Gaten Matarazzo is having one of the best summers of his career. He kicked off the summer by reprising his role as Dustin Henderson in the highly anticipated fourth season of Netflix’s Stranger Things, returned to Broadway in Dear Evan Hansen, and recently made his Paramount+ debut starring in the original movie Honor Society. Matarazzo plays a bit of a romantic interest for the lead character, Honor, who is desperately trying to take down her academic competition so that she’s the one her guidance counselor chooses to recommend to Harvard University.
On the surface, the coming-of-age movie seems like a run-of-the-mill story, but fans were surprised to learn that it had a few shocking twists and turns up its sleeve. It also ends up having an impactful and important message for viewers of all ages. While no other movie pulls off the same twist reveal, there are a handful of movies that are similar in theme, tone, and tropes that fans can watch after falling in love with Honor Society.
10 Candy Jar (2018)
Candy Jar was released on Netflix back in 2018, and yet the movie never reached a sizeable audience or fanbase despite the entertaining story it tells. The teen romantic comedy centers on Lona, an introverted high school student who is forced to be co-president of the debate team with her academic rival Bennet. To make matters worse, the two end up having to team up together after being separately eliminated from the competition in the hopes of getting into their dream Ivy League schools.
Like Honor Society, Candy Jar is all about academic competitiveness when Ivy League admission is on the line. Lona goes on a similar journey as Honor as they both are forced to get to know their academic rivals and find out that they have a lot more in common than they previously thought.
9 Class Rank (2017)
Class Rank is an unrated teen romantic comedy about two teenagers who decide to try and take over their local school board that premiered at the Newport Beach Film Festival in April 2017.
Like Honor and Michael in Honor Society, Bernard and Veronica are among the top academically ranked students in their graduating class. While Bernard and Veronica don’t hate each other as Honor and Michael do, they do have a similar dynamic in that they both want what’s best for themselves and for their school.
8 Edge Of Seventeen (2016)
Edge of Seventeen is one of Hailee Steinfeld’s best roles. The teen dramedy movie centers on Nadine, a high school junior who feels like her world is falling apart when her brother starts dating her best friend. With her best friend occupied, Nadine is forced to make new friends and discovers who she really is along the way.
Nadine and Honor have a lot in common, beginning with the fact that they both go on a journey of self-discovery in their respective movies. Along the way, they make real friends for the first time in their life and let themselves live their authentic lives. Both Nadine and Honor also have interesting relationships with male faculty members through Nadine’s is far more appropriate than the relationship Honor has with her guidance counselor.
7 High School Musical (2006)
High School Musical is one of the best Disney Channel Orignal Movies of all time and continues to be praised 16 years after its initial release. The musical comedy centers on Troy and Gabriella, two high school students from different cliques who fall in love and end up auditioning for the school musical, causing a disturbance in the drama club.
In a surprising twist, the drama club plays a major role in Honor Society which is why High School Musical is such a good comp. In addition, Sharpay and Honor have a lot in common in that they’re both cutthroat competitive women who will stop at nothing to get what they want — whether it be a recommendation letter to Harvard or the lead role in the spring musical.
6 Love, Simon (2018)
Love, Simon centers on Simon Spier, a gay teenager who hasn’t come out to his friends or family yet. After connecting with an anonymous gay student on an online forum, Simon begins to open up about his sexuality and becomes determined to gain the trust of his anonymous crush so that the two can finally meet in person.
While not the major plot line in Honor Society, the movie does have a similar romance plotline revolving around two male students. Like Simon, Travis has yet to come out to those around him but is clearly crushing on a boy at school. Both movies also prominently feature the drama club as well.
5 Mean Girls (2004)
Mean Girls is one of the best teen movies of all time and is set to celebrate its 20th anniversary next year. The comedy movie centers on Cady, a homeschool student attending public high school for the first time who gets snatched up by the most popular clique: The Plastics.
While Mean Girls takes on a different kind of humor than Honor Society, both movies do feature mean girls and their henchwoman best friends. Honor might not be on the same level of petty as Regina George, but she very well could have turned out to be her if she didn’t change her ways over the course of the movie.
4 The F**k-It List (2020)
The F**k-It List is another underrated coming-of-age movie that deserves more praise. It follows Brett Blackmore, an academic overachiever who gets involved in an epic prank that causes him to rethink his life choices. Armed with new freedom, Brett sets out to do all the things he always wanted to do but was too scared to do because of the risk it had for his prestigious academic reputation.
Like Honor, Brett has spent his high school years with his nose in books studying to get into the best Ivy Leagues, only to discover that there is more to life than academic achievement. Both of these characters learn how to have fun and make real friends as they ditch the books and embrace the fun teenage years have to offer.
3 The Perfect Score (2004)
The Perfect Score can best be described as a teen heist movie meets The Breakfast Club. It centers on a group of high school students who all need to ace their SATs for various reasons. When the group learns that one of their fathers owns the building where the SAT answers are kept, they team up to break in and steal the answers.
Both of these movies center on characters who find it acceptable to scheme their way into academic success because that’s the only way they know how to measure success at their young age. They also both end up being less about the heist/con and more about the power of friendship and self-discovery.
2 Work It (2020)
Work It is one of Netflix’s best teen comedy movies that is also grossly underrated. The dance comedy centers on Quinn, an academic overachiever whose world is rocked when her guidance counselor informs her that her college application doesn’t have anything to make her stand out. Determined to change that, Quinn decides to try out for her school’s elite dance team despite the fact that she can’t dance.
Quinn and Honor have a lot in common, from their academic success to their determination to get into their dream schools. The young women also undergo similar journies as they allow themselves to have fun for the first time in their lives. In the end, Quinn and Honor both learn that there is more to life than fancy degrees, especially when it comes to the power of friendship.
1 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
10 Things I Hate About You is one of the best teen Shakespeare adaptations of all time. The movie centers on Kat, an independent young woman who unknowingly is a victim of a long-con spearheaded by her younger sisters’ crushes so that they can date Bianca.
Like Honor, Kat is an independent and strong-minded young woman who is counting down the days until she’s out of high school so she can start living her best life. However, when both of these women let their guard down a little, they learn that high school doesn’t have to be the worst place ever and that real friendships and relationships can blossom there.
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