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English majors do more than just read and write all day, but our bias for books likely seeps into the other media we consume. Here are some movies to check out if you’re an English major (or just a literature lover) who’s looking for a change in medium.

Dead Poets Society

Dead Poets Society has been popular with English and literature lovers since it was released. The movie follows an offbeat English teacher (played by Robin Williams)  at a stuffy boy’s preparatory school who breathes a new life into his English class and inspires a genuine love of poetry in his students. It’s easy to empathize with the cast of students, and it’s inspiring to watch them fall in love with words and literature. The movie also emphasizes how important a good teacher can be, and how teachers really do have the power to change lives. Also, if you like the dark academia aesthetic, this movie is definitely for you. And have some tissues ready for the ending!

Almost Famous

Set in the ‘70s, Almost Famous is a coming-of-age movie about a young music journalist who gets the chance to write a feature about an up-and-coming band. He goes on tour with them, and the experience quickly becomes an eye-opening journey about love, music, fame, and being yourself. Almost Famous is a great alternative to the English major who may not love fiction writing, but we can all identify with the young protagonist and the thrill of chasing an idea and getting to write about what you love. The groovy costumes and killer soundtrack also provide some escapist nostalgia.


A precocious little girl who loves to read finds out she is capable of telekinesis, so she uses her newfound powers to cope with her less-than-ideal home life. While this may be a children’s film, Matilda is a meaningful watch at any stage of life. This is a whimsical, funny, feel-good movie for anyone who wants to feel like a little kid again for a while. Plus, I’m sure a lot of us see ourselves in that bookish little girl.

Shakespeare in Love

If you’re a stickler about historical accuracy, this may not be the movie for you. In Shakespeare in Love, a William Shakespeare struggling with writer’s block falls in love with a beautiful female aristocrat. Her determination to pose as a man and act in his new play puts their already forbidden romance in even more danger. Of course, none of this is based in truth, but Shakespeare in Love is worth checking out if you’re a Shakespeare buff, if not just a hopeless romantic. Too often William Shakespeare is just the old dead guy whose plays we read in class, so it’s interesting to see Shakespeare as a man who seeks inspiration and looks for love like the rest of us.

Beauty and the Beast

Most of us are already familiar with this tale as old as time, but the animated Disney movie from the ‘90s is my personal favorite. In the original tale, a beautiful girl, Belle, learns to love a beast, and because she recognizes his inner beauty, he turns back into a handsome prince. The Disney version gives Belle an extra endearing character trait: she loves books. Belle’s curiosity and intelligence is what makes her an outsider in her village but special to Beast. Besides, what English major can forget that scene where Belle enters the castle library and sees hundreds of books?

Viviana Freyer

Bryn Mawr '24

Viviana Freyer is a student at Bryn Mawr College (Class of 2024!). She will likely major in English and is also interested in French, film, and art history. Her hobbies include reading, writing, listening to music, watching movies, and overanalyzing popular media.
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