As if!

Kiden-Aloyse Smith, opinions writer

Most of the time, movies about high school are made by people so far from high school they don’t even know how school works anymore. Most high schools don’t have teenagers that look older than 20 years old, a clique problem, a monthly school dance or in the case of Heathers: murders.

High school is pretty uneventful in real life. The writers and movie fans already graduated and totally forgot how high school really works,
making movies like “Mean Girls” (2004),
“Heathers” (1988),“She’s All That” (1999) and “Clueless” (1995) some of the most unrealistic high school movies created, making “Bring It On” (2000) the most accurate portrayal of high school, but with some unrealistic elements.

“Bring It On” is a more realistic portrayal of high school. The school’s cheer squad is based on talent rather than popularity, and the movie tackles everyday issues like homophobia and race relations. The movie falls into the category of an unlikely romance between the protagonist and her best friend’s brother, but due to their friends’ connection, their relationship becomes more realistic. The only unbelievable thing about the movie is how old the characters look and how wealthy everyone is.

In“Clueless,” the main characters are sophomores, but they talk like adults and look like supermodels.“Clueless” is unrealistic in the way that all the kids are wealthy, have a great fashion sense, and look grown, Stacey Dash, who played Dionne Davenport, was 28 years old in real life.

“Mean Girls” and “She’s All That” reach a level of being unrealistic, but not too extreme. In these two movies, there are cliques, mean girls and jock issues: the jocks bully anyone who isn’t one of them, the cliques are so strong that the kids ignore anyone who isn’t in their crew and the mean girls have too much power.

Ever since elementary school, it’s been drilled into students’ heads to include everyone. Most cliques died in middle school, however in “Mean Girls”, being extremely rich makes you popular, the mean girls run the school, and everyone wants to be like them. Unlike most movies, the whole cliquey vibe doesn’t disintegrate by the end of the movie like “She’s All That.”

In “She’s All That” the most popular and attractive guy in school is dared to make an art geek prom queen. In the process, they fall in love and the social construct of the school falls apart by the end. It would be unrealistic for those two
to fall in love given the way their school is set up. At KHS, most relationships start due to mutual friends. KHS has a passing period of 6 minutes, and with only seven classes, it’s nearly impossible to get a new significant other without having a single class together or a mutual friend.

The movie “Heathers” follows a powerful clique where each girl is named Heather, except the protagonist Veronica Sawyer. The girls are cruel, wealthy and beautiful in the eyes of their classmates. Veronica starts to question if popularity is worth the cruelty after meeting the new rebellious and psychopathic teen murderer, Jason J.D Dean. Logically, Veronica wants to cut off her friendships with the Heathers, but her murderer boyfriend decides to poison Heather Chandler and tells Veronica to cover it up as a suicide. No one in the school seems to care, and throughout this, he and Veronica feel no remorse. This sparks a romanticization of suicide, which does happen in real life.

Eventually, her boyfriend reveals himself as a fake deep mastermind murderer by trying to blow up the school, claiming how deep it was that the school will self-destruct: not because of society being indifferent, but because the school is society. It’s not deep, it’s ridiculous. It’s teen angst on pixie sticks.

In real life, there is no denying American schools have an issue with violence, but the very fact that no teacher or no kid ever questioned the “suicides” or the new kid, and no one ever checked these mean girls’ constant bullying is just beyond me.

At KHS, suicide is taken seriously and bullying like that wouldn’t happen. In real life, everything happens by phone. If someone is disliked it might be said in a group chat or an indirect spam post, but that’s not how the kids of “Heathers” handled it. The popular kids felt superior because they were rich, well dressed and we’re going to peak in high school, so they had to make it last. The kids of KHS aren’t all rich and they wear KHS sweatshirts every day.

High school movies are a pivotal part of American culture. It would make more sense for the movies to be more realistic, but honestly who would want to watch a movie with real teenagers? With the stressful homework, the waking up too early or getting to school too late and teen angst I doubt all the funny moments would outshine and make the realistic high school movie really worth watching.