Art imitates life, or so someone once said. And then someone else said that life really imitates art, and now there’s a disagreement about it. Whichever way it is, I suppose it’s fair to say that art and life are similar. So, new students, what better way to get a sneak peek at the college experience than by watching some art? Here are the top six movies to watch in preparation for your first day at UC Berkeley:
‘Everybody Wants Some!!’
I watched this movie on my last day at home. It’s about Texas in 1980, and the protagonist is a baseball player on a quest for sex. Objectively, it had very little in common with my orientation week, but maybe it will for someone else. Or at least you’ll make a nostalgic memory watching it, as I did.
‘10 Things I Hate About You’
I’m a sucker for romance. But that’s not all you can get from Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles acting the heck out of falling in love. This movie also offers a parting tribute to your senior year of high school — college applications, prom, your high school sweethearts. And perhaps it’d be nice to give the past year of your life a final look over the shoulder as you head to a new school, maybe in a new city, full of new people.
‘The Spectacular Now’
I was once told during my freshman year that I was a lot like Aimee Finicky and that I should watch “The Spectacular Now.” So I ran back to my dorm and sat at my desk with my physics homework spread out in front of me and the movie playing on my laptop. When I texted the guy who had told me to watch it to ask what about Aimee Finicky he saw in me, he texted back, “I don’t know, you’re quiet.” I texted back, “Oh.”
I don’t think Aimee Finicky is just quiet. “The Spectacular Now” may be about teenagers in high school, but it’s also about those teenagers on the brink of the rest of their lives. And as a teenager on the brink of the rest of my life, I decided to stop texting that guy back.
‘Berkeley in the Sixties’
“Berkeley in the Sixties” is a great documentary with a very self-explanatory title. There is one problem with it: John Searle. In 2017, Searle was accused of sexual assault — Searle’s recurring interviews lend a bad name to an otherwise informative movie. Whether or not you decide to watch this film, do some research on Berkeley during the 1960s — I promise you’ll be entertained.
‘Pitch Perfect’ and ‘Pitch Perfect 2’
These movies may incorrectly convince you that, after watching the cup song a few times on YouTube, you can sing like Anna Kendrick and will be a college a cappella star. While you likely cannot, in fact, sing anything like her, you can still join a UC Berkeley a cappella group — or whatever you’d like to do. Whatever it is, even if you are not as good at it as Anna Kendrick is at singing, you will find it here. I promise.
Olivia Jerram is the assistant arts & entertainment editor. Contact her at [email protected].