Our most awkward years were captured in three movies: “Dazed and Confused,” “La Haine,” and “The Notebook.”
Being a teen is an enormous responsibility. Formative years shape a person’s perspectives and interests; they expose them to the harsh realities of adulthood. Additionally, there are numerous instances of awkward longing and embarrassing gaffes throughout the film.
We’ve produced a definitive list of films that perfectly represent that turbulent six-year era of puberty and the accompanying hormonal upheaval. Some of our most difficult years are captured in these movies, which include classic coming-of-age stories and gritty black and white images of urban strife.
1. Lady Bird (2017)
It would be nice if I could experience something.”
Perhaps Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut is the most acutely observed film of the modern adolescent experience, as it captures all the posturing and insecurity, fractiousness and passion that go along with it. Those are fantastic things. But haven’t we said how much fun it is?
Laurie Metcalf and Saoirse Ronan star as a mother and daughter in the film Lady Bird, which centers on the mother-daughter bond and the girl’s work ethic, or lack thereof. As Lady Bird, Saoirse Ronan’s character renames herself, she also faces the usual teen perils: difficult female friendships and arrogant suitors, which Timothée Chalamet – the current patron saint of the coming-of-age genre – effortlessly portrays.
2. Moonlight (2016)
The time will come when you’ll have to make a decision about who you want to be.” “You can’t rely on anyone else to make that decision.”
It is a film that will stand the test of time long after the Oscars ‘best picture’ kerfuffle has gone, Barry Jenkins’ bona fide masterpiece about three stages in the life of a young African-American man growing up in Miami, Florida.
Three actors – Alex R Hibbert, Ashton Sanders, and Trevante Rhodes – portray Chiron as a young boy, teenager, and young man, with all the fear, vulnerability, anger, and sadness that churn within him as he attempts to make sense of his life and of himself, based on Tarell Alvin McCraney’s play, In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue. Thoughtful drug dealer Juan belongs to Mahershala Ali’s character Juan in this film and a Best Supporting Actor Oscar to go with it.
3. Call Me By Your Name (2017)
You’d be shocked to know how little I know about the most important things in life.
André Aciman’s 2007 novel, “Adolescence,” based on the 1980s-set love drama “Adolescence,” has nothing to do with it in any manner that diminishes its poignant depiction of adolescence. Quite the reverse, in fact, as 17-year-old gorgeous Elio (Timothée Chalamet) begins a passionate relationship with a visiting graduate student, Oliver (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) (Armie Hammer).
Besides the sensitive depiction of a young love, the lavish setting, elegant costumes, stunning photography, and so on were all notable features of the film. Even if you’re traveling with your parents, the Italian countryside has never looked so enticing. If the film’s most iconic moment is any indication, we wouldn’t be shocked if it had an impact on soft fruit sales.
4. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
Because he forgot to lock the garage, “it is his fault.”
The character of Ferris Bueller, played by Matthew Broderick, set the model for a generation of lazy, troublemaker characters in this definitive teen fantasy picture.
When Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was first released in 1987, the film inspired everyone who saw it want to skip school, defy their parents, and take over the keys to a Ferrari — in the best possible way, of course.
5. Submarine (2010)
However, I’m bothered by the fact that it won’t matter to me when I’m 38.
Director Richard Ayoade’s directorial debut is very different from previous American comedy-dramas in that it focuses on Oliver, a teenager from Swansea who is determined to lose his virginity, and his unpleasant background.
A blatant nod to Wes Anderson’s films is evident in Submarine, yet the film manages to remain a unique perspective on the genre while still being moving and humorous.
6. Boyhood (2014)
“I have no idea what’s going on. There’s no one else who does, is there? You know, we’re all kind of winging it.”
Filmed over the course of 12 real-time years with the ensemble gathering each year to pick up the plot, Richard Linklater’s 166-minute epic is both sad and pretentious (your call).
Even though Boyhood may have been seen by some as too slow and stoic, its emotive and authentic depiction of everyday life can’t be argued with, making it a must-see for everyone who wants to understand what it is like to grow up.
7. Kids (1995)
“There’s no way I’m going to die.”
One of the most divisive and controversial movies of the ’90s, Kids depicted a gang of bored skater kids in New York City as they fuck, fight, and eventually spiral out of control in the film.
Filmed at the tender age of 22, Harmony Korine penned the script, which was helmed by an all-star ensemble consisting largely of amateurs.
8. Dazed And Confused (1994)
“That’s OK, that’s fine.”
As long as there was Matthew McConaughey there, the party and soul of Richard Linklater’s classics were always there.
Dazed and Confused is a fun trip down memory lane that gets better with each viewing, and it includes Ben Affleck as one of the most punchable characters in film history as he chronicles a summer of high school hazing, pranks, and beer keg parties in a small Texas town.
9. Superbad (2007)
‘No one’s had a hand job in cargo shorts since the Vietnam War!’
To think that over a decade has passed since the release of Superbad, which gave forlorn adolescent lads a sense of normalcy about their terrible insecurities.
As simple as the plot may be, the razor-sharp dialogue and pitch-perfect characters make it a coming-of-age story that will likely resonate for as long as there are coming-of-age stories to be found.
10. The Breakfast Club (1985)
“We’re all a little off of the ordinary. Everything else is just a skill set that some of us have.”
In contrast to the trendy breakfast spot where you have to wait in line for hours, The Breakfast Club is widely regarded as one of the greatest high school films of all time, more than three decades after its premiere.
It’s easy to see the sentiment (we’re all so alike!) after seeing five students from various school cliques struggle through morning detention.
Comedy and unique character development keep the film from ever veering into the realm of sentimentality, though.
11. La Haine (1995)
“The planet belongs to us.”
Filmed in France’s ghettos, this French classic was a big social conversation starter upon its release because it offered a voice to young people who were bored, lost, and listless.
Despite its bleak subject matter, this is a typical young man’s movie in every way. Friendship’s stressful moments are matched by the yearning for new experiences.That was a jarring conclusion.
12. Donnie Darko (2001)
“Don’t be concerned. You got away with it.”
While the film was shot in just 28 days and cost $3.8 million to make, Donnie Darko handed Jake Gyllenhall his big break, playing a teenage boy who befriends an extinct apocalyptic rabbit.
It’s strange, yes.
As a result of the film’s difficult topics, such as death and sadness, it has now garnered a cult following. Anyone who is feeling a little self-conscious and snobbish will like this book.