A 2003 drama starring JuliaRoberts, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Kirsten Dunst and Julia Stiles. A 30-something grad student from UCLA named Katherine Watson (Roberts) in 1953 accepts a teaching position at a liberal arts college for women in Massachusetts. Katherine's teaching style is unorthodox, as is her ardent feminism, and while she is welcomed by some of her students and colleagues, she also ruffles a lot of feathers - particularly of the college president and of the head of the alumnae association.

!!This film provides examples of:

* AlphaBitch: Betty is this [[spoiler: unless her CharacterDevelopment.]]
* BreakTheHaughty: Betty, so much.
* BrokenAesop: Joan [[spoiler:decides to get married rather than go to Yale]] and is happy to have done so. She tells Katherine that being a housewife doesn't mean that she doesn't have any depth or value. That's a fair point, although it might have worked better coming from a character other than Joan, a straight A student and ExtracurricularEnthusiast who actually wanted to "have it both" ''and'' had been implied to repress the desire to continue her education in order to fit the conventional role of a staying at home wife. In this context her final decision seems more like conforming tha anything else and her husband's jokes about how [[spoiler:it was impossible for Joan to go to Yale because then the dinner wouldn't be at 5]] don't make it any more comfortable.
* BuryYourGays: Amanda's long-term girlfriend dies [[HideYourGays offscreen]] before the film's plot starts.
* TheCameo: Music/ToriAmos as the wedding singer.
* ConsummateLiar: Bill turns out to be one.
* CooldownHug: Giselle gives one to Betty [[spoiler: when she finds out that her husband cheats on her.]]
* DefrostingIceQueen: Both Betty and Katherine.
* FakeAmerican: Bill Dunbar is played by Brit Dominic West.
* {{Feminism}}: Pre-Second Wave, more specifically.
* TheFifties
* FreudianSlip: Katherine calls Paul "Bill" revealing that she's not into him anymore.
* AFriendInNeed: Giselle and Betty for most of the movie are at each other's throat until [[spoiler: Giselle finds out that Spencer cheats on Betty]]. Not only she doesn't mocks her, but she's the one who fixs her.
* GoodBadGirl: Giselle.
* HandsomeLech: Bill Dunbar
* HighConcept: Has been referred to as a GenderFlip of ''DeadPoetsSociety'' by some reviewers.
* HotForTeacher: Giselle had an affair with Mr. Dunbar, and clearly she's still quite smitten.
* HumansAreFlawed: Bill tries to play this card after [[spoiler:Katherine finds out that he lied about being a war hero]]. He even goes as far as comparing his situation to Joan's. [[spoiler:It doesn't work.]]
* TheIngenue: Connie, and that's why Betty usually picks on her.
* IvyLeague: Takes place at Wellesley College, traditionally a "sister college" to Harvard.
* LoveMartyr: Giselle knows full well what kind of a man Bill is, but can't get over him and would be willing to take him back if he was interested.
* TheMourningAfter: Nancy gets drunk at Betty's wedding and reveals how much she mourns her boyfrien who died in WorldWarII.
* MRSDegree: Katherine complains that she thought she was educating the leaders of tomorrow, not their wives, as some her students are highly capable but have no personal ambition.
* ReallyGetsAround: Giselle.
* RealWomenDontWearDresses: Katherine's attitude borders on this till she gets a TheReasonYouSuckSpeech.
* RichBitch: Mrs. Warren and her daughter Betty. Betty gets better, though.
* SchoolNurse: Amanda Armstrong.
* StayInTheKitchen
* StepfordSmiler: "Is Mona Lisa happy? Who cares? The important thing is that she smiles..."
* StrawFeminist: The teacher crosses this line when being too aggressive.
* TokenMinority: Giselle is the only Jewish student we get to see, and it's quite implied that it's one of the causes of her being an outcast.
* TroubledAbuser: Betty, after [[spoiler:her husband start cheating on her]] and even before. She tends to bully people who doesn't fit in the society as well as her, but is in turn treated similarly by her mother. It's also implied that even Mrs. Warren, a bitch as she is, had a miserable married life herself and that's the reason she's constantly pressuring her daughter into trying even harder to fit the ideal.
* WhiteAngloSaxonProtestant: Most of the character in the movie. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] since the setting is an IvyLeague in TheFifties so a multiethnic university is almost unthinkable.
* YouCantGoHomeAgain: When Betty's marriage goes wrong, her mother doesn't want to take her back because her husband's house is her home now.
* YourCheatingHeart: Sadly [[spoiler: Betty's husband doesn't turns out to be so reliable to her.]]