Everyone’s in love with Daria Morgendorffer. She’s the world’s favorite misanthrope. Perhaps, you first met her when you were also a teenager. Her apathy towards everyone and everything in Lawndale made you feel as if she was the voice of reason on TV. What a better way to criticize American society if not by a satire of high school life, that bizarre lab where people make their way towards adulthood? Daria’s view on society came to you at a time when you needed her the most, and for that, you will be forever grateful.
Sadly, we only have 5 seasons and two grandiose films of Daria's acerbic humor to brighten up our darkest days. However, there are certain movies that can fill this spiritual void through their refined sense of humor and the way they mock the most absurd aspects of our culture, as well as the constant spiritual crises of youth.
Ghost World (2001), Terry Zwigoff
There’s only a few characters out there that are as ruthlessly sarcastic as Daria, and Enid (Thora Birch) is one of them. Just a social outcast from a generic American town, she has just graduated from high school, but her diploma is being withheld under the condition that she attends a remedial art class. Witty and apathetic, she slowly starts to face the bizarre world of her life, realizing that on the road to maturity friendships are lost, people get hurt, and events turn so unexpectedly that sometimes, regardless of our intelligence, things aren’t as easy to handle as they may seem.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2010), Edgar Wright
Although there’s no character as sarcastic as Daria in Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, both are similar in terms of sense of humor. The film has quite an eye for picking up on absurd situations and making hilarious scenes out of them, added to the fact that Wright is one of the best directors out there for visual comedy. If you’re looking for something that will make you laugh as hard as Daria with a dazzling brilliance and constant geeky references, treat yourself with this movie.
Reality Bites (1994), Ben Stiller
Who wouldn’t like to watch a film about a love triangle between Winona Ryder, Ben Stiller, and Ethan Hawke in a post-graduation quarter-life crisis kind of situation? Capturing precisely the contradictions of adult life and the differences between how the adult world supposedly works and one’s expectations, this movie doesn’t insult your wit nor your refined sense of humor.
The Rules of Attraction (2002), Roger Avary
Based on the eponymous novel by Bret Easton Ellis, this is not your regular college flick. High on drama and black comedy, it will give you a perspective beyond your expectations of the genre. Charged with sexual comedy and nihilistic situations, it’s a film that will make your stomach churn from the vacuous emptiness it makes you feel, while also making you laugh uncontrollably. Besides, it gives you the chance of watching the guy from Dawson’s Creek play a bad-boy dealer who’s supposed to be Patrick Bateman’s brother from American Psycho. Say whaaaat?
Away We Go (2009), Sam Mendes
What would happen if a couple in their thirties struggling to make ends meet suddenly found out they’re pregnant? This is the story of Burt (John Krassinski) and Verona (Maya Rudolph), who, despite their intelligence and chill attitude towards life, don’t know how or where they should raise their kid. To find out, they decide to travel across the country to visit family and friends and find a place to settle. Written by the literary marriage of Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida, the film is a hilarious take on maturing gracefully and recognizing the multiple absurdities of adult life.
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