The Student Journalism Site of Millard South High School

We Are Millard South

The Student Journalism Site of Millard South High School

We Are Millard South

The Student Journalism Site of Millard South High School

We Are Millard South

My high school experience in movies

Over my years writing for the newspaper, I have primarily written movie reviews and have found a lot of joy in doing so. Throughout high school specifically, I have found a deep love for film and have seen hundreds of movies each year that have impacted my life, each in different ways. These films have meant a lot to me over the years and will probably continue to mean something different as the years go on. The five movies listed below are movies that are absolutely quintessential to me and are movies that are even more significant to me now that I am graduating high school.

Almost Famous (2000)

The first time I saw “Almost Famous” I declared it my favorite movie. For almost an entire summer at the age of twelve, I watched it at least once a week, replayed scenes, listened to the soundtrack on repeat, and most importantly, felt connected and inspired by a piece of media in a way I hadn’t ever before. “Almost Famous” could be described as the cheesiest movie of all time and I wouldn’t care. To me, the movie emits a feeling above all. It is something that is warm-hearted, uplifting, nostalgic, and is a beautiful picture of authentic humanity of a time decades before the movie’s release. That genuineness is in part to Cameron Crowe’s direction and story based on his real-life experiences, and larger-than-life performances given from every actor. William Miller’s goal of becoming a music journalist definitely stuck with me six years ago and may have a small role in my decision to pursue journalism. “Almost Famous” is in my eyes, a perfect ‘70s-set portrait of empathy that will have always inspired my career decisions, interest in film, and life in general.

When Harry Met Sally (1989)

“When Harry Met Sally” is and will probably always be my #1 comfort movie. I had only seen it for the first time two years ago, and have watched it at least ten times since. Every line is a beautiful, quotable, smart, ahead-of-its-time piece of writing. Not a single beat is missed. The movie moves at such an incredible pace and is still jammed to the brim with flawless scenes following flawless scenes. Every scene is the best scene. In fact, if you were to watch the movie with me, you would witness me mouthing the script or talking about how each and every scene is “quintessential” and is an incredible piece of filmmaking. What can I say? It is the definitive rom-com. “When Harry Met Sally” also now has special significance in my life, as it is one of the first movies I bonded over with my boyfriend. It is one of his favorites too. We ended up dressing up as Harry and Sally for Halloween, which is a really happy memory of mine. This film will always be a warm blanket for me when I am sad, stressed out, or unsure of what to watch. I always know Harry and Sally have my back, especially as I enter a new, intimidating stage of my life.

True Stories (1986)

Out of all of my picks, this one might be the most unconventional in relating to my high school experience. “True Stories” is such a special, specific film that has over time become one of my favorite movies of all time. It has a weird, strangely comforting energy to it that can only exist in these eighty-nine minutes that take the viewer on a journey through a small town in Texas and its plethora of unique townsfolk. The film is directed by one of my favorite musicians, David Byrne, of Talking Heads fame, and is full of excellent Talking Heads songs that end up better after watching the movie somehow. I think what makes “True Stories” so special is its pure, authentic love it has for suburbanites of the ‘80s and its unbeatable sense of humor. It is an incredibly funny film that feels adjacent to so many modern “anti-comics” in its dryness and satirical nature. It is compassionate, colorful, and an all-around delight of a film that makes you take in the world around you with a sense of childlike wonder, a capability only Byrne could engage with on film. “True Stories” has felt like my home away from home ever since I first saw it, and has allowed me to really appreciate the absurdity and uniqueness of the human experience.

The Worst Person In The World (2021)

“The Worst Person In The World” came out only two years ago as of writing this, but has already had a profound impact on the way I think about my future as an adult. The movie has taught me a great deal about understanding the relationships and friendships with others’ roles in our own lives, and the importance of choosing when to let go and choosing what feels right. It is ok to not be sure. In the movie, the main character Julie changes her career at least five times, enters multiple relationships, and in the end, seems to find peace and happiness, (all while growing out her bangs). It comforts me in the same way the saying “It’ll all work out in the end” does. Things that often feel too much to even manage eventually sort themselves out, and I feel like college freshman me might need to hear that later on. The movie is beautifully crafted, moving, bittersweet, and has one of my favorite screenplays ever. The film affecting me now at my young age speaks to how much this will most likely resonate with me as I enter real adulthood.

Lady Bird (2017)

“Lady Bird” will be the first movie I watch when I graduate high school. The movie follows a Californian high schooler named Christine, nicknamed “Lady Bird” navigating teenagehood and eventually leaving her home state to attend college in New York, all while managing a relationship with her strong-minded mother. I have yet to find a better depiction of girlhood, specifically set in the 2000s, than in “Lady Bird” and Greta Gerwig’s other directed and written films. “Lady Bird” has always said what I wanted to say and portrayed suburbia, middle-class life, friendships, relationships, and frustration in the most rewatchable, wonderful way possible. With every viewing, I find something more to appreciate about it. The film is effortlessly funny and sentimental. Watching it my senior year puts the movie in a much different perspective for me. I would watch “Lady Bird” my freshman year of high school repeatedly with graduation being an afterthought, seeming so far out of reach. I am now Lady Bird’s age, and although I am not flying to NYU, I am enduring her exact emotions, relating to her exact experiences, and handling life just as decently as she could.

 

 

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Lauren Rayner
Lauren Rayner, Managing Editor
Lauren Rayner is a senior and a third-year staff member. She plays viola in the Chamber Orchestra and enjoys reading, listening to music, and watching movies.
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