The start of college is upon us and with it comes the chance, especially for the incoming freshmen, to reinvent yourself.
Were you the nerd in high school? Become the metalhead in college. Sociopathic bully prone to dishing out daily beatings? Start going film nerd.
Your late-teen years are the perfect time to try out a few different identities and see what sticks for the rest of your natural life. Don't worry. No one will know the "high school you" as long as your old friends never visit.
Until then, though, here are some tips to turn into the stereotype -- we mean person -- you've always wanted to be. And like everything in life, it all starts with the movies.
Essential Films: "Animal House" (The granddaddy of frat movies); "Bachelor Party" (A young Tom Hanks and crew organize a massive bachelor party; donkeys involved); "Road Trip" (A group of friends travel from New York to Texas, sex with large women and exploding cars ensue); "Old School" (Men in their 30s try to relive their glory days in college. If you're not there yet, just wait.); "PCU" (Jeremy Piven plays a smug, conceited d-bag – yet again – in this college farce); "Porky's" (High school kids will do anything to lose their virginity)
Essential Posters: John Belushi with "College" t-shirt; Dave Matthews Band
Essential T-shirts: "College" shirt from "Animal House"; t-shirt of John Belushi wearing "College" shirt from "Animal House," etc.
The Pretentious Theater Girl
Essential Films: "An Education" (Peter Sarsgaard helps 16-year old Carey Mulligan grow up real quick); "Chicago" (Richard Gere's best role in years finds him as a slick lawyer defending two femme fatales for murder in Jazz Era-Chicago); "Waiting for Guffman" (the minds behind "This Is Spinal Tap" and "Best in Show" takes on small-town community theater); "Doubt" (all four leads turn in Oscar-nominated performances in this story of suspected sexual abuse in a Catholic church); "Camp" (popular independent musical set in a New Your performing arts summer camp)
Essential Posters: Kristin Chenoweth, "Jesus Christ Superstar"
Essential T-shirts: "Wicked," Any character from "Rent," Stagedoor Manor Alumni shirt
Essential Films: "Wild Style" (the film that helped propel hip-hop from local Bronx block parties to national phenomenon); "Krush Groove" (thinly-veiled story of how Russell Simmons turned Run-D.M.C. and others into stars); "Beat Street" (perfectly encapsulates early hip-hop vibe from basement parties to massive club gatherings); "Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme" (Mos Def and The Roots are among a slew of rappers featured in this engaging doc); "Biggie & Tupac" (Provocative documentary delves into the sordid killings of Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur)
Essential Posters: Al Pacino in "Scarface," "Menace II Society," Rock Steady Crew breakdancing photo, any rapper making menacing face to camera
Essential T-shirts: Run-D.M.C., De La Soul, Tribe Called Quest, N.W.A., Biggie, 50 Cent
Essential Films: Anything by Cheech and Chong (start with "Up in Smoke" and go from there); "Dazed and Confused" (the best stoner movie not made by Cheech and Chong); "Half Baked" (long before "Chappelle's Show," Dave Chappelle was a stoner hero); "Pineapple Express" (the Apatow take on stoner film is ludicrous but hysterical); "Friday" (embraced by the green community for its outlandish scenarios and eccentric characters)
Essential Posters: Giant marijuana leaf, "Reefer Madness" promo poster, anything involving a black light
Essential T-shirts: "Why Drink and Drive When You Can Smoke and Fly?," anything with a 4:20 pun
The Sorority Girl
Essential Films: "Legally Blonde" (a sorority president whose boyfriend ditches her for being "too blonde" gets into Harvard Law School to win his love in this highly plausible comedy); "The House Bunny" (a former playboy bunny becomes house mother of a nerdy sorority in this film written by the team behind "Legally Blonde"); "Clueless" (a modern retelling of Jane Austen's "Emma" set up against the backdrop of valley girl-land [later renamed Beverly Hills] ); "Mean Girls" (Lindsay Lohan joins, then battles, the cool kid clique in this comedy written by Tina Fey); "The House on Sorority Row" (horror, murder and nudity in a sorority house. Giggedy giggedy).
