For many years, the portrayal of our adolescent life has been captured by several perspectives. One of the most well-known products from popular culture includes movies. From the sappy drama, anger-filled, love, and sex stories. From the passengers of the bandwagon and some basic people, we can conclude that teenage life itself is one of the most anxious, but yet an exciting phase for someone.

For us, there are tons of our personal favorite movies that portray high school life. We listed down some of our favorites in the spirit to reminisce why we love them in the first place.

The Breakfast Club (1980)

We could all agree that this movie is one of the best ones to portray high school life in the States – whether it’s in the ‘80s (it’s first released) or even at this particular present. A very simple premise but in a way puts some quirky twist on it.  The Breakfast Club gave us five main characters which represent the character of the stereotypes that we can found during our high school;  the popular girl (the Princess), the brat (the Criminal), the nerd (the Brain), the jock (the Athlete), and the outcast (the Basket Case). Five of them were accidentally stuck in the same room. On a fine Saturday morning, they were in the detention room because of their own actions. What’s more exciting than looking at these brats spending their whole Saturday in detention alongside their ignorant actions; a bunch of bored teenagers that don’t even barely know each other, until that day became the most memorable day for their friendship. The film brings us a message on how identity searches and recognizing yourself during your teenage years, which is very relatable. Simple cinematography, effortless acting, and memorable dialogs; making this film directed by John Hughes is one of the essential “coming of age” movies for us. This one is a go-to that wouldn’t get boring even though you’ve watched it a thousand times.

Catatan Akhir Sekolah (2005)

Aired on the new era of the 2000ish Indonesian film industry, the film regarding this teenage drama has its own charm which makes us smitten every time we watch it. The hee bee gee bees on high school life being captured perfectly. We guarantee there are a lot of youngsters who are inspired to create a documentary on their high school life just because they’ve seen it. We’ve been there. High school is a once-in-a-lifetime phase and there is no reason not to document those memories. Other than its relevant story, the soundtrack of this film represents the era; compilations of rising independent local bands and loved by the high schoolers back then.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)

If you are someone that is socially awkward, introverted, and do not have any knowledge regarding relationships, meanwhile you’re in a fragile teenage phase, going to high-school is the worst thing you could ever imagine. No one wants to be that junior with all the uncertainty of this new environment. In this condition, even there is no slightest chance of having a friend. Once they find someone that has the same energy as yours, you wouldn’t let go of that friendship easily; the circles that can change your life and make your high-school life a little less fun and meaningful. This novel adaptation movie gave us a bigger picture of how it’s so fun to maintain a group of friends that grows because of the same taste of music, finding first love, and how all of that can give the inspiration to fulfill your dreams. It’s hard not to fell in love with this “coming of age” melancholic drama with the actors that fill in the role and the believable chemistry, the touching and memorable storyline, and the cool selections of the soundtrack; from New Order, Galaxie 500, The Smiths, to David Bowie.

Bad Genius (2017)

The story of the teenage drama in high-school is not always about romance or friendship. It could be other things, in this case focusing on one of the experiences of being a student; cheating. If you’re one of the top students in your class, you will be the one they keep an eye on to cheat for them to pass their exam. However, If you’re more than just smart a.k.a the genius, you must’ve used your brain to become an exam jockey and make a profitable business. Based on that real story, Bad Genius sums all of that into one attractive film. This Thailand-originated movie is a portrait of a relevant real-life scenario that can be stated as a missing puzzle from most films which raises the question of modern high school life.

Lady Bird (2017)

From the lens of Lady Bird, we saw the high-school experience and how it feels to be a woman during her puberty that needs to face a problematic relationship with her mom, her crush, and her best friend. Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson that is well-played by Saoirse Ronan is the portrayal of a suburban teen that is confused about herself and her surroundings; full of turmoil, anger, confusion, tenderness, and hormonal turmoil at its peak. How this film tells a very personal story wrapped in witty humor that is combined with its amazing cinematography and fine visuals are the main excellence that became the main reason we put this as one of our favorites.