12 teen movies from the early 2000s that you might've forgotten about

Walt Disney Pictures‘Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen’ came out in 2004.
  • A lot of teen movies were released in the early 2000s.
  • The 2000 film “Whatever It Takes” is filled with actors you might recognise.
  • 2001’s “Ghost World” is known for its dark humour.

In the ’80s and ’90s, dozens of teen films like “The Breakfast Club” and “Clueless” were released and have since become classics. Since previous decades produced so many hits, the early 2000s had some big cinematic shoes to fill.

Fortunately, Hollywood delivered with favourites like “Mean Girls” and “The Princess Diaries” that many can still remember watching in the early aughts, just before the rise of smartphones and social media. But not every teen movie from the early aughts has mainstream popularity.

From romantic comedies like “What a Girl Wants” to psychological thrillers like “Swimfan,” here are some teen movies from the early 2000s that you might’ve forgotten about.


“Sugar & Spice” was a darker cheer movie than “Bring It On.”

New Line CinemaThe film involves cheerleading and crime.

Though “Bring It On” is the more widely beloved cheerleader film from the early aughts, “Sugar & Spice” is memorable in its own right.

The 2001 dark comedy follows a group of cheerleaders that commit an armed robbery when one of them is in need of money after she finds out she’s pregnant. Starring Marley Shelton, Marla Sokoloff, Mena Suvari, James Marsden, and Melissa George, this dark comedy blends high-school sports and crime.


One of Chris Evans’ first big-screen roles was in 2001’s “Not Another Teen Movie.”

Columbia PicturesChris Evans as Jake Wyler in ‘Not Another Teen Movie.’

Teen parody films like “Scary Movie” and “Meet the Spartans” were quite popular in the 2000s, but 2001’s “Not Another Teen Movie” took the genre to the next level by parodying multiple films.

“Not Another Teen Movie” parodies films from a variety of decades, including 1978’s “Grease,” John Hughes films from the ’80s like “The Breakfast Club” and “Pretty in Pink,” and even then-current films like “She’s All That” and “Varsity Blues.”


“Whatever It Takes” is a 2000 movie filled with actors you might recognise.

Columbia Pictures CorporationThe movie is all about high-school romance.

Some popular teen movies from the ’90s are modern-day adaptations of classic works, including “Clueless” as a Beverly Hills version of Jane Austen’s “Emma” and “10 Things I Hate About You” as a ’90s adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew.”

“Whatever It Takes” was released shortly after those cult-classics and the 2000 movie is also inspired by classic literature. It’s loosely based on the 1687 play “Cyrano de Bergerac,” about a poet and guardsman who believes a woman will never love him because of his large nose.

Starring actors like Shane West, James Franco, Aaron Paul, Colin Hanks, and Marla Sokoloff, the movie follows two guys on an adventure to find love.


“Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen” is filled with music and teen angst.

Walt Disney PicturesLindsay Lohan sings in the movie.

In terms of early-aughts films, viewers probably recognise Lindsay Lohan from the mega-hit “Mean Girls.” But that same year, she starred in the Disney-produced teen film “Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen.”

In the music-filled comedy from 2004, Lohan plays a city girl in the suburbs who has dreams of becoming a superstar. The film also features actors like Megan Fox, Carol Kane, and Glenne Headly.


2002’s “Orange County” features a famed cast.

Paramount PicturesThe film stars Jack Black.

There were dozens of coming-of-age teen comedies that came out in the 2000s, but fans of Jack Black and Colin Hanks probably remember “Orange County.”

The film follows a smart teen whose dreams of attending a prestigious university are derailed when his college transcripts are mixed up with those of an underachiever. Some audiences have called the movie “impossible not to love” and have said it’s worth watching solely to watch the comedy prowess of comedic actor Jack Black.


“Swimfan” is a psychological thriller that some teens couldn’t get enough of in 2002.

Twentieth Century FoxThe film takes place in a high school.

In the film, a talented swimmer Ben (played by early-aughts staple Jesse Bradford) is stalked by a new student Madison (Erika Christensen).

Although the critic’s consensus of the thriller “Swimfan” was that it was a “‘A Fatal Attraction’ rip-off” and “mediocre thriller,” this 2002 film was beloved by some audiences who have called the movie an “entertaining thriller.”


“Get Over It” has a mix of comedy, school musicals, and drama.

MiramaxThe film stars Kirsten Dunst and Mila Kunis.

“Get Over It” follows a high-school athlete who auditions for a school musical in an attempt to win back his ex-girlfriend. Along the way, he ends up falling for someone else.

Featuring a cast of modern-day stars (Kirsten Dunst, Mila Kunis, Martin Short, and Zoe Saldana, to name a few) as well as early-aughts favourites like Colin Hanks, Shane West, and even Vitamin C, this 2001 movie is an adaptation of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”


“What a Girl Wants” is one of the many teen movies Amanda Bynes starred in during the 2000s.

Warner Bros.Amanda Bynes was also in ‘Sydney White’ in 2007.

Amanda Bynes was in dozens of teen movies in the 2000s. She’s well-known for starring in 2006’s cult-classic hit “She’s the Man,” but the movie she filmed a few years prior, “What a Girl Wants,” shouldn’t be forgotten.

In the 2003 film, Bynes plays a city girl who’s on a mission to find her biological father, a prestigious lord who lives in London with his stuffy royal family. This teen comedy with a royal twist features a cast that includes big-name actors like Kelly Preston and Colin Firth.


“Josie and the Pussycats” includes characters created by Archie Comics.

Universal Studios‘Josie and the Pussycats’ follows the rise of a musical group.

Currently, the characters from the “Archie” comics are enjoying a new life thanks to the success of the CW’s TV series “Riverdale,” but this isn’t the first time these comic-book characters were portrayed by real-life actors.

Inspired by the “Archie” comics, 2001’s “Josie and the Pussycats” follows the girl-group of the same name as they rise to fame and uncover some secrets about the music industry.


“Ghost World” is known for its dark humour.

United ArtistsThora Birch and Scarlett Johansson star in ‘Ghost World.’

Starring famed actors like Scarlet Johansson and Steve Buscemi, 2001’s “Ghost World” follows two mischievous high schoolers as they try to figure out what they want to do after graduation.

Sometimes lost in the shuffle of more popular teen movies from the time, this movie has been praised by both fans and critics alike for its portrayal of teen angst, with some critics calling it “disturbing and hysterically funny.


Read More:
9 of the darkest and most controversial teen movies ever made


“The Perfect Score” follows teens as they try to steal the answers to an exam.

Paramount PicturesBefore he was starring in Marvel movies, Chris Evans starred in this teen flick.

Starring stars like Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans, and Erika Christensen, 2004’s “The Perfect Score” follows a group of high-school students as they attempt to steal the answers to their upcoming SAT exam.


2004’s “EuroTrip” is a “raunchy” comedy with a few familiar faces.

DreamWorks PicturesMichelle Trachtenberg is in the film.

Teen sex comedies first began entering the cultural landscape in the early 1980s and the early-aughts film“EuroTrip” tends to get lost in the shuffle among cult-classics of the same genre like “American Pie” and “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.”

This “raunchy”2004 flick follows a group of teens as they embark on a backpacking trip around Europe. The R-rated film features cameos from some famed actors including Fred Armisen and Matt Damon.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.