February 3, 2011

MRQE Rewind: Cinema's Best College Roommate Films

With the opening of Leighton Meester’s newest flick this weekend, The Roommate, we here at MRQE thought we would compile a list of our favorite scary college films. We then discovered that there actually are no “best” scary college films, other than maybe Scream 2 or Urban Legend. Most films about college are over-worked, not funny, and far too cliche. So how about college roommate films? Almost everyone has had an infamous college roommate, or two. And those that have, know just how many stories and tales we could blackmail each other with. From late night rendezvous and hugging the porcelain, to despicable walks of shame, college roommates hide these moments, along with their drinking caps, far off in some closet corner never to be spoken of again. But in cinema, surely there must be a few great college movies to explore this life, and these are the ones we truly love below.

10. The House Bunny (2008) - MRQE Metric: 52
At number ten, we have The House Bunny. One of the few top college roommate films about sorority sisters, this film follows Shelley Darlington played by Anna Faris as she leaves the Playboy Mansion for a college life at a sorority house. Between extreme makeovers, extremely trashy outfits, and an exceptional amount of partying, this film stays true to any college flick – all you need is a little bit of humor, a lot of leg, and then a keg of beer to bring audiences in to see something depicted about some of the best years of their lives.




9. PCU (1994) - MRQE Metric: n/a
Ari Gold? No, James “Droz” Andrews, that’s who calls the shots in the 1994 Jeremy Piven featured film. PCU is a flick about college freshmen fitting in and the relationship (and rivalry) between frat brothers and houses. With from a much exaggerated view of college life, Roger Ebert shuts this film down in his review stating it “begins with a fantastic premise, but [I] immediately lose faith in it.”



8. Old School (2003) - MRQE Metric: 56
Old School is, hands-down, a hilarious film. Super laugh-out-loud funny, we all wish we could do this in our thirties–head back to school and start a fraternity, simply to party. Luke Wilson, Vince Vaughn, and Will Ferrell play the frat boy role exceptionally well, and the way their humor bounces off each other is what makes this film really memorable.



7. Back to School (1986) - MRQE Metric: n/a
In this 1986 comedy, Rodney Dangerfield heads, ironically, "back to school" to teach his son a lesson about education and happiness. Though, neither of these are lessons learned. Between conflict, attraction, bribery, passing, and failing, this film takes the audience on a roller-coaster of a ride through the academic field. Rodney even goes so far as to hire Kurt Vonnegut to write a paper about Vonnegut's novels, though the professor dismisses the paper, telling Rodney, "Whoever did write this doesn't know the first thing about Kurt Vonnegut." True to the partying lifestyle of college, Back to School, makes any student question, what would happen if my parents really came to college and they were your roommate? Wow, not fun.



6. Animal House (1978) - MRQE Metric: 68
Next is a truly classic college roommate flick, probably involving one of the most infamous frat houses ever, National Lampoon’s Animal House. Based off director, Chris Miller’s experience at his Dartmouth College frat house Alpha Delta Phi, this late-1970's comedy follows a bunch of frat boys living under one house and their mischievous partying ways. Animal House was highly successful--on only a $3 million budget, it made $141 million is sales--not bad for just a bunch of college boys.



5. Revenge of the Nerds (1984) - MRQE Metric: 69
Even nerds can find their own roommates. 1984's Revenge of the Nerds follows a fraternity of nerds desperately desiring to fit into the party, social, and sexual lifestyles of college. Revolving around the typical battle of "jock vs. nerd," this flick has been rated by the Bravo Channel as one of the “Top 100 Funniest Films” of all time. Though, it should have stopped at this--in the following decade three more Revenge of the Nerds films were produced, all each failing more and more at the box office, proving that sometimes producers should just stop at the original.



4. Real Genius (1985) - MRQE Metric: 73
Speaking of a house of angry nerds, coming in next is Real Genius starring Val Kilmer. Produced in 1985, this film spins the tale of college freshman roommates and their genius level intelligence to create a profound laser. Eventually their laser is stolen by a professor for military reasons, and this is when the film spins from a basic geniuses’ tale into a witty comedy about how nerds find revenge.



3. The Paper Chase (1973) - MRQE Metric: n/a
 
The Paper Chase is a 1973 film about first year law students living together, and their basic academia struggles. The plot turns as the main character James T. Hart (Timothy Bottoms) discovers that he is dating the daughter of his strict, stern, and challenging professor, of whom seems out to ruin his life. The tagline of this film sums of this Harvard student’s most challenging decision: "You have to choose between the girl you love and the diploma you've worked for all your life. You have 30 seconds." The film was later turned into a moderately successful TV show.


2. A Beautiful Mind (2001) - MRQE Metric: 81
Ranking in number two is one of Russell Crowe’s greatest works and 2001 Best Picture winner, A Beautiful Mind. True, Crowe does not have an actual roommate in this film, though he does have schizophrenia, through which he has an invisible “friend” that is technically his roommate. A heartbreaking, yet inspiring tale of the Nobel Peace Prize Winner, John Forbes Nash Jr., this film does not have the humor of Van Wilder or the mischief of How High, but it does give an exceptional glimpse into the life of a profound mathematical genius and his struggle with those he “lives with.”



1. The Social Network (2010) - MRQE Metric: 86
Coming out on top the bio-pic everyone is talking about, The Social Network, about two roommates and the $50 billion website they created out of their dormroom. Audiences love this film not only because it involves a social media site that almost everyone and their mother is apart of, but also because it brings forth the scandal, betrayal, allure, and excitement of creating said social media site. Winning awards across the globe, and a likely candidate for Best Picture this year, this bio-pic about Mark Zuckerberg and his best friend and roommate Eduardo Saverin, proves that the power of two is better than one.

 

1 comment:

  1. These films have shaped preconceptions about college. In my case, they even went so far as to influence my decision on choosing a college major! I have yet to see The Social Network, though.

    ReplyDelete

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