There’s something irresistible about a feel-good movie centered on the teen years, and 2008’s Wild Child is one of the best of the genre. In it, Emma Roberts stars as Poppy, a spoiled girl with unlimited access to cash and everything else she wants. Eventually, her dad, played by Aidan Quinn, has enough of her attitude and behavior and decides to send her off to boarding school in England — where she really learns her lesson, as literally no one there wants to put up with her. Of course, Poppy eventually makes friends with her British classmates and learns that being a selfish snob is no way to live. And of course, she has a crush on the headmistress’ son, who makes a great heartthrob. There’s nothing quite like it! But if you’ve watched this film over and over again on Netflix or need a new teen flick to introduce to the adolescent in your house, you should try mixing in other movies like Wild Child. Yes, they do exist.
Written by Lucy Dahl, the daughter of Roald Dahl, Wild Child (like several of the suggestions on this list) wasn’t a huge hit at the box office when it first debuted in theaters. But thanks to the rise of Netflix, the film’s garnered a bit of a cult following. That means you probably aren’t the only one who’s seen it, like, 100 times. It also means you aren’t the only one searching for other movies like it, whether you’re looking for yourself or sharing with your teen.
So, keep reading for similar picks to add to the queue for your next movie night.
Best Movies Like Wild Child
1. Easy A (2010)
In this rom-com, Emma Stone plays Olive, who decides to fib about her virginity. Amanda Bynes plays the villain, who overhears her lie and then spreads it all over school. In the end, the clean-cut Olive has to contend with the ramifications of her lie and the gossip. The Guardian summed up the film in a review, writing, “Easy A is less a modern version of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter than a witty look at some of the novel’s themes — hypocrisy, humiliation, conformity, social cowardice, individual goodness — in a Californian high school where the book is on the curriculum.”
2. Mean Girls (2004)
Another teen classic written by Tina Fey, Mean Girls is one of those movies you can probably recite by heart. So, it’s absolutely worth passing on the tradition of devouring this movie at sleepovers to your teen. Roger Ebert wrote of the movie in 2004, “Will teenage audiences walk out of Mean Girls determined to break with the culture of cliques, gossip, and rules for popularity? Not a chance. That’s built into high school, I think. But they may find it interesting that the geeks are more fun than the queen bees, that teachers have feelings, and that you’ll be happier as yourself than as anybody else. I guess the message is, you have to live every day as if you might suddenly be hit by a school bus.”
3. Election (1999)
Watching this movie might make you feel old, so beware. Reese Witherspoon plays Tracy Flick, an overachiever who isn’t afraid to break the rules to become class president. She’s so bad, in fact, that her teacher, played by Matthew Broderick, convinces another student to run against her. When Tracy finds out about his ploy, the games truly begin.
4. Clueless (1995)
There would be no Wild Child or any of these teen flicks from the early aughts if there was no Clueless. In it, Alicia Silverstone’s Cher Horowitz plays an uber-popular girl, hellbent on making over her friends, seeming as unapproachable as possible, and lowkey falling in love with her stepbrother. Listen, it sounds complicated, but the movie is cute and classic and definitely worth a rewatch.
5. Picture This (2008)
When Mandy Gilbert, an introverted high school senior, is invited to one of the biggest parties of the year by the most popular boy in school, she has to go. But there’s one problem: She is SO grounded. And like any teen who is love struck and ready to claim their moment, she sneaks out, and antics ensue. But can she pull it off without her dad finding out? Bonus: This rebellious teen is played by our favorite 2000s queen, Ashley Tisdale.
6. The House Bunny (2008)
Playboy bunny Shelley has a pretty great life: She's beautiful and has a Playboy mansion full of friends. But when she gets kicked out of the estate, she must start over. To support herself, she gets a job as a sorority house mother, where she builds a new sisterhood with a group of socially awkward young women. In the end, they become unlikely friends who help each other for the better.
More Funny, Feel-Good Teen Films
- Legally Blonde (2001)
- The Clique (2008)
- What A Girl Wants (2003)
- Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging (2008)
- She’s The Man (2006)
- The Duff (2015)
- The Kissing Booth (2018)
- Sixteen Candles (1984)
- The Breakfast Club (1985)
- The Princess Diaries (2001)
- Just My Luck (2006)
- Sydney White (2007)
- Bring It On (2000)
- Sleepover (2004)
- St. Trinian’s (2007)
- The Art of Getting By (2011)
- LOL (2012)
- Hannah Montana: The Movie (2009)
- Monte Carlo (2011)
- Geek Charming (2011)
- Seventeen Again (2000)
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