10 Best Coming Of Age Movies Of The 21st Century

The term €˜coming-of-age€™ is remarkably vague. Just what exactly does it mean? What can be included within the genre? Is it even a genre? Most coming-of-age movies see blossoming romances, heart-stopping adventures and plenty of riveting drama so perhaps it€™s slightly inappropriate to class it as a genre. Its significance cannot be dismissed though €“ coming-of-age films focus on teenagers and their (usually) painful transitions as they learn valuable life-lessons by sacrificing their innocence and so much more. Before the new millennium came around, there were a whole range of selections to admire, from Kes to E.T. and from Rebel Without A Cause to Stand By Me. Certain film-makers, notably John Hughes, were credited with really giving the sub-genre a place in film history and this is clearly evident in the quality of coming-of-age movies seen since 2000. What exactly makes a €˜coming-of-age€™ movie€just that? I€™ll throw some titles at you: Transformers. Twilight. They€™re no Stand By Me, but both focus on young people fighting for their lives, experiencing the pain of growing up in unique and different worlds. It€™s ascended the realm of genre and become more of a theme for movies to follow. Of course, no one is going to come home after watching one of those two films and tell their mates they just saw €œthe best coming-of-age movie I ever did see.€ Many many movies will consist of some element that closely resembles a coming-of-age trope, whether it be the harsh journey of a teen/child or the retelling of an adult€™s story from a time where they were new to their respective world in one sense or another, but these 10 films truly represent more of the child€™s significant journey to another stage of life than anything else in the movie:

10. Almost Famous

Year of Release: 2001Director: Cameron Crowe This is hardly a movie about rock €˜n€™ roll, though the movie€™s outer layers may try to convince you otherwise. No, this movie is about so much more; peel through the stiff exterior and what you find is an angst-ridden journey from child to man whilst lusting after that mythic desire to be heard, to be seen, to be respected within a society that only views you through rose-tinted glasses. More specifically, it€™s a sort of semi-autobiographical re-telling of Crowe€™s earlier years when he was a writer for renowned culture magazine, Rolling Stone. In the movie, our protagonist, a 15-year-old kid, slightly dorky yet eager and committed, manages to pluck his dream job out of the air through a couple of chance meetings and some decent journalism. All roads lead him to a rising rock band, going by the name of Stillwater. Though he€™s initially labelled as €˜the enemy,€™ he begins to befriend the band and Rolling Stone hire him to write a piece on the group. His journey is all set; his love of pop-culture and glam-rock is about to culminate in one of the most touching and humorous movies of the 21st century. On his journey, he experiences love, loss, hope, regret, fear and failure; it may have happened to him in a shorter time period than most boys his age but it's all part of the journey. He hardly knows what he wants or feels. He feels an attraction to the slightly older Penny Lane (Kate Hudson) and who can blame him, but as he realises she only has eyes for one other, it becomes less about the music and more about the people behind the instruments. For that reason, I can't give Cameron Crowe enough credit for the story he's created. It's a wonderful world full of questions and very little answers but, that's life.
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Appreciates the finer things in life such as The Simpsons, yelling at the football, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, things that aren't True Blood, things that aren't Twilight. Doughnuts.