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  • Abby Wormsbaker

It’s The Coming of Age

The most raw and vulnerable time in any person’s life is the time between childhood and adulthood: the coming of age. Years that feel so long, miserable, but also bittersweet and the hardest goodbye.

Movies that are considered Coming of Age often tell stories about young teenagers figuring things out in life. Personal growth and things changing (that are ultimately inevitable) is one of the most important aspects of this genre, which often results in an emotional story. Stories like a first heartbreak, outgrowing friends, boredom, moving to a new city, the comfortable (or maybe uncomfortable) silence, losing a family member, uneasy relationships with parents, and much more. All of those are examples of the things we experience in day-to-day life, especially during the years we consider the coming of age, and it is portrayed on film in a way where we see ourselves in almost all of it.

If the movie has you reflecting on your past, then the movie did its job. It forces us to sit with ourselves and think about those years in a new perspective. No, the years between childhood and adulthood aren’t as incredible as some movies might portray but there are a lot of realistic situations and conversations that can be identified with.

These movies help shape who we are, where we’ve come from, and where we go from there. With relating to a story, it almost helps us cope with those similar situations. It’s the same as hearing a certain song that gets you through the day, Coming of Age movies help in the same sense. That is why this genre is so important. They give us room to grow.

Coming of Age movies that share this particle feeling: St. Elmo’s Fire, Palo Alto, Lady Bird, Moonlight, The Kings of Summer, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Mid90’s, Men Women & Children, The Cat and The Moon, Skate Kitchen, Waves, and 20th Century Women.

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