Category Archives: coming of age

My favourite genre! Coming-of-age films are typically ‘dramedys’ (comedy/dramas) with a heart-felt story line and a lot of ups and downs.

Top 18: Best Coming-of-Age Movies

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I love coming-of-age films. It’s the perfect mix of dark drama and bright comedy, against the backdrop of real-life circumstances and down-to-earth characters. Here are a few of my favourites… Continue reading

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Sing Street

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I was dubious about this film at first, I was thinking ‘any second now it’s going to take a turn for the worse’. But it didn’t! It was actually a very uplifting film from beginning to end.

I love movies about a likeable and naive underdog – like About a Boy or Driving Lessons – but coming-of-age films with a great soundtrack like this one is even better. The songs are so catchy!… Continue reading

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About Time

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From the brain behind The Boat that Rocked, Notting Hill, Love Actually and Bridget Jones comes a warm and fuzzy, all-nice, all-good, hot chocolate and cuddles on a rainy day kind of story. It’s called About Time.  (If you loved Driving Lessons, then I think you’d enjoy this film.)

I love coming of age films, there’s nothing better than seeing bog-standard, everyday man-on-the-street kind of characters on the tellie, accomplishing the extraordinary and telling you that everything will be alright in the end… Continue reading

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Brooklyn

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I am ashamed how close I came to watching Tina Fey’s new movie, Sisters, rather than seeing this touching drama. (I still reckon Tina Fey is a genius, though.)

After seeing the Brooklyn trailer I was prepared to see a slow-paced, sullen and potentially grim film. But this was not the case!

I walked out of the cinema feeling uplifted, positive and encouraged. I felt as though I’d been wrapped up in a big, fat duvet, sung a lullaby while sipping on hot cocoa inside by the fire during a blizzard… It gave me the warm and fuzzies, and made me feel happy… Continue reading

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American Graffiti

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This movie nearly didn’t get made. Boy, am I glad it was. This is in my top five movies – at least!

American Graffiti is the colourful account of the final night of high school for a group of students who go out cruising, attend ‘the hop’ and hang at the drive-in dina.

It’s not only an incredibly entertaining film, it’s also the most accurate documentation of what the sixties were all about.

This movie makes me upset because it makes me mourn the spectacular sixties. As mentioned in Midnight in Paris, it’s “Golden Age Thinking” – the thought that I’d be happier in another time. And boy does American Graffiti do that; it hits me right in the feels… Continue reading

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The Fault in Our Stars

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My friend said this movie was “a real punch in the feels!” I agree.

Do not expect to walk out of the cinema feeling uplifted, inspired or at peace with the world. If anything, The Fault in Our Stars will rob you of the right to complain about your life, and you will find yourself driving home in total silence as you digest this story.

If you haven’t read the book or seen the movie, it is about two teenagers with cancer who fall in love, before being faced with all sorts of tragic circumstances. ‘Heard it before’, I hear you say? On paper, you’re right, but on the screen, it is certainly something a little different.

It isn’t sugar-coated, or glazed too much with the flawlessness of Hollywood cinema… Continue reading

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The Way Way Back

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The Way Way Back is a funny, feel-good film, similar to Little Miss Sunshine and Juno. It’s an uplifting tale about Duncan (Liam James) who has to endure a summer with his mum Pam (Toni Collette) and her new boyfriend Trent (Steve Carell).

Struggling to withstand Trent’s subtle bullying, Duncan goes out as often as possible. He soon gets a secret job at the local pool, where he gains a lot more confidence and gets a good reputation… Continue reading

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower

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Okay, it was NOTHING like I thought it would be like.

This is not a happy-go-lucky, up beat and freeing movie like the trailer makes it out to be. In fact, it has a lot of very serious themes, making this high school drama rather dark, and not at all light hearted.

Despite the totally unexpected storyline, I still thoroughly enjoyed it. It is a very emotional journey – you laugh just as hard as you cry in some parts. So it evens out into a humbling story.

The main character, Charlie (Logan Lerman) and both of his friends Sam (Emma Watson) and Patrick (Ezra Miller), each go through massive emotional roller coasters. Huge changes to their lives that are developed incredibly well. Feelings and emotions are messy, unexplainable and complicated, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower accurately represent them this way… Continue reading

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Dead Poets Society

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Imagine Good Will Hunting + Scent of a Woman… and with a touch of The Ron Clark Story. That pretty much gives you Dead Poet’s Society.

It is a great story about breaking the mould. Not being what your father wants you to be, not giving into the black and white versions of education, but finding the creativity in it and allowing your imagination to run riot.

