The coming-of-age genre is a classic style of storytelling where the protagonist, typically young and in their teen years, goes through a psychological journey throughout the story. By the end of the end, the character has become an “adult” and has gone through some sort of moral growth. The character usually discovers something important about themselves or learns an important life lesson. We have all seen or read a story like this, and probably have a coming-of-age film on our favorite movies lists. We most likely saw the importance of the journey the protagonist went through, or maybe we related to it in our own lives. Perhaps we even went through the journey with them and by the end of the film, learned something new about ourselves or our lives. Basically, this is a common type of storytelling and one filmmakers have told dozens of times. So here is a highlight of some of the many classic coming-of-age films you can check out right here at Media Services!
**This list is not exclusive.
It’s the opportunity of a lifetime when teenage reporter William Miller lands an assignment from Rolling Stone magazine. Despite the objections of his protective mother, William hits the road with an up-and-coming rock band and finds there’s a lot more to write home about than the music.
An emotionally & spiritually comatose suburban man decides “to hell with it all” and reverts to living as he did when he was happiest–as a carefree teenager. His desperately uptight wife and sullen daughter can only look on as he quits his corporate job to become a burger flipper, starts getting high with a strange new neighbor (whose parents are even stranger) and lusts after a pouty blonde teenager–his daughter’s best friend.
Blue is The Warmest Color
Adele is a high school student who, much to her own surprise, plunges into a thrilling relationship with a female twenty-something art student. This intimate epic sensitively renders the erotic abandon of youth.
A story of growing up as seen through the eyes of a boy named Mason, who ages from six to eighteen years old on screen. The film was shot intermittently over a twelve-year period from May 2002 to October 2013, showing the growth of Mason and his older sister, Samantha, to adulthood.
Still as smart and charming as ever, Clueless gets a fresh, sassy makeover for this new ‘Whatever!’ Collector’s Edition. Alicia Silverstone sparkles as Cher, the matchmaking 15-year-old Beverly Hills High schooler who has shopping and boys on her mind.
Dazed and Confused
Coming of age story of high school students in the ’70s. Eight seniors facing life after high school have one last party. Includes audio commentary class reunion-style with Richard Linklater; deleted scenes; and much more.
Andrew is a moderately successful TV actor living in Los Angeles. He hasn’t been home to the Garden State in nine years. Even the 3,000 miles has not separated him from the domineering father Andrew left. Stunned to find himself home for his mother’s funeral, “Large” finds old acquaintances around every corner, even as he does his best to avoid the inevitable confrontation with his father. By a twist of fate Large meets Sam, a girl who is everything he isn’t. Her warmth and fearlessness gives Large the courage to open his heart to the joy and pain that is life.
Good Will Hunting
A young working-class genius, who works as a janitor at MIT, is hauled back from the brink of self-destruction by a gifted counselor.
Juno MacGuff is sixteen years old. After a one-time sexual encounter with her best friend Paulie, she learns that she’s pregnant. Juno and Paulie like each other, but not enough to start a family, complete with a child. Paulie leaves all the decisions about the baby to Juno. During her pregnancy, which she treats with care but detachment, her relationships develop.
When a young girl who has lived in Africa and been home-schooled moves to New York, she must enter a public high school. Survival of the fittest takes on a whole new meaning when she falls for the ex-boyfriend of the most popular girl in school.
When young Ofelia and her mother go to live with her new stepfather on a rural military outpost, she finds herself in a world of unimaginable cruelty. Soon Ofelia finds the creatures of her imagination in which she used to escape have become a reality and she must battle them to save both her mother and herself.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
A high school freshman, always watching from the sidelines, is taken under the wings of two seniors who welcome him to the real world.
The Royal Tenenbaums
Three grown prodigies, all with a unique genius of some kind, and their mother are staying at the family household. Their father, Royal, had left them long ago, but now returns to make things right with his family.
Fifth-grader Scotty Smalls has just moved into town with his parents. The local kids call him a Dork because he can’t even throw a baseball. That changes when the leader of the neighborhood gang recruits him to play on the nearby sandlot field. It’s the beginning of a magical summer of baseball, wild adventures, first kisses, and fearsome confrontations with the dreaded Beast and its owner who live behind the left field fence. Soon nine boys have become best friends, Scotty is part of a team, and their leader has become a local legend.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Meet charming and jobless Scott Pilgrim. A bass guitarist for garage band Sex Bob-omb, the 22-year-old has just met the girl of his dreams, literally. The only catch to winning Ramona Flowers? Her seven evil exes are coming to kill him. As Scott gets closer to Ramona, he must face an increasingly vicious rogues’ gallery from her past, from infamous skateboarders to vegan rock stars and fearsome identical twins. If he hopes to win his true love, he must vanquish them all.
Set in the 1950s: David Greene, a working-class Jewish quarterback from Scranton, Pennsylvania, is offered a football scholarship to a prestigious New England prep school. It’s David’s ticket to an Ivy League education and a way out of his hometown, but there’s one condition: the school’s elders ask him to be discreet about his religion. At first willing to do so, David struggles with his silence as his popularity grows.
The Squid & the Whale
Based on the true childhood experiences of Noah Baumbach and his brother, tells the touching story of two young boys dealing with their parents’ divorce in Brooklyn in the 1980s. The patriarch of an eccentric Brooklyn family claims to once have been a great novelist, but ultimately decided to settle into a teaching job. When his wife discovers a writing talent of her own, jealousy divides the family. The two teenage sons are forced to forge new relationships with their parents.
Stand By Me
This film about friendship and the indelible experiences of growing up takes place in a small Oregon town as four boys set out on a two-day search for a missing teenager’s body, a search that turns into an odyssey of self-discovery.
Seth and Evan are accepting the fact that they will be going to different colleges in the fall. Now, it seems more important than ever that they go to a high school party, and achieve some of their long time goals. This includes, but is not limited to, losing their virginity with the girl of their dreams by getting them wasted and being their “regret hookup.” Their awkward friend Fogell gets a fake ID, with just the name McLovin, and agrees to get liquor to bring to Jules’ a.k.a. Seth’s dream girl’s graduation party.
The Virgin Suicides
When school hunk Trip Fontain convinces the beautiful but sheltered Lisbon sisters to go to the prom, the romantic fantasies of a group of neighborhood boys threaten to come true–until all are engulfed in a stunning chain of events that will change their lives forever.
After years of reckless behavior, a heroin addiction and the destruction of her marriage, Cheryl Strayed makes a rash decision. Haunted by memories of her mother Bobbi and with absolutely no experience, she sets out to hike more than a thousand miles on the Pacific Crest Trail all on her own.