Nostalgic Films To Watch While Social Distancing

Well, this certainly wasn’t the way that I was planning on writing my final article for Her Campus York U. ‘Writing’ being the operative word as I'm currently dictating into my laptop with the hopes that it will pick up the correct words I am using. During this time of social distancing, I have really taken a dive into watching recipe videos and reading blog posts about potential recipes that I wanted to try. Considering I’m not the most talented in the kitchen, I thought I would use all this extra time at home for something good. This afternoon I decided to cut open an avocado (which I have done many times before in the past) and attempt to remove the avocado pit. Long story short, I sliced off half of a nail on my left hand and have been nursing it the entire day (I don’t do well with blood, so it was quite the recovery). I’m so grateful to have two parents who were quick on their feet, and a brother who is currently studying to become a paramedic to look after me. Take it from me, don’t use a big knife when you’re trying to take out the pit of an avocado, it doesn’t end well. Lesson learned.


In between watching those recipe videos and reading blog posts about potential recipes, I have really turned back to my younger years and reflected on some of the best movies that were released since I was born in the late ‘90s. The kind of films I’m talking about are the ones that you would watch over and over, gush about at school with your friends, and highly anticipate the release of the sequel (if there was one). While I’ve been watching these movies over the last few weeks, it’s given me a chance to escape all of the negative energy and content that is out in the media right now and while it’s important to stay informed, it’s also important to give yourself a break from the seriousness of this global issue and indulge in an old favorite.


*All synopses are in my own words, taken from my memory of the many times I’ve watched these films*

  1. 1. 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

    How can you not love this movie? Heath Ledger plays a total dreamboat named Patrick; the typical bad guy you’re told to stay away from. He tries to win over Kat (Julia Stiles), the girl the entire school is scared of, in order to help fellow classmate Cameron (Joseph Gordon Levitt) date her sister Bianca (Larisa Oleynik). It sounds a bit messy (because it is) but hear me out. If you didn’t know, 10 Things I Hate About You is a modern-day retelling of William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew but filled with comedy and teenage angst. The film was released just a little over 21 years ago but it still holds up the test of time.

  2. 2. The Princess Diaries (2001) & The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004)

    Talk about every young girl’s dream! Anne Hathaway stars as Princess Mia Thermopolis, granddaughter of Queen Clarisse of Genovia played by the incomparable Julie Andrews. In the first film, Mia is unaware of her title but when she learns the news, she struggles to adjust to her new life as a royal alongside some of her best friends and her grandmother, the Queen. In the second film, Mia is all grown up and preparing to take over the throne. However, she is thrown for a loop and is expected to marry in under a month in order to claim the title that is rightfully hers. Chris Pine stars as her love interest and that reason alone is mainly why the second film is my favorite.

  3. 3. A Cinderella Story (2004)

    We all know and love the story of Cinderella. However, in this pop-culture classic, Hilary Duff is Cinderella and Chad Michael Murray is her Prince Charming. Sam (Hilary Duff) has had a rough start after losing her father and inheriting a wicked stepmother and two dreadful stepsisters. All she wants is to free herself of them and to study at Princeton University. Along the way, she chats online anonymously with popular football quarterback Austin (Chad Michael Murray) and they bond over their similarities without even knowing who each other is. When Sam and Austin finally meet at a Halloween costume party, Austin becomes determined to find his Cinderella but struggles with admitting to himself and to everyone around him his true passion. I can assure you that watching this film is nothing like waiting for the rain in a drought, it’s not useless and disappointing *wink*.

  4. 4. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (2005) & The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants 2 (2008)

    I love teen movies that really highlight the importance of friendship. These two films follow the lives of four girls as they encounter numerous issues relating to family, illness, the death of a loved one, and of course, boys. Between them, they share a pair of jeans that they deem to have magic powers that bring them luck, positivity and/or clarity regarding their situation. In the end, the girls always circle back to one another regardless of the issues that they’ve faced as they realize just how strong their bonds are to one another.

  5. 5. The High School Musical trilogy (2006, 2007, & 2008)

    I remember not being able to get enough of this trilogy when it was first released. These were films with such an iconic cast and it incorporated musical, drama, comedy and a bit of romance which truly hit home with many people during the height of its popularity. If you haven’t seen these films, they’re essentially set in high school and follow the lives of students as they try to maintain relationships and reputations, all the while shooting for the stars. It is also important to note that these films once again highlight the importance of understanding that during this stressful time of social distancing, we’re all in this together.


I continue to wish you all well during this stressful and uncertain time. I hope this small list of film recommendations enables you to take your mind off of the seriousness of the situation we’re living in, and revert back to a more positive time when we were younger and life was a little easier.