Updated: Aug 31, 2022
By Idolina Rivera
With times like these it can be hard to feel like you’re living your life to the fullest. Being inside all the time, while it’s for the greater good, can be really discouraging. I mean, come on! These are supposed to be the best years of our lives. This is supposed to be a time to discover who we are and what we stand for. Luckily, we have movies! Here’s a list of coming of age movies that you can live vicariously through and learn some important lessons along the way.
The Kings of Summer: Unhappy with their suffocating lives at home, three young boys run away and build their own house in the woods. There’s Joe, who’s mom recently died and is looking for an escape from his dad. There’s also Patrick, who’s trying desperately to get away from his suffocating, overbearing parents. Lastly, there’s Biaggio who is very unpredictable and adds such a hilarious aspect to the movie. This movie is such a masterpiece. It’s a lot less cliche than most coming of age movies which makes it really good. There’s no cheerleader, jock or nerd stereotype, it’s just a couple of young boys trying to figure out who they are and their place in the world. With such well written funny characters and beautiful, nostalgic cinematography, this movie is such a fun watch.
Kids: “Kids” follows a group of teens in Manhattan for 24 hours as they skate, talk, party, and do all the kinds of things teens do. This movie is so raw and real, it almost feels like a documentary. It deals with the trial and tribulations teenagers go through and the dialogue seems so natural and not forced at all. It kind of feels like you're just hanging out with a bunch of friends. It must be said, however that this movie is rated NC-17 so you should watch at your own discretion.
Little Miss Sunshine: Starring Steve Carrell, “Little Miss Sunshine” is about a dysfunctional family that takes a roadtrip to a pageant in California to support their daughter Olive (Abigail Breslin). Her grandfather, (Alan Irkin) is excited to go, as he’s been teaching her the routine. Everyone else however, isn’t as excited. Uncle Frank (Steve Carell) had recently attempted suicide because of an unrequited love and now has to be under constant supervision by the family. The father (Richard aka Greg Kinnear) is also hesitant to go. Dwayne, the older brother (Paul Dano) is most reluctant to go. He doesn’t speak, he instead writes things like “I HATE ALL OF YOU” on his notepad he carries around. They get into some shenanigans along the way like their sunshine VW bus breaking down, resulting in them having to get out and push the car. It makes for an extremely funny and fun to watch adventure. This movie is genuinely so funny and different and it has some very important lessons in it.
Juno: When teen Juno MacGuff (Ellen Paige) gets pregnant by Bleaker (Michael Cera) , she decides to go to an abortion clinic. She ends up wanting to keep the child so she looks for couples in the paper who would be interested in adopting. She finds the perfect couple, Mark (Jason Bateman) and Vanessa Loring (Jennifer Garner). Or so she thinks. This movie is so original and quirky. The scenes flow so smoothly and the soundtrack is incredibly charming. It’s so much more than meets the eye. Ellen Paige is a perfect Juno and she really makes this movie worth the watch.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower: I saved the best for last. The coming age movie to end all coming of age movies. This story, set in the early 1990s, follows Charlie (Logan Lerman) who is entering high school as very unconfident and a bit of a loner. He meets two seniors, Sam (Emma Watson) and Patrick (Ezra Miller). They show him the way and help him become the person he is. This movie is a very important watch. It can be relatable for those of you who don’t really feel like you fit in. It is such a beautiful movie with a lesson that I think about often. “We accept the love we think we deserve.”