Watching good literature

As much as I hated high school (and I REALLY hated it), I love movies set in those years.

Like I’ve said before, it just offers so much material. I especially love any movies about the outcasts in high school.
Every time “Mean Girls” is on, I have to watch. It just has so many great lines.

If there’s anything I love more than movies set in high school, it’s movies taken from a classic novel. You’d think they wouldn’t work, but the nod to the original is always great.

“Clueless,” for example, was a remake of Jane Austen’s “Emma,” and — while some of the plot points didn’t translate — it’s pretty obvious that the lessons of that age don’t really change over time.

Another favorite is “10 Things I Hate About You,” a modern version of “The Taming of the Shrew.” Heath Ledger is, of course, awesome, and the movie is very cheesy at times, but you can’t go wrong with the immortal themes of Shakespeare.

Just this week, I caught “Easy A,” which definitely caught my eye with its commercials. The movie based on “The Scarlet Letter” definitely lived up to my expectations of classic remakes set in high school. Although it is racy, that’s to be expected in any teen fare. It’s also smart and funny, especially because Emma Stone makes a great lead. Plus, it also makes some great commentary on modern politics.

So do you any of you have favorites? Or is it weird that I’m this old and still like teen movies?

Pop Culture Hijabi is a weekly column by Nadia Malik. Malik is a former newspaper reporter based in Chicago who’s now making her way as a freelancer. She spends entirely too much time watching TV and reading pop culture, fashion and TV blogs. She also occasionally consumes serious books and news. No, really. You can reach her at with “pop culture hijabi” in the subject line, follow her at or simply leave a comment below.

This article has 4 comments

  1. Valerie

    I actually read Pride and Prejudice because of “You’ve got mail” and then I watched “Lost in Austen”. Not teen movies but they had their roots in literature, and now P&P is one of my favorite books. 🙂 I’m ashamed to admit that after reading that Clueless is based on Emma, I’ll be reading that too 🙂

  2. Robyn

    I like LK’s definitely, but I also have to add Sixteen Candles (pretty much my favorite), Breakfast Club, Can’t Buy Me Love, Teen Wolf, Mean Girls definitely, Grease, License to Drive, Adventures in Babysitting (love, love this one), Save the Last Dance. I’m sure there are others I forgot. But I, too, love this genre. High School wasn’t horrible, but I imagine it could have been better.

  3. Grouchy Ladybug

    I am sorry to offend but I have to say that one of my biggest pet peeves is when something revered and almost sacred is take and stripped of all its goodness just to make it ‘appealing’ to teenagers. Anachronisms make me almost swoon in horror, but when the whole story is wrapped in modern day trappings it is almost blasphemy! I may be giving away my age but give me good old fashioned BBC Emma, Wuthering Heights, Pride and Prejudice (with Colin Firth of course!). The list goes on. Jane Austen would turn in her grave! I challenge anyone to watch North and South or Emma and then come back to modern day mediocrity!!! You will not be able to handle it!
    Nothing personal mind you.
    Over and Out.

  4. LK

    Ferris Beuler’s Day Off, Clueless, and Can’t Hardly Wait. Teen movies are great no matter what the age 🙂

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