Entertaining? Yes. Realistic? No. How movies about university don’t line up with the student experience
“This is just like the movies,” said no UVic student ever.
When you pay close to $15 for a sandwich and coffee, get three days without rain per year, and find yourself having a stronger connection with your textbook than your latest Hinge date, it’s hard to see the glamour of university that Hollywood showed so vividly.
Growing up, we were spoon-fed bowls full of lies pertaining to a golden university experience, equipped with fun adventures, new friends, and the ever-so-present toga parties, all wrapped up in the same package of movies.
I, as much as the next person, kept waiting for that movie moment to happen, but, inevitably my university experience fell short of the expectations that the silver screen had set up.
So now, as a (soon to be) UVic graduate, I feel like I have the right and expertise to call these movies out.
While I don’t think most people looked at the modern-day retelling of Snow White as entirely accurate, there are some scenes that absolutely swayed me into thinking college would be way more entertaining than it has been.
The one scene that had me lusting as a young and impressionable girl was when Tyler Prince, the leading lad, serenades Sydney White in the library. I know realistically this had an unlikely chance of happening — if you set your music too loud on your headphones while studying on the quiet floor of the library people will murder you — but I cannot believe that I did not witness a single large profession of love in any public area.
Seriously UVic? Where is all the love?
Usually, I would never have anything bad to say about Legally Blonde, but the more I watch it, the more bitter I become over Elle Woods’ entire financial situation.
From the fully decked out sorority house you see in the opening scene (cries in my $900 a month basement room), to shopping, and all of the beauty appointments, every scene where Elle is dropping cash screams unrealistic to the average student. At this point in the game, it’s a luxury to spend money on groceries every week. So even though the entire point of the movie is that she is supposed to present as this stereotypical rich girl at college, to see Elle drop cash like it’s her full time job, does hurt my wallet’s ego, and the realism of the story.
22 Jump Street
22 Jump Street, like so many other movies, portrays an idealistic version of how the university student break is supposed to go. Parties on white sandy beaches in Florida, having a blast with your friends, and, most unrealistically, not crying over homework the whole break.
This is unrealistic to UVic students for many reasons. One of the biggest reasons being the fact that our ‘spring break,’ or as we like to call it up here in Canada, reading break, happens in February.
Another common theme is that UVic students are perpetually broke, so the farthest most are willing to travel is Tofino. While it is a beautiful destination to travel to, February is still very much the middle of winter, so partying on the beach in swimwear feels like a bad idea.
When Pitch Perfect hit the screens in 2012, it was life changing, well at least for the extremely impressionable tween I was at the time. Most of my friends learned both the lyrics and choreography to every single track in that movie — unfortunately, they prepared for a musical battle that never came.
That’s right, out of all the scenes in this horribly fantastic movie, the one I am the most upset about not happening is the riff-off. For the last four years I’ve been on the edge of my seat, waiting for someone to challenge me to a musical number battle, and yet my talent for connecting songs together by similar verses lies undiscovered to this day.
If there was a Super Bowl for college movie lies, Pitch Perfect would win the cup (trophy? I have never watched the Super Bowl).
Whether they decided to show crazy frat parties, romantic serenades in libraries, or a crazy music battle, Hollywood made us all believe that when we got to university, life would be one (highly intoxicated) fairytale. Whether or not these movie scenes happened in reality, at least some of us can say we got as close to the movies as possible.