This week, let’s take a walk down memory lane and look back at the teen movies of the early 2000s. Although many of these films are almost two decades old, they are still cult classics to this day. I’ve picked out some of my favorite movies to revisit and evaluate for this article. Does your favorite movie stand the test of time?
- Donnie Darko (2001)
The first time I watched this movie was on a six-hour flight a few years ago. It aligned with the height of my Jake Gyllenhaal phase. I’m happy to report that Donnie Darko remains a cult classic in my eyes. It’s bizarre and weird, and perfect in so many ways. P.S., keep your eyes peeled for appearances by Ashley Tisdale and Jerry Trainor while watching!
- She’s the Man (2006)
This movie is Amanda Bynes in her prime. It’s a modern high school adaptation of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night with a star-studded cast, including Channing Tatum (pre-Magic Mike), David Cross, and Jonathan Sadowski. I rewatched this movie over the summer and I laughed just as hard as I did ten years ago.
- Juno (2007)
Juno may very well be my favorite film on this list! It’s perfect for any occasion: girls’ night in, first date, or family movie night. Elliot Page, Jennifer Garner, and Jason Bateman make this indie comedy/romance the ultimate 2000s witty masterpiece.
- The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005)
I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that this Judd Apatow flick was one of my favorites in high school. Looking back, I do not think it holds the same charm it once did. While some of the jokes are still funny, a good amount of the humor has sexist undertones. Steve Carell’s improv and the Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In finale are the best moments, but I’d rather watch the clips on YouTube than sit through this movie again.
- Mean Girls (2004)
Last, but certainly not least, is this iconic Tina Fey comedy. You’ve got Lindsay Lohan, y2k fashion, and timeless quotes all wrapped up in one “so fetch” package. I’m not sure if this film could be made today. It’s got a fair amount of slut-shaming and offensive language that would be called out, and rightfully so. Yet, when I re-watch Mean Girls, I see this content as a parody of your typical high school movie. I can recognize its flaws, but it also holds so much nostalgia that I can’t abandon it entirely.