Saturday, June 9, 2012

My Top 10 Coming of Age Films

„Coming of Age“ by Johnathan Frank

When it comes to coming of age in real life - and it is something everyone must experience at least once in their lives - we often search for help in the world of art. Songs, albums, films and paintings, there are many possibilities to deal with and express this strange phenomena that is sometimes described as a feeling, sometimes as a phase in life. 
Coming of age is painful and joyful at the same time, it is a sweet despair, to say it with this great expression I just recently heard in the picture My Week with Marilyn, although in the film it was supposed to describe first love. But isn't first love and coming of age very much related?

To celebrate my 18th summer, I today give you my Top 10 Coming of Age Films - a compilation of films that deal with growing up and learning about life. The ranking has nothing to do with my favourite films of all time, it's more about the value they have to me as coming of age films. 

So sit back, listen to the music, and enjoy.

10. Udaan
Taught me that sometimes it's okay to run away.

„Coming of age ain't about what you do
It's giving in to what's predefined
When you trade all your dreams for compromise
It is never what you have in mind“

9. An Education
Taught me that there are different ways to get to Paris.

„One shot of happy, two shots of sad
That's how our lives are aligned
The path that you chose has got highs has got lows
But it's never what you have in mind“

8. The Dreamers
Taught me about old films and other stuff.

„I must say that I still wonder why it disappears
Must say that I still wonder why
The years keep tumbling by“

7. Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging
Taught me sometimes everything turns out better than expected.

„Coming of age ain't about who you meet
It's about the people who leave you behind
Your brothers, your parents, your lovers, your friends
It is never what you have in mind“

6. Mysterious Skin
Taught me that sometimes everything turns out worse than expected.

„One shot of happy, two shots of sad
We know we might run out of time
But when it comes to living, dying is the easy part
Not exactly what you had in mind“

5. The Little Mermaid
Taught me why the grass is always greener on the other side. 

„I really doubt that I'll find out why it disappears
I really doubt that I'll find out
What these years are all about“

4. Dirty Dancing
Taught me to enjoy the dance while it lasts.

„You might ask if these thoughts that I just summed up
Are of any importance to you“

3. Harry Potter films
Taught me to never stop dreaming.

„Maybe not but when things don't turn out like you planned
It helps to know that they never do“

2. Stand by Me
Taught me that you can't run away from growing up.

„Besides, if each shot of happy
Comes with only two shots of sad
Then coming of age is not so bad
Then coming of age is not so bad
Then coming of age is not so bad...“

1. The Graduate
Taught me something I can't put into words.

„Then coming of age is not so bad.“


  1. What an amazing post! And you designed it delightfully. I've seen An Education, Myserious Skin, The Little Mermaid, Dirty Dancing, Harry Potter, Stand by Me and The Graduate, and they all are precious pieces of cinema. I have Udaan and Dreamers on my wacthlist, but I've never heard of Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging.

    1. Thanks a lot Lesya, I had the idea quite a while ago, and now finally took the time to write and design this.
      Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging is a quite famous British YA book series, and the filmatization was also successful among teenagers in Europe... the title is awful, but I think the film held a perfect balance between typical elements of the genre and some fresh ideas.

  2. Nice list. Some I haven't seen, but the ones I have I do enjoy like The Graduate and Stand By Me. I would add The Breakfast Club, Dead Poets Society, and Almost Famous to my list. If The Goonies and Mean Girls are catagorize as coming of age, I'll add them too.

    1. Glad you liked it.
      Of the ones you mentioned I've only seen Dead Poets Society (great, but too long since I watched it) and Mean Girls (great too... would've been in a top 11).

  3. OOh nice list. Especially love the inclusion of The Dreamers, because that was just such a growing-up experience. Love your #1 too :D

    I would have Almost Famous, The Breakfast Club, Ferris Beuller and Persepolis in mine.

    1. Cool, thanks Nikhat.
      I really have to get around watching Almost Famous and The Breakfast Club.

  4. Good choices there. I own a lot of them. I think Studio Ghibli films would be heavily featured in my list, such as Kiki's Delivery Service, Spirited Away and Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind.

    1. Welcome to Lime Reviews, Steve.
      I haven't seen too many of the Ghibli films, except for the most famous ones (Spirited Away, Castle in the Sky). And it's been a long time since I watched them. Thanks for checking this out.

  5. Really excellent, unique choices here. I think The Dreamers and Mysterious Skin are particularly inspired inclusions. Can’t argue with your number 1! Great list.

    1. Thank you!
      The Dreamers really had a very big influence on my life, I'm planning to re-watch it sometime in the next few days, as I watched it for the first time almost exactly two years ago.
      Mysterious Skin was a great find, I only watched it because of the IMDB recommendation widget.
      And you remind me; I really need a copy of The Graduate soon!

  6. Captains Courageous (1937, Spencer Tracy, Freddie Bartholomew and everyone else).

  7. Added it to my watchlist, I need to watch more 30s films at any rate. Thanks for your comment and recommendation.

  8. Fandango and Breaking Away are my faves

    1. I don't know these, but thanks for commenting and sharing your favorites with us!


Let the discussion begin!