The coming-of-age narrative is inherently one of the most relatable stories ever told as it explores the impossibility of growing up. Most commonly explored during the transition from childhood to adulthood - made popular today through films like Olivia Wildes Booksmart and Greta Gerwigs Lady Bird - the coming-of-age narrative focuses on characters at a junction in their lives on their journey to adulthood.
Despite the fact that coming-of-age isnt a one-time event that happens in our teenage years, it is an ongoing event throughout our lives. With protagonists who have already passed their transition into adulthood, these narratives focus on the quarter and midlife difficulties that occur later in life and the countless lessons learned along the way.
Frances Ha (2012)
Frances (Greta Gerwig) is a 27-year-old dancer who lives in New York with her best friend Sophie (Mickey Sumner). However, when Sophie moves out, Frances' life is tense as she is forced to live in different apartments with different people while trying to become her own person.
Frances Ha, a 2012 black and white film by Noah Baumbach, is a rare example of friendship during adulthood. With its honest portrayal of everyday difficulties and difficulties in your 20s, Frances Ha shows that growing up isn't just something that you acquire once you graduate or get a new job, but something that you can celebrate bit by bit each day.
Unicorn Store (2017)
Kit (Brie Larson) returns to her parents and takes a temporary job with a PR company after being kicked out of art school for her vivid imagination. A mysterious letter from The Salesman (Samuel L. Jackson) tries to fulfill Kits childhood fantasy of owning a unicorn sparks her curiosity and drives her to do everything she can to make her dream a reality.
Unicorn Store, Larson's directorial debut, is a heartfelt story about living in a world that demands that you grow up when you dont want to forego the pleasures of childhood. With all its glitter and child-like wonder, Unicorn Store proves that you are never too young to seek the magic in your life.
Young Adult (2011)
Mavis (Charlize Theron) is a 37-year-old divorced, alcoholic, and ghostwriter who recognizes an email from her previous high school boyfriend as a sign that they are meant to be together. Returning to Mercury, Minnesota, Mavis is confronted with the people in her past who have moved on without her.
Young Adult is about learning to leave your past behind in order to get through the next stages of your life.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)
Scott (Michael Cera) is a 22-year-old slacker musician who falls in love at first sight with Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). Although still dating 17-year-old high school student Knives Chau (Ellen Wong) at the time, Scott continues to pursue Ramona by defeating each of her seven evil partners.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, directed by Edgar Wright, is a film adaptation of Bryan Lee OMalley's graphic novels that feels like a video game. Like in video games, Scott rises throughout the film, discovering the value of emotional maturity and self-respect.
500 Days of Summer (2009)
Tom, a greeting card writer and hopeless romantic partner, gets caught completely off-guard when Summer (Zoeey Deschanel) dumps him. As he contemplates their 500 days together, he tries to figure out exactly where they all went wrong.
500 Days of Summer, Marc Webbs' stylistic rom-com drama, is a non-linear narrative about how a relationship can change over time. Shifting from feeling like a romantic fairy tale to the depression of being dumped, Tom is confronted by the realities of life while learning what it truly means to love.
Another Round (2021)
Martin (Mads Mikkelsen), Tommy (Thomas Bo Larsen), Peter (Lars Ranthe), and Nikolaj (Magnus Millang) - struggling with unmotivated pupils and feeling their lives have become ruined - begin an experiment to maintain a constant low level of alcohol intoxication. Their success is short-lived, with disastrous consequences once they gradually increase their alcohol consumption.
Another Round, an Academy Award-winning Danish film directed by Thomas Vinterberg, is a cautionary tale of chasing a peaceful life through destructive means. Caught in the rut of a midlife crisis, the teachers of Another Round learn what it means to live fully and discover what it means to value life itself.
Hal (Christopher Plummer) confesses to his 75-year-old son Oliver, after he was happily married for 44 years. Hal (Christopher Plummer) finds a new zest for life, able to enjoy his last few years again and free to live as himself.
Beginners, a comedy-dramatic about Mike Mills, is not only a coming-out story, but also a coming-of-age story. As Hal overcomes the obstacles that prevented him from being his true self, Beginners demonstrates that it is never too late to be who you are.
Going in Style (1979)
Joe (George Burns), Al (Art Carney) and Willie (Lee Strasberg) are three elderly individuals living in a modest house in their 70s. They are desperate to break the monotony, and they concoct a plot to rob a bank, despite having no previous experience as criminals.
Martin Brest's Going in Style shows that coming-of-age doesnt always imply stepping over to a higher level of your life. It's a coming-of-age film that celebrates life while also expressing a sense of closure toward the end.
Harold and Maude (1971)
Harold (Bud Cort) is a death-obsessed 19-year-old who rejects the life his detached mother entrusts him to. When he meets Maude (Ruth Gordon), an eccentric 79-year-old woman with a zest for life, the two form a close friendship and each learn from each other's lessons in life and in love.
Harold and Maude is a romantic black comedy-drama film about an unusual couple that is enlivened by Hal Ashby. With Maudes' optimistic energy, Harold is pushed away from his obsession with death as he discovers the value of living life to its fullest.
Martha (Diane Keaton) finds it easy to join one of the local communities clubs after Marthas previous as a cheerleader. The local residents reignite Marthas passion and form their own cheerleading club. While their age and ailments vary, the team progresses to a competition pitting 50 years younger than they are.
Poms, a film by Zara Hayes, combines great female comedians to tell a moving tale about never getting too old to pursue your dreams. Poms acknowledges that coming-of-age is an inevitable process, but one that can always be enhanced by a little bit of fun.