Recommend Some "Good" Coming-of-Age Films

I’m in the mood to watch films about teenagers and young “tweens” on the verge of adulthood. Only thing is, I’m not interested in movies in which sixteen-year-olds chatter away in ironic detachment like sodden 45-year-old adults. I’m not interested in movies in which everyone falls into a clear-cut category–most of us are not totally “jocks,” “nerds,” “stoners,” etc. We are a little bit of this, a little bit of that. I’m not interested in movies where class consciousness comes between our two protagonists (John Hughes did that whole number a few times). I’m not looking for “wacky teen comedies” or nonsense like “Porky’s.” I’m not really looking for blockbusters, I suppose. Are there any quiet little unknown films out there that you would recommend?

Any era, really. Could be my late 70s/early 80s crowd, could be 60s, could be the 90s Gen X or modern whatever the hell kids call themselves today.

Sir Rhosis

this might be out of your preference, but I was recently reminded that
Y tu Mama Tambien is a great blend of teen sex comedy/coming of age drama. Subtitles though.

Here’s the Wikipedia entry on coming-of-age films:

Going through the Wikipedia listing and recommending:

8 Mile
Donnie Darko (not sure I would classify this as coming of age…)
Heavenly Creatures (nor this one…)
Kiki’s Delivery Service
Labyrinth
Napoleon Dynamite
Whale Rider

And I would add these as being potential coming of age films that aren’t listed:

Birdy
Xiu Xiu the Sent Down Girl

Not on that list: The Great Santini, Alice Adams, Hoop Dreams.

“Breaking Away”
“A Bronx Tale”
“Clueless”
“Cinema Paradiso”
“The Man in the Moon”
“Tex”
“The Flamingo Kid”

The film that gave us Reese Witherspoon, The Man in the Moon. She is marvelous and it’s a lovely little movie.

Stand by Me.

Second that.

One of my favorites is called The Year My Voice Broke and it has a sequeal called Flirting. Flirting stars a young Nicole Kidman as a bonus.
Not a true coming of age film, as the hero is only 8 or 9, is called My Life as a Dog and of course, one of the best films of all time, Empire of the Sun, which should be watched with Hope and Glory. These three films all deal with the end of childhood/innocence.

Oh and another great film that deals with that is an Italian film called I’m Not Scared.

River’s Edge - one of the best, IMO.

Thirded. The language in Stand By Me is a little strong (just a disclaimer; it doesn’t bother me personally), but the movie is brilliant.

Stand by Me was the first title I thought of.

Also, About Schmidt, if you don’t mind the coming-of-ager being in his 60s.

This Is England should be just up your street.

How about Almost Famous, which is one of my favorite movies? And here is the IMDB list of movies that have been tagged as coming-of-age movies.

I quite likedComing Soon, because I found it scarily accurate in its portrayal of upper middle class teenage girls. Yes, my teenage years were *just * like that.

I know you’re probably not looking for stuff like this, but the movies I loved and watched endlessly when I was that age were Dazed and Confused and Empire Records.

Gregory’s Girl

Superbad. Funniest coming-of-age movie ever.

Get Real is a lovely little film about an gay English boy… All the characters are excellent and it was one of the first gay “coming of age” films out.

Crooklyn is my most favorite movie of this genre. I can’t think of another coming-of-age movie that is so entertaining while staying realistic. My Girl is another one that I liked. I loved Jamie Lee Curtis in that movie.

This Boy’s Life is another fav, starring a young Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert Deniro in a realistic portrayal of a mean stepfather.