With the loss of the
drinking intellectual stimulation that comes from APSA, I’m in need of some inspiration to kick start the semester that begins next week.
We all know that academic life is full of adventure, comedy, human drama, and conflict. So, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a decent Hollywood movie about academic life.
Lucky Jim should be a shoe-in, but the 1957 film is just bad. Wonder Boys ranks high because Michael Douglas looks good in a pink robe, and in a rarity for this genre, actually refuses to sleep with his student. A Beautiful Mind isn’t really about academic life, but the critique of the movie by academics is close — can you believe that Hollywood simplified the complexities of Nash’s work — oh, the outrage! Most in the genre are too superficial or predictable — Tenure, Mona Lisa Smile, and the more recent Liberal Arts.
My favorite, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf, is just too scary to watch again: