My 10 Favorite Cheesy Movies from the early 2000s

It just can’t get any better than a throwback movie and a bucket of popcorn!

Let’s face it, there is something about a movie that was made in the early 2000s that hits all the marks. You want a movie with laughs (check), romance (check), something your guy friend will still enjoy (check), and a compelling storyline (check)? A movie made during this time will ultimately please. Don’t worry I didn’t spoil any endings, although it was so hard not to! …In no particular order, here are my ten nostalgic favorites.


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Made in 2004, this teen classic is not to be missed. Sleepover is packed with unexpected twists and turns along the way, tracing a group of middle school girls- yes, they definitely look older than I did in middle school- who embark on a scavenger hunt, racing against the clock against the “popular” girls. The goal of the scavenger hunt? To win the coveted fountain lunch spot in high school. Their journey is heartfelt and sentimental, and there is enough comic relief to get any doubter through the movie. Jeff Garlin, who plays protagonist Julie’s dad, is especially funny as well as frenzied police chief Sherman played by Steve Carell. If you need a laugh, a cry, or a journey to a simpler time- where games mean war and scrunchies are in- this movie is just right. 

Josie and the Pussycats

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The fashion is to die for. The music is funky and nostalgic. The underlying theme about commercialism is more progressive for its time than could be predicted. I mean..need I say more? Based on the popular 1970s cartoon under the same name, Josie and the Pussycats features a band of musicians whose aim is to make it big in the music industry. However, when they do land on the top of the charts, they realize that there is more to their music than what meets the ear. Yet, with friendship and passion at the center of their group, there is no telling what these kitty cats can achieve, even if it means breaking convention. If that isn’t convincing enough, just watch it for all of the unstoppable 90s inspired looks. 

What a Girl Wants

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Colin Firth is in this movie and if that isn’t convincing enough I don’t know what is! Amanda Bynes plays leading lady Daphne Reynolds as she navigates life in London, where she locates her birth father and attempts to find her way in British society, despite being raised in Chinatown, New York City. Daphne plays such an incredibly likable character, you’ll find yourself cheering for her throughout the entire film. Her clumsiness, which I can personally relate to, reassures me that sometimes it is much more compelling to live life in your own skin than pretend to be something more pleasing to others. 

Wild Child

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Wild Child is one of those movies I could watch again, and again, and again. I know what to expect every time, but the novelty of watching the movie never wears off. If you are like me, and wish you attended a British boarding school, you are sure to enjoy this one. The movie walks you through the trials and tribulations of being an uprooted, spoiled Californian at a conservative British boarding school and showcases how friends can be made during the most challenging circumstances. Throw in love interest Alex Pettyfer and you have yourself a pretty perfect teen flick. We all love a girl gang, we all love thrift store outfit montages, and we all love a forbidden romance. Transitive property, we all love this movie. 

Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen

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Who would have thought that Lindsay Lohan could have two smash hits in one year, but she did! Playing the new girl in school, once again, Lindsay embarks on adventure after adventure, whether it be landing the school musical’s leading lady, stealing costumes from the dressing room, or sneaking into a famous band’s after party. The soundtrack also is not to be missed, epitomizing those early 2000s sounds filled with electronic guitar and heavy drums. A combination of musical and teenage romcom movie, this is always a go-to. Yes, I might also have this one in CD format. 

Mean Girls

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Mean Girls is a cult classic movie that has engrained itself into American culture in astonishing ways- so much so that Mean Girls Day even has its place on the calendar (It’s October 3rd). Lindsay Lohan, who plays the movie’s protagonist Cady, is the new girl in town who joins in the “Mean Girls” clan in order to bring down the group, operating from the inside. By exploiting each member’s weaknesses, Cady begins to break the friend’s strong bonds and inherent high school “coolness”, but it comes at a steep price. If you want to know what all the hype is about, set aside and hour and a half and immerse yourself in 2000s teen culture. 

Miss Congeniality

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Are you looking for action, adventure, pageantry, and a whole lot of laughs? In almost everything I watch, this is a go-to list of requirements, making Miss Congeniality a personal favorite. Sandra Bullock plays an “unladylike” undercover agent who is forced to compete in a Miss America pagent to uncover pagent criminals that are hiding in plain sight. If you love transformations and montages as much as I do, this movie will surely not disappoint. Again, if you early 2000s love outfits, this one is for you. It’s a pagent for crying out loud!

The Devil Wears Prada

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The Devil Wears Prada is another cult classic that is genuinely iconic. Meryl Streep plays boss lady Miranda Priestly in the movie, who is rumored to be modeled after the Editor-in-Chief of Vogue, Anna Wintour, alongside her struggling assistant Andy, played by Anne Hathaway. The movie chronicles the plight of Miranda’s assistant, as she tries to navigate both the world of high fashion and an incredibly demanding boss. At the outset, Andy scoffs at the fashion world, but slowly her secure footing on the matter begins to slip, as she encounters the incredible perks of looking shiny and undercutting those around her. Want to know how this one ends? You’ll just have to watch to find out!

The Holiday

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The Holiday is hands down one of my favorite movies and has been for quite some time. Jude Law is gorgeous, Kate Winslet is, well, Kate Winslet, and Cameron Diaz and Jack Black play incredibly genuine characters that complete the cast. The movie is about two women who decide to run away from their problems by swapping houses over the holidays and, essentially, their lives as well. There is a fragility and rawness about the story that is heartwarming and incredibly relatable. The movie is a great reminder that life does not have to be perfect to be special. Sometimes, it can just be.  

13 Going on 30

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If you are as much of a Jennifer Garner fan as I am, then this movie is not to be passed up. Jennifer plays the 30 year old version of Jenna Rink, a middle schooler who is dying to be 30 to escape her tormented youth in the 80s. Bringing her youthful mentality to her new life as a successful, wealthy adult, Jenna sees the joys of her newfound adulthood, but also realizes the price she has had to pay in order to achieve her dreams. It’s heartwarming, it’s funny, and the fashion is as trendy now as it was in 2004. Bring the tissues for the heartfelt ending!