Homework you won’t hate

In case you’ve forgotten what school was like, Ducky, Spicoli, Danny and Sandy are all perfectly preserved on DVD. In fact, even the ABC After School Specials (which ran from 1972-1988, filling many a young head with the terrors of alcoholic parents, ballet-dancing boys and teen pregnancy) are now available on disc. And, though education is a lifetime pursuit, our movie list sticks strictly to the hallowed halls of high school and college. Take notes — there will be a quiz.

Animal House (1978), John Belushi and Karen Allen.

College extracurricular activities gone terribly awry.

Grease (1978), John Travolta and Olivia Newton John.

Rebellious guy falls for prissy girl. Singing and dancing commence.

Rock ‘n’ Roll High School (1979), the Ramones.

As if Joey Ramone ever set foot in school. But the music, um, rocks.

Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), Sean Penn, Phoebe Cates.

Kids, sex and fast food in a Cameron Crowe script.

Valley Girl (1983), Nicolas Cage, Deborah Foreman.

So-Cal teen falls for a bad boy played by Cage, who sports strangely groomed chest hair.

Revenge of the Nerds (1984), Robert Carradine and Anthony Edwards.

Nerdy college freshmen fight back.

• The Molly Ringwald Trinity: Sixteen Candles (1984), Breakfast Club (1985) and Pretty in Pink (1986), Ringwald with Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson and Jon Cryer.

All hail John Hughes. All hail the Brat Pack. All hail cheesy ’80s soundtracks and pouffy hair.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986), Matthew Broderick and Alan Ruck.

Classic Broderick: An unnervingly lucky teen cuts school, hijinks ensue.

Maurice (1987), Hugh Grant and Rupert Graves.

A gay coming-of-age story, Merchant-Ivory style, set at Cambridge.

Dead Poets’ Society (1989), Robin Williams and Robert Sean Leonard.

Heavy but worthwhile film wherein a misfit English teacher inspires prep-school students.

Clueless (1995), Alicia Silverstone and Paul Rudd.

Rich girl from Beverly Hills attempts to do good deeds with daddy’s money.

Romy & Michelle’s High School Reunion (1997), Mira Sorvino and Lisa Kudrow.

Two misfits plan to wow everyone at their ten-year reunion.

Never Been Kissed (1999), Drew Barrymore and Michael Vartan.

Dorky reporter goes back to school undercover and falls for her English teacher.

Election (1999), Matthew Broderick and Reese Witherspoon.

It’s like Ferris Bueller gets a taste of his own medicine in this dark comedy.

School of Rock (2003), Jack Black and Mike White.

Rock star wannabe schools a group of musical prodigies.

About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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