3 Movies that Defined our In-Be'tween' Years

A good movie is life changing. Whether it's the story itself or the acting, there are just some movies that stay with you, especially the ones you watched over and over while growing up. Inspired by this week's movie theme, we got to thinking: what were the movies that defined our teenage years? You know, that one movie that you will still watch if you see it playing on TV, or if you just want a throwback movie night. It's those movies that hold some of our fondest memories (or saddest... have you seen The Notebook?), so we want to reminisce and celebrate why those movies were so special to us.

  1. 1. A Cinderella Story

    The cult classic A Cinderella Story (not to be confused with its various remakes that are not worth your time) is a modern interpretation of the very fairy tale indicated in the title. The film follows Sam (Hiliary Duff) who lives with her stepmother and two stepsisters in CA while applying to Princeton University, because that’s where princesses go to college. Obviously. Sam works long hours at her stepmother’s diner (originally owned by her father who passed away when Sam was young) and is barely able to escape her shift at work to attend her high school’s Halloween dance where she meets Austin (Chad Michael Murry), a.k.a. Prince Charming. Turns out Austin is the boy Sam met in a Princeton chat room and has since been messaging over the months. One thing leads to another and, well, let’s just say they end up happily ever after by the closing credits. Although Sam makes sure to remind the audience in the final scene that her life is only beginning, and unlike the OG Cinderella, she isn’t ready to jump right into marriage. I watched this movie for the first time with my neighbors when I was in elementary school and have since watched it more times than I can count. The rom-com definitely falls down every rabbit-hole you expect it to and even though it made me think I would find my Prince Charming in high school, it also taught me to prioritize my education and know that my prince may just be waiting somewhere in the library.

    -Elizabeth Berry ‘21

  2. 2. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

    I have this movie to thank for bringing me closer to my sister. I was around 11 or 12 and my sister is four years older than me, so we weren’t the closest at the time. One night, she decided that she wanted to watch all the Harry Potter movies and asked if I wanted to join. I didn’t want to at first because I heard that there was a scary guy with no nose in the movies (He Who Must Not Be Named), but she eventually forced me into it. I remember being so engrossed into the film and appreciating J.K. Rowling for her creativity and imagination. Everything about this film was just amazing: the legendary story of how Harry Potter lived, Diagon Alley, the moving pictures in the newspapers, the weird creatures. From that night on, my sister and I planned to watch one Harry Potter movie each Friday to savor each one and feel ready for the next. Finishing all eight films was a bittersweet feeling. It was the first time I felt attached to a movie’s characters. I was actually lucky enough to have visited Harry Potter Land that summer with my family in Florida. You could imagine how speechless my 11-year-old self was throughout the whole trip. I drank butterbeer, went into Fred and George Weasley’s candy store, bought a wand from Olivander’s and a Gryffindor scarf. It was all the feels, and I was so grateful that I could share my love for Harry Potter with my older sister. If you’re thinking of watching/rewatching all the Harry Potter movies, I definitely think this is the best time for you to do so as we go into Thanksgiving break and colder weather.

    - Yasmine Tohme, '24

  3. 3. She's the Man

    Being a super sporty and soccer obsessed middle schooler, I was destined to love She’s the Man. In the movie, Viola Johnson (Amanda Bynes) is the star soccer player on her high school team. When the school cuts the funding for the girls team, Viola goes to try out for the boys team but is told she can’t because she is a girl. This leads Viola to pretend to be her twin brother Sebastian (he was skipping school to pursue his music career) at the rival high school and join their boys team. Viola gets a makeover transformation to look like a boy and then begins her plan. She joins the boys soccer team to play the sport she loves and prove that being a girl does not make you worse at sports. The drama builds as Viola begins to fall for her roommate, Duke (Channing Tatum) who has a crush on another student, Olivia. There are multiple overlapping love triangles in this dramatic movie. Although it is quite cringey, it is still a very funny, dramatic romcom with a great soundtrack. I suggest giving it a watch if you are in the mood for a soccer romcom!

    - Sarah Hennig ‘24