Essential Posters: Her sorority (obviously), anything with kittens or unicorns
Essential T-shirts: Anything costing over $350
The Ladies Man
Essential Films: "Boomerang" (Eddie Murphy has lots of sex, then meets his female match); "How to Be A Player" (All of Bill Bellamy's conquests are invited to the same party -- every player's nightmare); "Swingers" (Vince Vaughn defines a generation); Any James Bond film (Still the smoothest man ever in film); "Wedding Crashers"(Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn crash strangers' weddings to find women); "The Notebook" (You need something to impress the girl when she comes over)
Essential Posters: Hugh Hefner, "The Blind Side" promotional poster. You'll get mocked by your friends for the latter, but girls will see your "sensitive" side. That wins every time.
Essential T-shirts: Trick category: Real players don't wear t-shirts unless it's to absorb the sweat from other layers.
Essential Films: "The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years" (premiere document of 1980s heavy metal in L.A. confirms debaucherous stories); "Heavy Metal Parking Lot" (every metal stereotype confirmed in short doc shot in the parking lot before a Judas Priest show); "Metal: A Headbanger's Journey" (Canadian anthropologist/metal fanatic examines the genre's enduring appeal); "Anvil!: The Story of Anvil" (heartwarming and hilarious doc on metal band whose success was 25 years in the making); "Metallica: Some Kind of Monster" (Metallica fight, cry, hug).
(Note: The film "Heavy Metal" is not, in fact, about heavy metal, but still remains an erotic animated cult classic.)
Essential Posters: Pre-1991 Metallica, Slayer
Essential T-shirts: Anything black and menacing or having Eddie, Iron Maiden's mascot, on the front.
The Pretentious Film Nerd
Essential Films: There are too many movies to name to a budding pretentious film nerd but The Criterion Collection is probably the best place to start. A few tips: the earlier stuff is usually better, movie choices should be based on director, not actor, and Kurosawa and Godard are gods. Filmsite.org's Greatest Film Directors is a good starting point to begin sounding smarter than your friends.
Essential Posters: Any film you think most people haven't seen, anything not in English.
Essential T-shirts: Cinefile Video has our favorite collection of t-shirts: director names set in the logos of famous '70s and '80s metal bands. Fassbinder and Metallica together. Sweet.
The Liberated Woman
Essential Films: "Kill Bill" (Uma Thurman goes on murderous vendetta to avenge her family's death); "The Handmaid's Tale" (Dystopian future where 99 percent of the female population can't have children and the fertile women are kept as slaves to procreate on command); "Thelma and Louise" (Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon go on road trip-cum-crime spree); "A League of Their Own" (Quasi-true story of the short-lived WWII-era women's professional baseball league); "Waiting to Exhale" (Four women "holding their breath" for the right man discover the value of each other's friendship); "G.I. Jane" (Demi Moore becomes first female Navy SEAL in gender-flipping film by Ridley Scott)
Essential Posters: "Our Bodies, Ourselves," Naomi Wolf
Essential T-shirts: Ironically, it's probably the "wife-beater"
Essential Films: "The Harder They Come" (Jimmy Cliff stars in the most famous reggae movie ever made); "Rockers" (reggae drummer turned record distributor must deal with both local gangsters and crooked cops); "Life and Debt" (thought-provoking documentary looks at the impoverished, debt-ridden side of Jamaica); "Shottas" (Kingston boys turn to drugs, robbery and murder); "Reggae in a Babylon" (1978 doc looks at emerging reggae scene in England); "Bob Marley and the Wailers: Live at the Rainbow" (quintessential document on the most popular reggae singer in the world).
Essential Posters: Marley, but you have that already
Essential T-shirts: See "Stoner."
Essential Films: "The Decline of Western Civilization" (documentary is ground zero for punk/hardcore cinema); "Repo Man" (rebellious cult classic features music by Iggy Pop and other punk icons); "Sid & Nancy" (the tumultuous relationship between Sid Vicious and girlfriend Nancy Spungen is still a classic); "D.O.A." (doc blends interviews and live performances of the genre's pioneers); "End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones" (the most important and influential punk band ever); "Dogs in Space" (the former singer of INXS is drug-addled music fan living with impoverished youth).
Essential Posters: G.G. Allin, The Clash
Essential T-shirts: Sid Vicious, The Ramones' Presidential Seal
T-shirt to avoid: CBGBs. It was played out a long, long time ago.
Check out more of Dustin Glick's comics at Dustinland.com.