school.

In the movie, the protagonist spoke of how prom acted like magic, bringing together all of the different cliques and lowering the tension which was present prior. The jocks could talk to the nerds, the stoners could roll with the cheer captain. This movie isn’t the only one of its kind. While the hit movie, Mean Girls, was based off of a book (Queen Bees and Wannabees) which describes social interactions of teenage girls, it still includes over-exaggerations of separation of cliques and overall tension.

However, the substantially different social groups isn’t something that I have experienced. While people tend to run with people who are similar to them, I’ve never witnessed someone be embarrassed to talk to someone else simply based off the fact that they weren’t from the same group. There aren’t lunch tables in the cafeteria, designated for only one group of people, which patronize outsiders who decide to take a seat with them. People are friends with who they want to be, not with who they are supposedly “allowed” to be with.

While students can laugh at the obvious misportrayal in movies in which students dance on cafeteria tables and somehow only seem to spend five minutes in class, the Hollywood fabrication of strict social groups is another flaw which is present on the big screen. At least from what I’ve seen.

But who knows? Maybe there’s a secret lair of the school in which the football players only talk to each other and any step out of this norm causes social upheaval. But in the past four years of pop quizzes and essay tests, I have found myself unable to relate to many of the high school movies out there.