I’ve never written anything about films because, if I do say so myself, I have truly terrible taste in them. But then I put up an Instagram post the other day about noughties films, and apparently everyone else does too! Congratulations, all of us.
So, let’s face it; we’re living in strange and unsettling times. People will naturally deal with this in different ways, but one thing that I’ve really felt like doing is retreating into the comfort and familiarity of nostalgia.
And what better type of mindless nostalgia for this particular time than fluffy, syrupy, silly, saccharine, predictable, cheesy, ridiculous, early-mid noughties films? The rom coms, the teen movies, and the chick flicks (oh how outdated that sounds). The ones you watched on DVD, at sleepovers, with a tube of pringles and a bar of galaxy. I decided to approach this the way I approach everything: armed with a list.
The main rule for inclusion on my list is that the film was released between 2000 – 2006, because by the late noughties I was at University, and although that’s also nostalgic, its in a different way to my high school years.
Some would have you believe that these are not the best films of the period, but don’t listen to that. This isn’t about having artistic merit, it’s about reliving our youth! It’s about being a teenager sitting in your friend’s bedroom and watching characters that were supposed to be your age but definitely weren’t, and thinking that you also would really like to wear a long floral vest dress with denim pedal pushers but suspecting that you still wouldn’t look like Vanessa Hudgens does.
Here’s what’s on my list for the days I just need to go back to those days, and I suspect that for those of you in your mid-late twenties or early thirties, they might just capture a certain feeling for you too.
The Lizzie McGuire Movie (2003): Our favourite teen TV character goes on a school trip to Rome and is mistaken for a pop sensation. Truly, this *is* what dreams are made of.
Freaky Friday (2003): A mother (Jamie Lee Curtis) and daughter (Lindsay Lohan) are forced to live each others lives when their bodies are switched. Of course.
High School Musical (2006): Quite literally a musical, in a high school. 100% cheese but also 100% joy. See also: HSM 2 and 3.
A Cinderella Story (2004): PrincetonGirl818 (Hilary Duff) and Nomad (Chad Michael Murray) meet online and do a lot of texting each other on flip phones. They just so happen to go to the same school. I distinctly remember wishing that something like this would happen to me.
Raise Your Voice (2004): Terri (Hilary Duff) attends a performing arts school, meets a cute boy, sings some songs.
She’s The Man (2006): Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, except that it’s in an American high school in the noughties.
13 Going On 30 (2004): On her 13th birthday, awkward teen Jenna Rink makes a wish to be thirty, flirty and thriving. Whaddaya know, it comes true…
Step Up (2006): Dance student Nora falls in love with janitor Tyler (who just so happens to also be a great dancer, I know it is such a coincidence) at Maryland School of the Arts. My first introduction to Channing Tatum.
What A Girl Wants (2003): American teenager Daphne (Amanda Bynes) discovers that her absent father is a high profile English politician.
Honey (2003):Basically just Jessica Alba looking ridiculously gorgeous and dancing for an hour and a half.
Crossroads (2002): That film that Britney did where she sings I Love Rock N Roll.
John Tucker Must Die (2006): One of the only ones on the list that I haven’t seen and top priority on my lockdown list.
The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (2005): Four best friends pass around a pair of jeans which somehow fit all of them despite their differing body shapes, which we all know is a ridiculous notion.
The Princess Diaries (2001): American teenager Mia (Anne Hathaway) finds out that she is heir to the throne of Genovia.
The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004): Because you may as well stick with Mia a little longer.
The Perfect Man (2005): Hilary Duff invents a secret admirer for her mum, who can’t seem to choose a decent boyfriend for herself.
Mean Girls (2004): Endlessly quotable and absolutely hilarious. The best of Lindsay Lohan.
50 First Dates (2004): Adam Sandler is forced to win Drew Barrymore over every single day when he finds out that she has short term memory loss after their first date.
Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (2004): New girl Lola (Lindsay Lohan) beats the most popular girl in school (Megan Fox) to a coveted role in the school play.
New York Minute (2004): Neither a box office success nor a critical one, but hey, Mary Kate and Ashley in the big apple.
Legally Blonde (2001): Categorically wonderful human Reese Witherspoon delights us all as Elle Woods, the malibu sorority girl who follows her ex boyfriend to Harvard Law School.
How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days (2003): Andie (Kate Hudson) is assigned to write an article with the same title as the film, while Benjamin (Matthew McConaughey) bets he can make a woman fall in love with him in the same time.
It’s a Boy Girl Thing (2006): Another body swap situation – this time between classmates Nell and Woody.
Just My Luck (2006): The noughties loved a bit of role reversal in films, but this time fortunate Lindsay Lohan and her down-and-out love interest are swapping…luck.
Save The Last Dance (2001): More dancing, this time from Julia Stiles.
Bring It On (2000): Iconic cheerleading film. Can we call this a cult classic? I think so.
Miss Congeniality (2000): Sandra Bullock is a detective who has to infiltrate the Miss USA beauty pageant. Hilarity ensues.
The last three break the rules by being late nineties, but I watched them in my teen years so for me they still fall into this category:
She’s All That (1999): Classic girl-takes-glasses-off-and-becomes-hot situation.
The Parent Trap (1998): Lindsay Lohan again, but there’s two of them – twins separated through their parents divorce and living on different sides of the Atlantic meet at a summer camp and hatch a plan.
10 Things I Hate About You (1999): Julia Stiles being badass and Heath Ledger being glorious, the end.
Love ya, bye!