One of the few teen high-school dramas Emma Roberts is known for, ‘Wild Child (2008)’ is centered around a spoilt teenager Poppy, who is sent to a boarding school called Abbey Mount based out in England by her affluent, widowed father, notwithstanding her ever-growing pranks and her spend-thriftness. Abbey Mount was the very school which also educated Poppy’s mother who had passed five years ago from the present day. After her arrival at the school, Poppy finds the new ways oppressive and decides upon to leave the school by making her usual pranks and taking the blame for all mishaps upon herself, until she’s let go. Poppy befriends Kate, her proverbial elder sister in the school, who assists her take on the school’s principal Mrs. Kingsley and Harriet, the head girl. Poppy’s attitude towards her life takes a U-turn when she realizes that her mother too studied from the same school and she decides to court Freddie, Mrs. Kingsley’s son, who is also Harriet’s boyfriend.
From the outlook, ‘Wild Child’ is more or less a female-centered teenage drama based out of a high-school, with friendships, snobbery, pranks, infatuation, social awkwardness and rebellion coming into play, combined with romance, sexual advances, homesickness, spoilt-brat conundrums, jealousy, and curiosities. Movies like ‘Wild Child’ can be possessing one of these characteristics central to their plots, combined with other sub-genre influence, like horror, fantasy, mythology, war, etc. We have tried to come up with a list of films similar to Wild Child that are our recommendations. If you are interested, you might be able to stream some of these movies like Wild Child on Netflix or Amazon Prime or even Hulu.
12. Legally Blonde (2001)
Elle Woods, a sorority queen, and a blonde is dating a governor’s son, Warner Huntington III. As opposed to her expectations, instead of popping the question, he breaks up with her. The reason being that she’s blonde and isn’t “good enough” for his upcoming endeavors. Enraged and determined, Elle decides to follow Warner through his career pursuits to the Harvard law school, despite the cultural shock she’s going to receive once she enlists there. Towards the end, as it turns out, Elle proves not only an equal but betters Warner in every facet of her career. A story of redemption, with a Golden Globe Nomination, ‘Legally Blonde’ is the musical comedy that you might have missed.
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11. Sydney White (2007)
‘Sydney White’ is the daughter of a plumber and an aspiring sorority member her mother once was, who passed away years ago. As she embarks on her journey, she becomes aware of the growing treacherous ways the sorority treats itself nowadays and vows to “cleanse” the prevailing social hierarchy in the school. With the help of her “seven dwarves” or outcasts who’re already members of the vortex (or the losers) she begins her run to become the sorority queen. With ample dosage of comedy and drama, ‘Sydney White’ aptly utilizes the otherwise left-over sub-plot, thus resulting in a fresh, unique premise.
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10. The Princess Diaries (2001)
A movie that is often attributed to the current stature of Anne Hathaway as a Hollywood icon, ‘The Princess Diaries’ revolves around a bespectacled, messy teenager Mia Thermopolis. One fine day, Mia is approached by her estranged grandma and the current Queen of Genovia and is told about her lineage and that Mia is the heiress to the throne of Genovia. Mia’s life takes a U-turn and everything changes, right from her looks, to her attire and her demeanor. Given her newfound status, Mia has new admirers and lovers and she preps herself to become the Queen of Genovia.
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9. Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging (2008)
A movie revolving around a 14-year old girl Georgia, her cat Angus and one of her neighboring fraternal twins, Robbie, ‘Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging’ is the perfect teenage love story with rivalries, failing marriages, infatuations, etc. determining the fate of the ensuing relationships. Before her 15th birthday, Georgia succeeds to woo her crush Robbie amidst initial fallouts and her suspicions with respect to her parents which turn out to be false.
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8. The DUFF (2015)
Another teenage high-school drama, DUFF apparently stands for Designated Ugly Fat Friend, thus referring to a person who makes others feel good about themselves, irrespective of the fact if they are or aren’t. ‘The DUFF’ revolves around a bunch of teenagers – Bianca, Jess, Casey, Toby, Wesley, and Madison. In the present scenario, Bianca is apparently the prevalent DUFF among her friends, which makes her devastated. Though she’s attracted to Toby, after a warning from her teacher, she sides with Wesley, another kid in the school. In order to prove herself and to overcome the social jibber-jabber, she plans to dethrone Madison and to prove that everyone’s a DUFF to someone irrespective of who they are.
