With the resurgence of early 2000s fashion, millennials are having wartime flashbacks with sparkly scarf belts and low-rise jeans. With the eccentric styles came the rise of the like ‘teen’, television to blockbuster movies. They are cited as goldmines and launched the careers of the megastars that still fill our screens today (Anne Hathaway, Gabrielle Unionand Chris Evansto only cite a few).
A slight caveat regarding the content of some of these films – the early 2000s was plagued with occasional insults and character stereotyping. Although it can be a little confronting, it is also comforting to know that things have changed for the better. With that in mind, “Have you ever wondered if there’s anything more to life than being really, really, ridiculously beautiful?”
Already a household name thanks to Meet the parents, Ben Stillerit’s Zoolander it’s the ship that launched 1000 pouts, and almost as many quarries. Spoofing the fashion industry, Derek Zoolander, a simple-minded male model is brainwashed by the evil Mugatu (Will Ferrell) to assassinate the Prime Minister of Malaysia.
The plot is as absurd as it sounds, but at a time when people felt pressure to adhere to unrealistic beauty standards more than ever, Zoolander gave us a reality check. It is also one of the firstFraternity” films, the affectionate nickname given to Stiller, Ferrel, Jack Black, Vince Vaughn, Steve Carell, Owen Wilsonand Luke Wilson due to the large number of films featuring all seven actors. These guys dominated the box office throughout the 2000s. With their dry comedic flair, it’s not hard to see why.
Bring it on (2000)
There was a time when all tweens knew the opening cheer by heart. Newly appointed captain of his Toros cheerleading team, Torrence Shipman (Kirsten Dunst) is disgusted to learn that her predecessor was stealing routines from a downtown team named the Clovers.
Bring it on broke the mold of sports cinema and created something fun and accessible, while tackling serious issues like race, class, and white privilege for a new generation. As of 2017, there are 6 films in the franchise, but none come close to the power and sincerity of the original (although Hayden Panettierecollapses Bring it: all or nothing is certainly memorable).
mean girls (2004)
No 2000s DVD collection would be complete without the groundbreaking and iconic mean girls. Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) is the new girl in school and is invited to join the popular “the plastics” clique. Innocent Cady makes moves to eliminate them from the inside and gets lost in the process.
Inspired by Rosalind Wisemanthe book ‘Queen Bees and Wannabes’, Tina Fey wrote his first screenplay and created a poignant film about the high school experience. Each character is given depth and humanity, eschewing the common good guy versus bad guy archetype of many other teen movies. The script is smart and subversive, shattering stereotypes with a well-placed laugh. Above all, the message of acceptance and the transience of drama and gossip is something audiences could relate to back then, and still do today.
terrible friday (2003)
Did someone else come out of the movie theater and instantly text all their friends asking if they wanted to start a group? teenage queen Lindsay Lohan couldn’t hurt in the early 2000s, and terrible friday is still one of his greatest achievements to date. In front of the magnificent Jamie Lee Curtis, the film takes the body-swapping genre and smashes it headfirst into the 21st century; amazing soundtrack and long hair Chad Michael Murray included.
Lohan’s vocal talents made her rocker persona so believable that, for a time, she became the cool girl every tween wanted to be. She makes it learned to play the guitar for the role, and released her debut album “Speak” a year later. Paired with a truly hilarious Curtis spending most of the film as a stroppy teenager, terrible friday is as much fun today as it was in 2003. Do your anxious teenager a favor and give him a new watch.
The Diary of a Princess (2001)
Based on Meg Cabot series of novels of the same name, The Diary of a Princess took young girls’ fantasy of being a princess from a distant kingdom and brought it to, well, San Francisco. Oscar winner Anne HathawayThe very first cinematic role of features what is arguably the world’s most remarkable makeover reveal, giving frizzy-haired, insecure girls around the world hope that they could one day look like royalty. .
Beyond its shallow exterior, the film has a beautiful message about self-love. Filled with echoing stellar lines, the best comes from sweet pilot Joe (Hector Elizondo), a pseudo-father figure to Hathaway’s character Mia, throughout the film, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”. Hathaway portrays the vulnerability of being a teenager so well, even after the makeover. Sure, Julie Andrews like Queen Clarice is perfect casting, but it’s her apparent affection for Joe that really warms our hearts.
horror movie (2000)
horror movie stars the lovable Anna Faris like Cindy Campbell, a silly virgin (welcome to the 2000s), and her horny boyfriend (Jon Abrahams), and that’s about as much depth as we get from these characters, who accidentally killed a man. A year later, they’re being stalked by someone with a ghost face who “knows what they did last summer”, sound familiar?
Slasher movies like Yell and I know what you did last summer movie theaters filled the world in the late 90s. With that guarantee of popularity, a not-so-masterful script parodies them: horror movie. There are some genuinely funny moments scattered throughout that poke fun at the suspension of disbelief required by most horrors (like a character wandering through the woods at night, for example), but watchers have to wade through a lot of bad herbs and sex jokes to find them. . The days of crude parody are over, but this wayan the resounding success of the family is the one that started it all. You’ll be looking through your fingers, but we’d be lying if we didn’t include it!
Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
There are quotes, then there are Napoleon Dynamite. Jon HederThe breakout role is unlike any other. Set in small-town Idaho, audiences are introduced to a cast of unconventional characters, including Napoleon’s chat-room-loving brother Kip, Uncle Rico, and Tina the llama. Soon, Napoleon befriends new kid Pedro, and when faced with mean girl Summer, they decide that Pedro should run for student body president.
The story of this low-budget gem is inspiring, but it’s the subtle brilliance of the actors’ performances that makes Napoleon Dynamite awesome. Any of the characters could be someone you know; the weirdo, the has-been, the guy still living at home at 32. Bringing these people together and letting their absurdity unfold is as hilarious and heartwarming as you’d expect. Additionally, the film features one of the best dance breaks in a non-musical film never. “Tina, come get some ham.”
Not another teen movie (2001)
There are SO many more notable films from this era, but none sums it up better than the aptly titled Not another teen movie. Taking tropes from 80s and 90s teen comedies like She is all that Pretty in pink and 10 things I hate about you, Captain America Star Chris Evans plays jock Jake who makes a bet with his arrogant friend Austin that he can turn “Uniquely Rebellious” Janey Briggs into a Prom Queen.
What the film lacks in substance, it makes up for in chance and nudity. It’s definitely not one to watch with your parents. Sometimes it relies on crude humor, like many 2000s comedies. Still, Not another teen movie feels as much like a tribute as a parody. The actors in the movies he pokes fun at make frequent cameos (like 80s Teen Movie Stars Molly Ringwald and Paul Gleson), which offers the salubrity that other parodies lack. The “Prom Night” musical sequence is a highlight, but perhaps skips the Catherine and Sadie kissing scene. Don’t say we didn’t warn you…
Keep Reading: The Best Nostalgic Cartoons of the 2000s, Ranked
They also discuss the challenge of performing directly in front of the camera.
About the Author