Coming-of-age; the genre of awkward moments, “firsts” and rebellion. It’s my favourite genre of film. Some would suggest it holds this position because of that “relatable” factor but let’s be serious, most of us only dream of the scenes from the teenage parties and road trips that are portrayed on the big screen. However there’s a lot more to coming-of-age movies than that; coming of age films capture that beautiful yet cruel time of your life full of excitement, freedom and uncertainty. I’ve created a list of a small few of my favourite coming-of-age movies, that I strongly urge others to watch.
Director: Wes Anderson
This is the love story of two 12 year old pen pals, Sam, the boy scout, and Suzy, the blue eye-shadowed misanthrope. They decide to run away together and chaos ensues as the whole island joins in the search to find them as a storm brews. Nostalgia is a major element of this film as we experience a whimsical perspective on childhood in the 60s. We are immersed in this world that Wes Anderson creates; a world of nice colour palettes, distinct costumes and symmetry. It was extremely difficult to choose a screencap for this as every shot in this movie is a piece of art, however I chose this one to show my reaction to anyone who dislikes this movie.
The Kings of Summer
Director: Jordon Vogt-Roberts
As school closes for the summer, Joe Toy escapes to the woods with his best friend, Patrick, and the peculiar character of Biaggio who just happens to tag along. The three of them struggle with their newly gained independence while their parents attempt to track them down. Biaggio played by Moisés Arias (who you may know as Rico from Hannah Montana) is the main source of entertainment in this movie, whether it be by his actions or his words, he will undoubtedly make you laugh.
Director: Michael Lehmann
This movie poses as a typical high school movie with cliché cliques including the classic mean girls who all are named Heather. Yet this movie quickly turns dark as Veronica Sawyer (Winona Ryder) and her badass (i.e. pyschopath) boyfriend begin to seek revenge and by seek revenge, I mean go on a mad killing rampage, not exactly on the same level as cutting holes in Regina George’s t-shirt. While this may not sound like it’s a comedy, I can assure you that if you’re a fan of black comedy & cynicism, you will appreciate this movie and its hilarious dialogue.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
This offbeat comedy follows the development of friendship between Greg, Earl and the dying girl i.e. Rachel. Greg is initially forced by his mother to befriend Rachel after she is diagnosed with leukemia. He is not someone who considers others his friends and refers to his closest companion Earl as his “co-worker” because they make quirky films together (my favourite being ‘Sockwork Orange‘). This film will make you laugh, it will make you cry and it will make you wanna make movies, if you’re anything like myself.
The Young Offenders
Director: Peter Foott
From the creator of the Irish classic “Horse Outside” video, comes a film that tells the story of two Cork track-suited teenagers, Conor and Jock, who set off on their stolen bikes to find a bale of cocaine off the coast. This bale of cocaine is a symbol of hope for these lads from troubled households. Although a number of obstacles face them in obtaining the cocaine such as a chicken, a guard who believes bike theft is a major threat to Irish society and a drug dealer with a nail gun.