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MoviesStreamingQuarantine Binge: Top 10 Coming of Age Films

tristandrewfrenchMarch 25, 2020

Quarantining can get kind of boring, but it is definitely for the best. All of us here at KLM are sending our best wishes to everyone and hoping that our current pandemic state ends soon but safely. You may be finding yourself bored, lonely or perhaps even out of movies to watch. But fear not! Each day we will be presenting you with 10 different movies of a certain genre to keep your brain flowing and your letterboxd growing! (to read any of our previous lists, click here)

Here are our top 10 coming of age films to keep you company while in isolation! (Click each title to find out how you can stream our picks)

10. The Way Way Back (2013)

If you are craving the freedom and warm weather that comes along with summer vacation, look no further than Jim Rash & Nat Faxon’s wonderfully heartwarming directorial debut. The film follows a socially awkward teenager named Duncan who is forced to spend his summer vacation with his mother’s overbearing boyfriend and his daughter at their summer beach house. After having difficulty fitting in, Duncan finds an unexpected friend in the manager of the local waterpark. The Way Way Back is a genuine, funny and authentic film that boasts a memorable cast of characters and is the perfect film to watch when you are feeling down.

9. The 400 Blows (1959)

While the majority of the entries on this list are contemporary American films, we wanted to include a film that is both classic and foreign language, for those looking for a taste of international arthouse cinema. Francois Truffaut’s 1959 semi-autobiographical classic tells the story of Antoine; a misunderstood adolescent growing up in Paris, who struggles with his relationships with his parents and teachers due to his rebellious behavior. The 400 Blows is a complex and emotionally powerful film with a final shot that will stick with you long after its runtime.

8. Almost Famous (2000)

Music lovers of all ages will enjoy the next entry on our list. Cameron Crowe’s semi-autobiographical coming-of-age epic, Almost Famous, is set in the heart of the 1970s and follows the life of 15-year-old music enthusiast William Miller (Patrick Fugit). After submitting some writing samples and faking his age, William is hired by Rolling Stone magazine to accompany an up-and-coming rock band on tour in order to write an article that will make or break the band’s career. With an eccentric cast of characters and an impeccable soundtrack, Cameron Crowe’s almost 3-hour ode to rock & roll and the power of music is a perfect choice if you are looking to watch a feel-good film.

7. American Graffiti (1973)

Before creating arguably the most popular franchise in cinema history, George Lucas made a name for himself with this groundbreaking film that introduced us to some of the biggest stars of the generation, such as Harrison Ford and Richard Dreyfuss. Instead of following a linear narrative structure, American Graffiti is a “hangout movie” that acts  as a time capsule of a much simpler period. It’s a nostalgic and thoroughly entertaining portrait of teenage life in the early 1960’s, before the rise of technology and the loss of innocence.

6. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)

Based on Stephen Chbosky’s bestselling novel of the same name, the author turned screenplay-writer delivered one of the most heartbreaking and deeply relatable coming-of-age films of the past ten years. The Perks of Being a Wallflower follows a 15-year-old introvert, who befriends a group of high school seniors and learns to cope with his difficult past. It’s a heavy, but ultimately important and inspiring film that is not afraid to tackle social issues head on. If you are looking for a film with depth that will leave an impression on you long past its runtime, this is the movie for you.

5. The Breakfast Club (1985)

School’s out at the moment, but that doesn’t mean you can’t watch a good high school movie! The next entry on our list needs no introduction. It is impossible to create a list coming-of-age films without including one of John Hughes’ teen classics, so we decided to include arguably his most iconic. The Breakfast Club follows five high school students from different walks of life, who connect on a deep level when they are forced to spend a day together in detention. Regardless of what social group you fit into in high school, this is a film that anyone can relate to.

4. Lady Bird (2017)

It’s only been three years since the release of Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut, but in that short amount of time Lady Bird has already become a staple of the coming of age genre. Saoirse Ronan earned an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of the titular character; a stubborn,  eccentric but deeply relatable high school senior who embarks on a journey of self-discovery and growth. We watch Christine (AKA Lady Bird) as she navigates the ups and downs of growing up and her relationships; specifically with her stern but ultimately loving mother (Laurie Metcalf). If you are looking for a movie that will make you laugh and cry, this is the perfect film for you!

3. The Last Picture Show (1971)

Peter Bogdanovich’s groundbreaking coming-of-age drama takes place in 1951 and is a portrait of three teenagers transitioning into adults in a small, isolated Texas town. The Last Picture Show is by far the most melancholic film on the list. It is a bleak and brutally realistic exploration of the difficulties of adulthood and the different paths that life takes us on. If you are the mood for a film that is thoroughly entertaining and thought provoking, but does explore dark subject matter, than this is the perfect film for you.

2. Stand by Me (1984)

There are many films that explore themes of nostalgia and childhood, but Rob Reiner’s timeless masterpiece, Stand By Me, is perhaps one of the most successful. Set in the 1950’s, a group of 12-year-old boys embark on an adventure to find the dead body of one of their classmates, which turns out to be a journey of self-discovery that tests the strength of their friendship. If you haven’t seen this classic film yet, now is your chance!

1. Boyhood (2014)

While many of our lives are on temporary hold due to the COVID-19, you may want to take the time to experience life through someone else’s shoes. Richard Linklater’s magnum opus was filmed over a period of 12-years and follows a fictional character named Mason Jr., capturing snapshots within his life from age 6 to 18. No other film captures growing up and the passage of time more authentically than Boyhood. It is an incredible achievement in filmmaking and if you are able to dedicate three hours of your time, it is a very rewarding experience.

On behalf of all of the KLM team, I wish you all the best in this situation we are in, but rest assured we will still provide you with all we can! Stay Safe!


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