It’s that time of year again when a lot of us are graduating, going to prom, thinking about the future…or avoiding doing all of the above and are hiding in our rooms.
So, to drown out the sound of your parents forcing you to get a summer job, here are some great “coming of age” movies that are currently streaming on Netflix Canada.
The Kings of Summer
The Kings of Summer is one of 2013’s hidden gems and the closest thing this generation has gotten to their own Stand By Me/Now & Then (which is the ultimate hot summer afternoon double feature, by the way). The film follows three teenage friends (Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso and Moises Arias) who decide to spend their summer building a house in the woods, living off the land, finding their independence and redefining their friendship. It’s moving, heartfelt, sweet and very funny. It’ll also bring you back to the days of purely hanging out with your friends and not worrying about how many likes your Instagram group selfie is getting.
The Bling Ring
Okay, so maybe this is the opposite of a coming of age movie – as they’re all terrible people who don’t really learn their lessons – but we were all horrible teenagers once, right? In The Bling Ring, Sofia Coppola takes the real life events of a group of fame-obsessed teenagers who use the internet to track celebrities whereabouts and rob them. It’s a slick, fun ride that reminds you of the dangers of self-obsession, celebrity and how stupid you are as a teenager. Also: it has Emma Watson dancing seductively, so what more does one need?
The Way Way Back
2013 was clearly a very good year for coming of age movies. In The Way Way Back, we follow the story of 14-year-old Duncan, who goes on summer vacation with his mother (Toni Collette), her annoying boyfriend (Steve Carell) and her boyfriend’s daughter. Having a tough time discovering himself, Duncan finds a friend in Owen (Sam Rockwell), the manager of the town water park. The Way Way Back is an honest portrayal of what it’s like to feel alone as a teenager, and, admittedly, it’s hard to watch at times because it gets it so right. In addition to the spectacular actors mentioned, the cast is amazing: Allison Janney, AnnaSophia Robb, Maya Rudolph are all-wonderful. It’s a super sweet, nice little movie.
For all the dirty, foul-mouthed, pot-infused jokes that are present in a Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg production, there is always a lot of heart and male bonding. Superbad touches upon the scariness of graduating high school and veering into adulthood. Jonah Hill and Michael Cera play two high-school graduates who get in a whole lot of trouble trying to have sex and lose their friendship amidst all of it. What’s so great about this movie is that it accurately portrays the whole spectrum of male friendship and how tough moving on to the next chapter can be.
Coming of age movies usually come in a certain package: bright, summery, American fair. In An Education, we have a comingof age story about a teenager girl (Carey Mulligan) in 1960s London, whose life changes with the arrival of a playboy (Peter Sarsgaard) who is nearly twice her age. This is the film that really introduced us to Carey Mulligan (and we are forever grateful), and is one of 2009’s hidden gems that should not go unnoticed. It’s simple, light, fun with an English twist.