Samah’s Top Five Coming-Of-Age Films

Written by Samah Ali July 09, 2014

coming of age After spending an unorthodox amount of time on Netflix over the past few years, I have recognized that coming-of-age films always dominate my list of “movies to watch.” Whether it’s the compelling storylines, three-dimensional characters, or the relation to my life, I subconsciously have a deep admiration for the genre. Since I’ve watched various films with identifiable plots and circumstances, I’m counting down my top five coming-of-age movies to date!

5. “Rushmore” (Wes Anderson, 1998)

rushmore After discovering my love for Wes Anderson and his films, I came across his early gem, “Rushmore.” Played by Jason Schwartzman, Max Fischer is a driven student who does not excel in academics, but is the king of extracurriculars. After making an unexpected friendship with the father of two classmates, Herman Blume (Bill Murray), they become enemies when they share the same love for a fellow teacher, Rosemary Cross (Olivia Williams). While original, funny, and heartbreaking, at the end of the film you’ll be cheering for Max’s unforgettable flare and innovative thinking

4. “Liberal Arts” (Josh Radnor, 2012)

liberal_arts Recognized as Ted Mosby from “How I Met Your Mother,” Josh Radnor wrote, directed, and starred in his film “Liberal Arts.” Wandering around aimlessly as an adult, Jesse Fisher (Radnor) is brought back to his university to speak about one of his favourite professors retiring. Being on campus reminds him of the passion he had in college and where he went wrong. By struggling with his age, identity, and cynical attitude, Jesse manages to recognize that his youthful ambitions are still alive and that getting older is nothing but a blessing.

3. “5-25-77” (Patrick Read Johnson, 2007)

52577 Making a semi-autobiographical film, Patrick Read Johnson tells the story of his adolescence, recounting how the release of “Star Wars” changed his life. Pat is a teenage boy who loves watching, making, and talking about movies. After returning from his lucky trip in Los Angeles, where he met Steven Spielberg and saw the set of “Star Wars,” he returns to his small town raving about his adventure. Ignored by everyone, including his friends, Pat ultimately realizes that he will never achieve anything if he is stuck in his town where no one supports him. With the amazing monologue at the end of the film, “5-25-77” will have you rooting for Pat and his dreams of making it big time. SAM WEIR, ANYONE?

2. “The Spectacular Now” (James Ponsoldt, 2013)

spectaular Known as high school royalty, Sutter (Miles Teller) is being left behind by everyone, including his now-ex-girlfriend. As the final months of senior year come to a close, he meets a plain Jane, Aimee (Shailene Woodley), who becomes his only friend. As his classmates bubble with excitement for graduation and college, Sutter is convinced that growing up is a curse and living in the now is the best decision. Although he is reluctant to face the future, Sutter’s story is seen with most high school seniors who are not ready to move past their high school life. Both character development and brilliant acting contribute to this film’s beauty.

1. “ St. Elmo’s Fire” (Joel Schumacher, 1985)

st elmos Of course I have to end this off with a classic 80’s movie. As a group of college graduates go through their problems of debt, job loss, and love triangles, they struggle through their first year in the real world together. Amongst all of their issues, they remain friends, grow from their mistakes, and slowly leave their college habits. Starring famous faces from the 80’s, Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, Emilio Estevez, Ally Sheedy, Judd Nelson, Mare Winningham, and Andrew McCarthy, this story is timeless.

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About Samah Ali

Samah Ali

With a deep admiration for film, television, and music, Samah spends most of her free time expressing and sharing her love for the arts. Studying Creative Writing at Western University, she enjoys writing about film & music and shapes her passions with the latest movie or album available.

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