When you’re feeling nostalgic, there’s nothing better than settling down with one of the best coming of age movies.
From 80s favourites to relatable films of recent years, we’ve put together the perfect list for a film day!
1) Clueless (1995)
This star-studded 90s hit is inspired by Jane Austen classic Emma. Telling the coming of age story of Cher Horowitz, Clueless follows a popular, rich High School student in Beverly Hills. When transfer student Tai joins the school, Cher takes the newcomer under her wing and sets out to give her a makeover. But as time goes on, Cher realizes that she herself may be the one who needs a makeover after all. One that reshapes how she sees the world and treats others.
2) Booksmart (2019)
One of the best new coming of age movies, Booksmart has been hailed the long-awaited ‘female version of Superbad’, and it’s easy to see why. This hilarious hit follows bookworm best friends, Amy and Molly. On the eve of their graduation, the girls realize they should have worked less and played more during high school. Aiming to fit four years worth of fun into one eventful night, this coming of age film will make you laugh out loud and shed a few tears.
3) Stand By Me (1986)
Without a doubt one of the best coming of age movies ever made, Stand By Me takes us back to the summer of 1959 in Castlerock, Oregon. This heartwarming, hilarious and moving tale brings Stephen King’s coming of age story The Body to life. A nostalgic tale of childhood freedom and adventure, the film follows four friends and their loss of their innocence as they embark on a life-changing search for a missing body.
4) Grease (1978)
When it comes to coming of age films, all-singing, all-dancing Grease is a hard one to beat. Bringing back the fashion and music of the late 1950s, this timeless musical is one of our all time favourites. The story follows bad-boy greaser Danny Zuko and sweet Australian Sandy Olsson, as they rekindle their summer romance amidst the social hierarchies and cliques of school. From the Pink Ladies to the T-Birds, it’s a tough world in the corridors of an american high school!
5) Lady Bird (2017)
This Golden Globe-winning film had to be on our list of the best coming of age movies. One of the newer films on our list, Lady Bird is a heartwarming coming of age story with a mother-daughter bond at its heart. Set in 2002 in the scenic suburbs of Sacramento, Lady Bird tells the witty tale of Christine “Lady Bird” MacPherson, a Catholic high school senior longing for adventure and escape. This is a fantastic film about growing up and discovering the comforts of home.
6) The Breakfast Club (1985)
The 80s was a good time for coming of age movies! And undoubtedly one of the very best is The Breakfast Club. This timeless cult classic tells the story of five high school students who meet in Saturday detention. Though they never normally cross paths, as the hours pass by the group discover that they more in common than they thought. As Andrew puts it, “We’re all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it, that’s all.”
7) An Education (2009)
One of our favourite coming of age stories is An Education, starring the UK’s very own Carey Mulligan. Set in the 1960s in suburban London, this fascinating film is inspired by a true story. Following sixteen year old Jenny, who dreams of being accepted into Oxford on her father’s wishes, Jenny’s life changes when she’s swept off her feet by David, an older man who introduces her to music, culture and a different way of life. However, as time goes on, Jenny learns that David might not be who she thought he was.
8) The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)
Adapted from the book of the same title, The Perks of Being a Wallflower follows Charlie, an introverted high school student who is taken under the wings of two carefree seniors. A funny, moving and relatable coming of age film, this memorable story deals with first love, friendship, mental illness and the trials and tribulations of being thrown into the real world. With a fantastic soundtrack featuring David Bowie, this is one we think will stand the test of time!
9) The Virgin Suicides (1999)
Bringing Jeffrey Eugenides’ novel of the same title to life, The Virgin Suicides is directed by Sofia Coppola, whose films are known for their dreamlike cinematography. The whimsical feel of this coming of age film fits perfectly with the coming of age story of the mysterious Lisbon sisters. Set in 1970s surburbia, this harrowing story follows a group of male friends who obsess over the girls and watch how their mundane, sheltered lives spiral towards teenage rebellion, romantic fantasies and fatal tragedy.
10) Love, Simon (2018)
Love, Simon is one of the best coming of age movies to grace cinema screens over the last few years. The film tells the story of Simon Spier as he develops an online connection with a boy known as ‘Blue’. The boys confide in each other by email about their sexuality, which they’ve been keeping secret from their family and friends. Soon, Simon begins to wonder who ‘Blue’ could be, and sets out to uncover his identity, discovering more about himself along the way.
11) Superbad (2007)
It may have been made in the noughties, but Superbad is still one of the most hilarious and best coming of age movies to date. One of our favourite feel-good films, Superbad follows Seth and Evan during the last few weeks of high school. The witty duo are usually mocked by the cool kids, but manage to bag an invite to a party. As the night draws closer, the pair set out to stock up on alcohol and plot to lose their virginity before college. With McLovin’ and two slow policemen tagging along, it’s safe to say things run less than smoothly along the way!