For This Year's Graduates: Five Memorable Ceremonies

Class of 2009, as you go out into the real world, you'll be welcomed by a sputtering economy, rising consumer debt, and increased threats from abroad. It's just like the 1970s, except you'll have the added fun of spending the next 30 years paying off your student loans.

Congratulations! Here are some graduation clips to enjoy while you fill out those Sallie Mae forebearance forms.

5. I Love You, Beth Cooper (2009)

Thanks to Schaefer beer and [harmless tobacco], I actually remember very little about my own high school graduation. One thing I'm sure didn't happen was our valedictorian confessing her love for me in her speech. Carie, if you're reading this, I forgive you.

4. Reality Bites (1994)

Shot in Houston, which is about the only thing memorable about this clumsy paean to Generation X. And you know you're getting old when it annoys you that Lelaina ends up with prick extraordinaire Troy and not Michael, who at least had a job.

3. Goodfellas (1990)

Henry didn't graduate from "college," man...his education was on the streets. Here we see him receiving his Baccalaureate in Mob Studies which, given today's job market, might be the new graduate's best option.

2. Middle Age Crazy (1979)

Bruce Dern's rant against the future is still the best graduation speech I've ever heard, though I would've put a lot more stock in it if the guy didn't fantasize about cheating on Ann-Margret later in the movie.

1. Stripes (1981)

Not since Beetle Bailey has there been such a realistic depiction of military life. I remember watching this and thinking if the United States ever got into a convention war with the Soviet Union, we'd be screwed. Thank god for ICBMs.

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Peter Vonder Haar writes movie reviews for the Houston Press and the occasional book. The first three novels in the "Clarke & Clarke Mysteries" - Lucky Town, Point Blank, and Empty Sky - are out now.
Contact: Pete Vonder Haar