Growing up looks better on film

Photo by Julian Jensen, via flickr

Alexandre Nunez/Contributing Writer 

Coming of age, the strange transition from childhood to adulthood. Sometimes it’s easy. Oh, who am I kidding? It’s never easy. Coming of age is that moment when you become an adult. Sounds very terrible, wake me when it’s over. When the party is over and it’s time to get a job to support yourself. Giving in to the man. The time when you need to learn how to write a check properly.

The following films that I have listed demonstrate the silly things that sometimes happen when someone tells us that it is time to grow up. Sometimes we listen and sometimes we don’t. It’s hard to come to grasp with this term growing up. What does it even mean? Oh well, till we find out what it means, watch these films in the meantime.

“Frances Ha”

Directed by Noah Baumbach

The creative world is an unforgivable one, especially when it’s in New York City. A young woman in her late twenties down on her luck, kicked around from apartment to apartment, awkwardly ironic, never-predictable, unable to hold a steady profession, passionate dancer, is presented to the viewer in this beautiful black and white portrait which feels like a mixture between a Woody Allen and François Truffaut film. Frances Halladay, played by Greta Gerwig, is a very lively and awkward woman who struggles with adulthood. It’s never too late though, to come of age and in Frances Ha that is shown. The film almost feels like an extended hour of a “Girls” episode, but without the nudity or the assertive frankness which “Girls” presents. The film is in “hipster” territory, buts that’s forgivable because of Greta Gerwig’s fine performance.


Directed by Richard Ayoade

The most quirky–more quirky than Zooey Deschanel–the most awkward and one of the most loveable characters you’ll ever come to appreciate is Oliver Tate in Richard Ayoade’s “Submarine.” This coming of age film is everything you can ask for in a coming of age movie and more. Very funny, very stylish, and it doesn’t try to be clever because it already is. The two leads played by Craig Roberts and Yasmin Paige are so likable in their roles, you can’t help but to just fall in love with them and sympathize for their troubles which is brought on by adolescence. This is not your cliché teen sex comedy or your “Project X” teen party movie. This is coming of age at its best, as genuine and honest and above all just plain out funny.

“Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain”

Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Another film with a young woman in her late twenties coming to terms with the world surrounding her and how she views it. That last part is really important. It’s all about how you view your surroundings and how you perceive it and how you decide to live in it. That is what drives this film. That’s what makes it worth watching. We see the world according to Amélie, but from our own experiences we understand that something’s missing from her life. That something needs to change in her. That cute shyness that she carries and that daydreamer aspect of her that we, as the viewer, just love to see has to in the end vanish for her to live the life that she truly wants. 

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