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14th May 2022

Movie night with your teenager?: 9 of the best coming of age movies

Melissa Carton

These are classics.

There’s nothing like a good family movie night, but as our kids get older they’re less interested in watching Frozen and Toy Story.

Entering into their formative years they want to watch something a little bit more relatable and in fairness so did we as teenagers.

There’s so many great coming of age movies out there that you can watch with your kids but these are nine of my personal favourites.

1.Stand by Me (1986)

Not many people know that Stand By Me (originally named The Body) was written by horror legend Stephen King and is based on his childhood.

The film sees four young boys hike out into the woods to see if they can locate a local missing boy and in the process discover some things about themselves.

2.Now and Then (1995)

Set in a mixture of present day and the 1970s, Now and Then tells the story of four teenage girls who stumble across a local mystery.

Intertwined with personal grief, dealing with parental divorce and discovering that aren’t always gross (hello Devon Sawa), Now and Then is a witty and relatable look at the highs and lows of being a teenage girl.

3.Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants – 2005

Foursomes of friends really seems to be a thing with classic teen movies and Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants is no exception.

Based on the popular book the film sees four friends all sharing the one pair of jeans that just happens to fit them all.

While the pants travel, so do the girls as they all experience their own adventures during the summer including family woes and first loves.

4.Mystic Pizza – 1988

Mystic Pizza doesn’t get as much recognition as it deserves as a coming of age classic.

Very different from many other 80s teen flicks, Mystic Pizza sees two sisters and their best friend deal with everything from class issues, early marriage and affairs.

It also has an amazing cast.

5.My Girl – 1991

One that you will absolutely need the tissues for.

My Girl tells the story of a young girl, on the threshold of her teen years who finds her life turning upside down, when she suddenly makes an unlikely friend.

This one is an absolute roller-coaster ride of emotions but it is such a must see movie.

6.The Breakfast Club – 1985

Probably one of the most iconic teen movies of all time and the first one that comes to mind for many The Breakfast Club created a new style of teen movies.

Starring the then known as Brat Pack, the film sees five teens from different ends of the high school social spectrum forced together when they all receive Saturday detention.

Throughout the day revelations are made and unlikely alliances take place, but what will happen come Monday morning?

7.Sing Street – 2016

You can’t have a coming of age movie list without mentioning Ireland’s own Sing Street.

Sing Street sees a young boy growing up in Dublin during the 1980s escape his strained family life by starting a band to impress the mysterious girl he likes.

8.Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging – 2008

Pretty sure this one is still on Netflix.

Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging sees an eccentric but loveable teenage girl maintains a diary about the ups and downs of being a teenager and tries to overcome the trials and tribulations of growing up.

Also Ultraviolet is an absolute tune.

9.The Outsiders – 1983

Hands up if this was on your Junior Cert required reading list.

The Outsiders tells the tale of a teen gang in rural Oklahoma who are perpetually at odds with their a rival group.

When two of the boys get into a brawl that ends in the death of a rival gang member, the boys are forced to go into hiding.

Soon they must contend with the consequences of their violent lives with some trying to achieve redemption while others meet tragic ends.