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7. The Parent Trap (1961)
Academy Award Nominee ‘The Parent Trap’ has to be the forefather of all the teenage high-school fiction dramas out there. ‘The Parent Trap’ is the heartwarming story of two identical twins, Susan and Sharon, who were separated after their birth as their parents divorced each other, thus getting the custody of one child each. Years later, Susan and Sharon meet at a summer camp, unbeknownst to the fact that they are twins until they realize and they plan to reunite their parents by interchanging their places. Thus, Susan becomes Sharon and reunites with their father, while Susan with their mother. Soon, Mitch’s (their father) plan of remarrying is revealed and Susan and Sharon must conspire with their mother to obstruct their father’s marriage plan. To begin with, I’d call ‘The Parent Trap’ way ahead of its time.
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6. Can’t Hardly Wait (1998)
Set on the eve of graduation night, ‘Can’t Hardly Wait’ is the coming together of all sorts of graduation memories and people getting together, forgetting their differences and forging new relationships. More than anyone else, the night is about Preston and Amanda, wherein the former had been dreaming of Amanda since their freshman year. Amanda is later revealed to be hooked with Dexter, the handsome hunk in town. Preston must tell Amanda about his feelings before the party’s over, through a letter he’d been writing (and revising) since a very long time. Can’t hardly wait for it, can we?
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5. The Art of Getting By (2011)
Not a successful movie by the numbers, but the story is a winner, thanks to Emma Roberts in particular, ‘The Art of Getting By’ is the story of George and Sally, two high-school seniors. George, in particular, has a keen interest in arts and is a loner, which is why he prefers skipping college altogether. Given the fact that his parents (his mother and stepfather) have a troubled marriage, George finds his respite in Sally, another senior who’s currently seeing Dustin, wherein the latter finds him attractive. The story advances with George and Sally becoming closer, along with George’s increasing interest in studies, while Sally plans a trip to Europe with Dustin. They both unite towards the end of the story, thus calling it a day to George’s woes.
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4. Can’t Buy Me Love (1987)
A love story where seemingly money outweighs feelings, ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ is the story of a senior year geek Ronald Miller and his ambition to be famous. He finds Cindy, the head Cheerleaders, attractive and after finding out that she’s in a pile of debt, he offers her $1000 in exchange for her services as his temporary girlfriend for a month. Turns out that by the end of the movie, though his offer was only to garner popularity, she’d actually fallen for him.
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3. Mean Girls (2004)
A comedy at its outset, ‘Mean Girls’ follows the petty high-school politics with students divided into sects, hurling insults, rumors, and expletives at one another. Sixteen-year-old Cady, who’s been homeschooled so far by her parents, joins a public school and finds out about the queen bee of a group called “Plastics” named Regina, the original “mean girl”. While Cady’s newfound friends, Janis and Damian already have plans to dismantle Regina’s “reign”, Cady thinks beyond and vows for superiority, while losing all her friends, well-wishers, and admirers in the process. Towards the end, as a spineless Regina (literally!) joins another team to deal with her emotional state and the “Plastics” have been disbanded, new rivalries arise and Cady finds herself amongst thriving animosities yet again.
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2. Flipped (2010)
Set in the ’50s and the ’60s, ‘Flipped’ is the story of a war of emotions between two adolescents – Bryce and Juli. While Juli has always had an attraction for Bryce since they were in second grade, and always wanted to kiss him, Bryce found Juli’s ways kind-of unusual, like sitting on her beloved sycamore tree and collecting eggs from chickens. As they grew, Bryce found curiosity in her interests despite not noticing Juli’s attraction in him, which is when Juli realizes that her infatuation towards Bryce may have been one-sided and more of an exaggeration. It is when they become “Flipped” and their emotional thought-process reverses. A one-of-a-kind story with emotions running deeper with every frame.
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1. Easy A (2010)
Perhaps one of the best Emma Stone movies before ‘La La Land’ happened, ‘Easy A’ is the story of Olive Penderghast, a 17-year-old virgin, who is pretty much anonymous in her high school. She lies to one of her friends, Rhiannon, that she had lost her virginity on the previous weekend and the conversation is overheard and spread like a wildfire in the school. One of her gay friends asks for her help to pretend to sleep with him so that he’s considered as a stud when Olive obliges. Soon, all the boys, in order to gain popularity, offer incentives to Olive to lie about sleeping with them. On a pile of lies, rests the bitter truth that Olive was still a virgin. A coming-of-age movie with ample humor and terrific performances, ‘Easy A’ is easily the best high-school drama that deserves a lot of ‘A++’. Don’t you think?
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