If you are reading this, chances are you have already watched (and liked) Rebel Wilson’s hilarious and surprisingly heartfelt 2022 Netflix movie schedule entry, Senior Year. If that’s not you, stop reading, give the movie a spin, and then come back. But if you have watched the movie already, stick around, because we’re about to hit you with a series of movies like Senior Year that have one, two, or endless things in common with the comedy about a 37-year-old who wakes up from a 20-year coma and takes care of some unfinished business at her high school.
From movies like the Pitch Perfect franchise that highlight Wilson’s impeccable comedic timing to classic ‘90s teen comedies that perfectly capture the high school experience, and just about everything in between, there’s a lot to unpack here, so let’s get this party started.
Mean Girls (2004)
Not long after moving back to the United States and enrolling at her first traditional high school, Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) finds herself being accepted by a popular group of girls known around school as “The Plastics” and their vengeful leader, Regina George (Rachel McAdams). But in order to be a part of the group, Cady is forced to distance herself from everything she has known, including her friends, her academics, and even her own personality.
Although there are no characters who return to high school as an adult (though this wouldn’t be off brand for Amy Poehler’s character), Mean Girls does have a couple of things in common with Senior Year. Just like Stephanie Conway in the Netflix movie, Cady becomes everything she once hated in order to be considered part of the cool kids on campus, and nearly loses everything in her quest for popularity.
Never Been Kissed (1999)
When tasked with getting a better understanding of teenage culture in the final years of the 20th Century, Chicago Sun-Times copy editor Josie Geller (Drew Barrymore) goes undercover as a high school student. And the whole situation just gets more out of hand from there.
If you were a fan of Senior Year and the way it handled an adult going back to school as a student, then the 1999 romantic comedy, Never Been Kissed, is worth a watch. Sure, Josie Geller isn’t a 37-year-old with the mindset of a high school senior, but again it has a great message about the importance of being true to yourself, no matter what the popular crowd thinks of you.
Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone) is the queen of queens at her Beverly Hills high school, but she finds herself in quite the situation after she takes new arrival Tai Frasier (Brittany Murphy) under her wing and accidentally turns her into the most popular girl in school. No longer at the top of the social ladder, Cher is forced to reevaluate her priorities and outlook on life.
There are constant reminders of the impact of Clueless throughout Senior Year, including posters on Stephanie Conway’s walls and the amazing Alicia Silverstone cameo, but it also goes a little deeper than that. Both movies do a tremendous job of showing what happens when the most popular girl in school discovers that she’s no longer the coolest kid around.
The Pitch Perfect Movies (2012 - 2017)
Serial outcast Beca Mitchell (Anna Kendrick) finds both herself and a new group of friends when she joins the a cappella group known as The Bellas at Barden University, learning that you don’t have to have everything in common with someone in order to be a friend for life.
Not only do the Pitch Perfect movies feature some of the best Rebel Wilson performances, they’re also incredibly fun to watch, even if you aren’t about that a cappella life. Over the course of three movies, The Bellas grow from a ragtag group of college girls to one of cinema’s most accomplished musical groups, having fun the whole time.
Easy A (2010)
Olive Penderghast (Emma Stone) goes from a relatively unknown teenager to the most talked-about girl at her high school after her rival overhears her lying about losing her virginity and spreads the gossip all around school. But fame isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Like Senior Year, the 2010 teen comedy, Easy A, follows a teenage girl who made herself into one of the most popular names at her high school, and one who inevitably has to come to terms with the monster she created. And, bonus points for the supportive dads — Chris Parnell in Senior Year, Stanley Tucci in Easy A — in both of these movies
21 Jump Street (2012)
Police officers Morton Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Greg Jenko (Channing Tatum) are given their most difficult assignment yet: bring down a drug operation by going undercover as two high school students. What could go wrong? Spoiler: everything!
It isn’t hard to see similarities between the surprisingly funny 21 Jump Street and Senior Year, especially when you consider how well each movie tackles how the major differences in the high school experience (and popularity in general) has changed over the years. What was once cool and hip no loner is for these characters as they find themselves going back to school after all these years.
13 Going On 30 (2004)
After wishing to be “30, flirty, and thriving” after her 13th birthday party ends in disaster, Jenna Rink (Christa B. Allen) wakes up the next morning to find herself in the body of a 30-year-old fashion magazine editor (Jennifer Garner) living in New York City, with no memory of the years spent in between. But as they say, the grass is always greener on the other side in the timeless comedy 13 Going on 30…
There are a lot of things 13 Going on 30 and Senior Year have in common, including the obvious angle of both movies centering on young girls who wake up as adult women. But in addition to that, both movies have great stories about the male best friend who has been secretly in love with the central character all this time, which creates an incredibly fun dynamic.
She’s All That (1999)
After being dumped by his girlfriend and future prom queen, Zack Siler (Freddie Prinze Jr.) finds himself falling down the rungs of the social ladder at his high school. In Zach’s moment of defeat, one of his friends presents him with the challenge of turning Laney Boggs (Rachael Leigh Cook), a tormented artist and outcast, into the most popular girl in school.
She’s All That, which was co-written by M. Night Shyamalan of all people, does a masterful job of capturing the essence of popularity, high school, and the absurdity of the quest to make someone prom queen. And, let's not forget about that incredible She's All That cast.
17 Again (2009)
Things are going so great for 37-year-old Mike O’Donnell (Matthew Perry) but his luck is changed when he is magically turned back into a 17-year-old version of himself (Zac Efron) and gets a second chance at the high school experience.
Even though 17 Again takes more of a fantasy route than Senior Year, both movies follow characters who have been given a second chance at life to fix the wrongs from their past in hopes of creating a better tomorrow.
Isn’t It Romantic (2019)
After being knocked unconscious during a robbery attempt, Natalie (Rebel Wilson) wakes up in an alternate reality, one where she is at the center of a great romantic comedy, with all the trappings of a genre this New York architect despises with all her heart.
If you were a fan of Rebel Wilson’s performance in Senior Year, then you should definitely check out the 2019 romantic comedy, Isn’t it Romantic. It has all the laughs, charm, and heart of the 2022 movie plus a great supporting cast that includes Liam Hemsworth, Adam DeVine, Priyanka Chopra, and Brandon Scott Jones (who was also in the Senior Year cast).
Austin Powers International Man Of Mystery (1997)
After his arch-nemesis, Dr. Evil (Mike Myers), is cryogenically frozen in the late 1960s, Austin Powers (Mike Myers) follows suit in hopes of returning to take on his old adversary someday in the future. When that day finally comes, the international man of mystery finds himself out of touch with the then-modern world of the 1990s.
Okay, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery isn’t the first movie that comes to mind when trying to find something to watch after finishing Senior Year, but both comedies feature a main character who is no longer in tune with the world around them. And just like the Netflix movie, this 1997 comedy featuring one of Mike Myers’ most unforgettable characters is full of great laughs.
After checking out all these movies (and maybe Senior Year for a second time), you should also take a look at some of the other great Rebel Wilson movies worth a watch.
Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop yelling at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.
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