It’s not easy growing up. Going from a care-free kid to a young adult is often a painful process for teens and their parents. Maybe this is why so many of the best coming of age films have such lasting appeal. The teens in these high school movies have faced the challenges of life and the decisions that come along the way. Each of these movies serves as a friendly reminder of the emotional roller coaster ride of the life of a teenager.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a coming of age movie about an introverted freshman that was taken in by a bunch of older kids, who promise to teach him the ways of the world. Based on the best-selling book Stephen Chbosky who also happens to direct this high school themed movie follows a young freshman, Charlie (Logan Lerman) who is taken in by a couple of seniors played by Emma Watson and Ezra Miller. The highs and lows of a teenager’s life in high school and the challenges of trying to ‘fit in.’ The soundtrack is an alternative music fan’s delight featuring music from The Smiths, New Order, Sonic Youth and David Bowie.
Everyone loves an underdog. When Eddie “Gonzo” Gillman gets kicked off the staff of the high school newspaper things get interesting. The young, rebel journalist starts an underground newspaper that gives a voice to all the school’s geeks and social outcasts. In the end, the movie is an entertaining coming of age film that attempts to expose a bully and hypocrisy.
An 80s classic by John Hughes. Molly Ringwald as Molly turns 16 in this 80s comedy. From the embarrassing moments that make a teen’s life a living hell to the heartache of a major crush on someone who doesn’t know she exists, Sixteen Candles captures the essence of what it’s like to be a teen.
Another John Hughes’ classic teen movie, The Breakfast Club follows five different high school students who are forced to spend a Saturday together in detention. Their time together gives them the opportunity to open up to each other and notice the similarities they share – like the hell of high. Like other teen flicks, there is an awesome soundtrack with this as well.
A romantic comedy, adapted from the William Shakespeare play, “The Taming of the Shrew.” Starring Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles, the movie plays on the theme of first love, individuality and rebellion. The chemistry between Ledger and Stiles makes this movie one of those high school movies I can watch over and over again and a classic coming of age film.
What are some of your favorite coming of age movies? Share your favorite high school based films in the comments below.