Robin Williams plays John Keating who is an English teacher with unorthodox teaching methods in a private all boys school. The tradition and formality… Continue reading

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Easy A

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This is quite a different version to the typical high school chick flick that drowns the market. Easy A is about how rumours can make or break your reputation, as well as who your friends really are. But also how you can take insults and use them to your advantage.

It has a pretty funny script with some catchy insults from the witty and very sarcastic Olive (Emma Stone). Her best come backs are usually toward the “Jesus Freak”, Marianne (Amanda Bynes), who was responsible for spreading the original rumour about Olive losing her virginity… Continue reading

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The Breakfast Club

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Probably the best high school based film. Openly addressing and mocking their stereotypes and the pressures each one of them are under by their associated peers.

It is a very well made film because it is entirely based in one place during one day, with a tiny cast. We are sitting in on a Saturday detention with five completely contrasting students who soon find out what they hate and what they love about each other and themselves. Very human, very emotionally rooted.

The Characters… Continue reading

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Whip It

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First of all, don’t be put off by Drew Barrymore as the director… Your preconceptions are invalid.

Whip It is certainly a fun and enjoyable film based around the exciting sport of Roller Derby. Since watching this movie, I really wanted to go to a Roller Derby bout which I was lucky enough to do this year. Boy, the violence portrayed in the movie is clearly through the eyes of Hollywood – it is so much more brutal in real life. Or maybe our Kiwi players are just more violent…? It was awesome nonetheless… Continue reading

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Little Miss Sunshine

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If you adored the humour of Juno, you will fall madly in love with this film! It was full of that dry, black humour where you don’t know if you should laugh or cry.

It has that ‘typical family’ quality where you can relate to every character because we all know somebody like them. Sort of. 

Olive (Abigail Breslin) wants to compete in a beauty pageant, which is a good one-and-a-half day’s drive away. With an unpredictably suicidal uncle (Steve Carell) who can not be left by himself, the whole family decides to go… Continue reading

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About a Boy

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I am in no way a fan of Hugh Grant. He seems to only play one character and that character appears to be exactly what he is like in real life. Having said that…

He is in some pretty wicked films like Bridget Jones, Notting Hill, but the most impressive being this one: About A Boy.

It’s about Will Freeman (Hugh Grant) who has never needed to work and is a professional womanizer. The parallel story is about poor Marcus (Nicholas Hoult) and how he deals with his mother (Toni Collette) who is suffering from depression, all the while having a tough time at school… Continue reading

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Scent of a Woman

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Getting this film in a “two for $20” sale I was cautious, particularly because the front cover showed a rather dated looking image and the title sounded a tad creepy. However, the names of ‘Al Pacino’ and ‘Chris O’Donnel’ gave great hope.

And they were right. Scent of a Woman is an incredibly fascinating film to watch repeatedly because of the script which is deep and meaningful to say the least.

Al Pacino’s character referred frequently to as The Colonel is a blind man… Continue reading

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Driving Lessons

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Okay, so this film has been HUGELY underrated. Despite being aware that everybody has their right to their own opinion, I, as New Zealand’s official Freak of Film, would like to say:

YOU ARE ALL INCORRECT.

Driving Lessons is a slower-than-usual paced film with a script as philosophical as Forrest Gump, but with humour as dry as Napoleon Dynamite (in some parts)… Continue reading

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Good Will Hunting

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This film is fantastic. You know why? Because it achieves thought provoking material without loosing the audience in to deep and meaningful and philosophical black hole. The film is able to do this by keeping the humour which seems loyal to the culture that the story is based around… Continue reading

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The Boat that Rocked

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If American Graffiti represents America in the 60s, The Boat that Rocked represents the UK in the 60s.

Philip Seymour HoffmanIt’s a film about the pirate radio stars during the sixties who played rockin’ music, whilst trying to keep the government off their backs who didn’t like the kind of influence the radio stations had.

It’s the kind of film where its characters are used to target the typical main-stream movie audience who are in their twenties, but it’s ‘historical’ enough to capture the reminiscing kids of the sixties, yet, unique enough to entice the indie teens, and overall AWESOMENESS to be absolutely: Way. Cool… Continue reading

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Juno

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Holy crap, if you haven’t seen this, you are seriously deprived of life. Likewise, if you saw it and didn’t like it, you are deprived of a sense of humour… Seriously, how can you live with yourself!? You have been shunned.

However, I saw it. Then I saw it again. Then I purchased the DVD with my hard-earned pennies and enjoyed it a whole lot more! Juno is more than just a “comedy drama” as Wikipedia so conservatively stated. It is the hilarious and refreshing story of a typical teenager, Juno McGuff (Ellen Page), and her slight mishap of falling pregnant by the introverted and slightly cheesy Paulie Bleaker (Michael Cera)… Continue reading

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