When You're Daydreaming of a European Vacation
Rebecca Deczynski, editorial assistant, @rebeccadecz
Movie: The Lizzie McGuire Movie
Stars: Hilary Duff, Adam Lamberg, Yani Gellman
Director: Jim Fall
Why It's a Must-See: From middle school through high school, is there any greater fantasy than shipping away with your classmates on an overseas trip with limited parental and teacher supervision? I think not—and The Lizzie McGuire movie indulges in this very fantasy in the extreme. On her class field trip to Rome, Lizzie receives an embarrassment of riches: her 15 minutes of fame, a brief flirtation with a pop star, and, of course, the fulfillment of her romantic destiny with her best friend, Gordo. Sure, it's cheesy, but hey, now—this is what dreams are made of.
When You Want to See the Other Side of Spring Break
Stefan Marolachakis, senior editor, @stefanmymind
Movie: Spring Breakers
Stars: Selena Gomez, James Franco, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson
Director: Harmony Korine
Why It's a Must-See: "Spring break." When I first heard James Franco utter those two words in his creepy, conspiratorial tone, I knew this one was going to be good. After turning out thrillingly experimental fare like Gummo and Julien Donkey-Boy, I couldn't believe Harmony Korine's name would be attached to a movie so chock full of mainstream stars. But Spring Breakers is exactly the film you hope would result from a brilliant indie director crossing paths with big Hollywood: a blown-up, amplified version of the same tweaked, hauntingly captivating vision of life in America he's always had.
When a Road Trip Is Just What the Doctor Ordered
Chanel Parks, beauty editor, @chanelinezp
Movie: Boys on the Side
Stars: Whoopi Goldberg, Drew Barrymore, Mary-Louise Parker
Director: Herbert Ross
Why It's a Must-See: Sometimes the best road trip is inspired by feeling lost in life, and that's exactly what sends Jane, Holly, and Robin hurtling toward California after enduring more than their fair share of breakups, illness, and abusive partners. Over the course of the trip, secrets unfold and relationships alternately blossom and break—but whenever the unlikely trio finds its groove, it's a vivid reminder that a little dose of escape can be exactly the bittersweet dose of medicine you need.
When You're in the Mood for a Musical
Chantal Strasburger, assistant editor, @chantagold
Movie: From Justin to Kelly
Stars: Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini
Director: Robert Iscove
Why It's a Must-See: If you're looking for a serious work of cinematography or thought-provoking storytelling, maybe skip this one. But if you're in search of a retrospective on early aughts fashion and hair trends, this is the movie for you. Fresh out of the American Idol fame machine, Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini joined forces to tell the story of two youngsters looking for love on spring break in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Kelly's outfit choices are questionable, and Justin's hair is still mystifying, but I promise you this romantic musical comedy—emotional duets, synchronized pool dancing, and all—will leave you smiling.
When You Want to Go Back to the '80s
Catherine Fuentes, managing editor, @cat_fuentes
Movie: Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise
Stars: Robert Carradine, Anthony Edwards, Courtney Thorne-Smith
Director: Joe Roth
Why It's a Must-See: Fraternity bros on vacation is probably the most cliché spring break movie trope of all time, but in Revenge of the Nerds II, the brothers of Lambda Lambda Lambda somehow make it even funnier. In the second installment of the Nerds franchise, the Tri-Lambda brothers head down to Miami for a perfectly timed fraternity convention (spring break = genius planning). There's partying, hilarious one-liners, and a surprisingly helpful cache of Cuban military supplies. Come for the classic '80s jokes, stay for the most lovable fraternity in movie history.
When a Movie Can Be More Than Just a Movie
Ryan Duffin, assistant photo editor, @ryanduffin
Stars: Britney Spears, Someone, Someone, and Someone else
Director: Tamra Davis
Why It's a Must-See: It was 2nd-grade, and I thought I was the only boy in the world with a passion for Britney Spears. I would lock myself in my room and memorize her dance routines from her third album, Britney. So naturally, when the music video for "I'm Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman (Crossroads Version)" was released, I knew this movie would connect with me on a deep spiritual level, thanks to the loving grace of the Holy Spear-it. After some major negotiations, I convinced my dad to take me to see the film on opening day, where we happened to be the only people in the theater. (The movie was not a hit.) My point is: sometimes movies are great not only for their intrinsic qualities, but for the formative experience you have with it. Crossroads is one of those movies.
When You're Looking for a Different Kind of Adventure
Rebecca Bates, senior editor, @re.beccabates
Movie: Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey
Stars: Michael J. Fox, Sally Field, Don Ameche
Director: Duwayne Dunham
Why It's a Must-See: Look, a movie doesn't need a bunch of reckless youths exploring quirky relics of Americana out on the open road to be a good spring break film. Homeward Bound is full of adventure and whimsy: there's a long trek, dogs and cats talk to one another, the protagonists conquer treacherous landscapes—and in the end, everyone gets home safe. That's all your parents want for you this spring break, to get home safe.
When You Just Want to Laugh
Christian Storm, photo editor, @cstorm44
Movie: Reno 911!: Miami
Stars: The entire cast from the television show
Director: Ben Garant
Why It's a Must-See: The crew from the beloved Comedy Central show heads down to Miami during spring break for a convention and, through a comedy of errors, are somehow placed in charge of laying down the law across the entire city of Miami. This is an absurd movie full of short-shorts, errant gunfire, and one giant, disgusting, exploding whale. You'll love it—but maybe don't watch it with your mom.