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Video Picks

One wonders what the big deal is about Katie Harman speaking at graduation. The arguments on both sides of the issue seem to be salient, but I think that everyone is missing the point. Graduations are boring no matter who speaks; no one really wants to be there, but friends and family show up anyway to give their support.

Does it really matter if it’s Miss Harman or some political bore? Not really. What you all should do instead is rent a few movies that actually have good graduation scenes and watch them whilst getting drunk at a backyard barbeque. Some selections for your festivities are all this girl can offer.

“Say Anything” has been a Pick in the past but it stands to reason that any movie that rocks this hard should be used more than once. The graduation scene in this movie is like poetry, and I am not talking about the stupid speech by Diane Court. The good part is when “Joe” (who incidentally lies) comes to the stage to do a heartfelt rendition of Whitney Huston’s “Greatest Love of All.” That scene is funny stuff indeed.

“Ghost World” is arguably the best movie of last year and so of course it has a great graduation scene. The scene is at the opening of the movie but I must stress that this is in no way an excuse for not watching the whole thing. Enid is the coolest girl ever and her soul-searching is done with a great deal of cynicism and absolutely no cheese.

“Can’t Hardly Wait”, starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, was one of the first in a long list of teen craze movies that came out in the ’90s. The movie manages to personify every single stereotype present in American teen pop culture, but believe me, that doesn’t make it good. The best part of the movie is Seth Green who plays “Special K” the ridiculous wanna-be gangster who doesn’t know that he is both white and extremely uncool. It isn’t good but it is all about graduation.

“Reality Bites” opens up with the graduation of three out the four “Gen-Xers” that make up the film. Directed by the lovely and talented Ben Stiller, this is a movie that most everyone has seen. Winona Ryder and her annoying voice play the lead character, who is also the valedictorian of the graduating class. That is so super. When she gets deep up at the podium while giving her speech, it is the most unconvincing bit of acting ever recorded with a camcorder.

“Almost Famous” has a graduation scene in which the graduate is not present, which is a nice change of pace. He is on the road with a rag tag group of rock stars and a wonderful assortment of groupies instead. The movie is pretty good, especially since it has a sweet bus ride sing-along. “Almost Famous” is Cameron Crowe’s best film of the new millennium because it is not “Vanilla Sky,” which was a big piece of crap-o-la.

“The Graduate” must have a graduation scene but I really can’t remember, I guess I will have to rent it. It goes on the list simply because the title has graduate in it. It is also a really great film.

So, while everyone else is sitting at graduation trying to sleep with their eyes open, the smart people will be off having fun and watching movies. For all the people who read this on a regular basis, this is the final Video Picks for me, but look for a new movie columnist this summer. Trust me; you will be in good hands. Congratulations graduates, good luck.