About 30% of the student body is involved in Greek life. According to Hollywood, that number should be 100%. We took a look at how sororities and fraternities are depicted in movies, and as for the results—well, let’s just say film fratstars have more fun.
Animal House (1978)
You didn’t get into the hottest frat on campus. So what? Everyone knows that the toga ragers at the least cool house are so wild they make you wanna Shout!
Bottom line: We’re pretty sure this movie is why every guy wants to become a bro. Insane parties, rambunctious roadtrips, extreme levels of debauchery—it’s what every high school boy dreams college will be.
Revenge of the Nerds (1984)
The classic nerds vs. jocks scenario. The athletic Alpha Betas bully the geeky Lambda Lambda Lambdas. The Lambda Lambda Lambda boys get sweet, sweet revenge.
Bottom line: Although the Tri–Lambs don’t seem like the typical fratstars, their strong sense of brotherhood makes them true fratstars.
Legally Blonde (2001)
Your sisters will support you through the worst of times, like getting dumped by love-of-your-life Warner Huntington III, and the best of times, like getting into Harvard Law after majoring in fashion merchandising.
Bottom line: “Legally Blonde” paints the kindest view of sorority life. They’re still materialistic and air-headed, but at least the Delta Nus seem to genuinely care about each other.
Old School (2003)
Some old fraternity bros revert back to their college attitudes, and basically everyone wants to join them because freakin’ Will “Frank the Tank” Ferrell is there.
Bottom line: Like all the fraternity–based movies we saw, “Old School” shows the bond of brotherhood in an exceptionally positive light. “The Godfather’s” fraternity is inclusive, inviting and an overall source of good.
Sydney White (2007)
Getting into a sorority is catty and calculated. God forbid you’re not blonde. You better be a legacy, or sayonara!
Bottom line: The Kappa sisters are big–busted, blonde and bitchy. They’re the archetypal sorority girls and make the perfect villains for a movie like “Sydney White”—which, let’s be honest, is more of a guilty pleasure than a cinematic masterpiece. Sometimes, using stereotypes just works.
The House Bunny (2008)
If an uncool sorority wants to climb the social ranks, hire an ex-Playboy bunny as house mother and the boys will come running.
Positive or Negative? Overall a positive view… of certain sorority girls. The ladies of Zeta Alpha Zeta are cynical, witty and down-to-earth. They’re actual characters, not defined solely by their sorority status. Unfortunately, every other “popular” sorority fits the stereotype to a T. Sigh.
Sorority Row (2009)
Depicts: Sorority (duh)
Theta Nu sisters get killed off one by one. Find sorority girl, kill sorority girl, rinse, repeat.
Bottom line: Why are stereotypical sisters the best slasher movie victims? Perhaps because, to the audience, their identities are interchangeable; they’re merely props for over-the-top death sequences. Or maybe because it’s easy to find an excuse to make them strip down to their underwear? Guess we’ll never know.
The Social Network (2010)
Depicts: Final Club
Final clubs are exclusive secret societies that select only the coolest kids on campus. We bet they regret passing up the kid who ended up revolutionizing social communication in the modern world and growing up to be worth $9.4 billion.
Positive or Negative? While not technically Greek, the final clubs at Harvard are characterized the same way as popular fraternities are at movies: exclusive, elite and, to the outsider, inordinately cruel. Zuckerberg was better off with his billions and billions of dollars.
Monsters University (June 21, 2013)
Monsters Scully and Mike Wazowski meet at a fraternity at Monsters University (which has a great website—Google it!).
Bottom line: Look, the frat brothers could be the heroes, they could be the villains, who knows. But we’ll watch anything Pixar hands us.
Tags: 1.24.2013, Animal House, film, fraternity, greek life, Greek movies, Legally Blonde, Monsters University, Old School, Revenge of the Nerds, sorority, Sorority Row, spotlight, Sydney White, The House Bunny, The Social Network
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