10 Coming of Age Movies I Love

“In genre studies, a coming-of-age story is a genre of literature and film that focuses on the growth of a protagonist from youth to adulthood.”

I am really picky with movies and I love old cinema. You might say that this list kind of contradicts everything I believe in, and it kind of does, but there is something about coming of age films that make me want to watch more. For me, it just depends on the mood I am in but sometimes I simply feel like watching something that doesn’t require an intricate analysis or giving 110% of my attention and, to my wonder, I sometimes discover some rare gems. Here is a list of 10 coming of age movies that are actually great:

Rushmore (1998)

“The extracurricular king of Rushmore preparatory school is put on academic probation.”

IMDB: 7.7/10
Tomatometer: 89%

Do I like it because it’s a Wes Anderson movie? Yes. Did it make the top of my list because it’s a Wes Anderson movie? Yes. Not only is it great for its style and story, but it helped launch the career of Jason Schwartzman and his long lasting friendship and collaboration with Wes Anderson; so what more do you want?

Back to the Future (1985)

“A young man is accidentally sent 30 years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his friend, Dr. Emmett Brown, and must make sure his high-school-age parents unite in order to save his own existence.”

IMDB: 8.5/10
Tomatometer: 96%

I was not one of those people who grew up with Back to the Future. Au contraire, I grew up watching Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen movies and contemplating their great hair and sense of style. I watched this movie on my 20th birthday, this year, but it still kind of reminded me of childhood so that’s what makes it great. Also, Michael J. Fox was really the babe of the 80’s.

Amelie (2001)

“Amelie is an innocent and naive girl in Paris with her own sense of justice. She decides to help those around her and, along the way, discovers love.”

IMDB: 8.4/10
Tomatometer: 89%

For a person that studied French in high school and is fluent in it, I really really hate watching French movies. Not this one, though. Audrey Tautou is amazing and the film is fun to watch. Also, how can you not fall in love with a film that’s set in Paris?

The Graduate (1967)

“A disillusioned college graduate finds himself torn between his older lover and her daughter.”

IMDB: 8.0/10
Tomatometer: 89%

I’ve never liked Dustin Hoffman as an actor (see Rain Man), but he’s acceptable in this film. Do you know why, though? Because I just found out he’s the one playing in this movie. I mean, I’ve seen this movie quite a few times and didn’t actually know that.

Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

“A pair of young lovers flee their New England town, which causes a local search party to fan out to find them.”

IMDB: 7.8/10
Tomatometer: 94%

Ah, young love. This is that type of movie that makes you feel really adventurous even if you’re just sitting on your couch. I mean, every single time I watch it, I get dressed and go to the store on the corner. Talk about adventure and spontaneity! Did I mention it’s a Wes Anderson film so the cinematography is absolutely flawless??

The Breakfast Club (1985)

“Five high school students, all different stereotypes, meet in detention, where they pour their hearts out to each other, and discover how they have a lot more in common than they thought.”

IMDB: 7.9/10
Tomatometer: 89%

Why do I like this movie? Because no matter what year you’re watching it in, it shows actuality. This movie was released thirty years ago but if you’re a student now, you feel like it shows a part of your life. Also, it teaches young people an invaluable lesson: we are all different but that’s what makes us better.

Mysterious Skin (2004)

“A teenage hustler and a young man obsessed with alien abductions cross paths, together discovering a horrible, liberating truth.”

IMDB: 7.7/10
Tomatometer: 84%

This is when I realised what a great actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt is. It also makes us understand that our choices can influence our future in a greater way than we expected.

Submarine (2010)

“15-year-old Oliver Tate has two objectives: To lose his virginity before his next birthday, and to extinguish the flame between his mother and an ex-lover who has resurfaced in her life.”

IMDB: 7.3/10
Tomatometer: 86%

I’m not British, but all my friends said this is an accurate depiction of UK school life. It that true?

My Fair Lady (1964)

“A misogynistic and snobbish phonetics professor agrees to a wager that he can take a flower girl and make her presentable in high society.”

IMDB: 7.9/10
Tomatometer: 95%

I can’t even describe my love for Audrey Hepburn and damn, this movie was just great. And really really funny.

Girl, Interrupted (1999)

“Based on writer Susanna Kaysen’s account of her 18-month stay at a mental hospital in the 1960s.”

IMDB: 7.3/10
Tomatometer: 54%

It took me a long time to watch this movie, but both Angelina Jolie and Winona Ryder are simply amazing and I totally recommend watching it especially if you are a teen and you’re struggling when thinking about the future. Trust me, it all gets better.

There we go, this is my list. My comments are quite short, as I don’t like talking too much about a movie as I think it ruins the pleasure of other viewers who might want to discover everything by themselves. If you are as picky as I am, but you still like the genre and want to discover a film that’s worth your while, just go through this list and you (probably) won’t regret it. If you do, I’m sorry. Please educate me and leave a comment with your own choices. Also, I didn’t make a numbered list because I don’t like numbers.

Daria Stan
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