Film & TV Muse

When Coming Of Age Grows Up

Emily Harvie discusses the evolution of coming of age films and their longevity.

Article Thumbnail

Image Credit: Paramount Pictures

Various film genres tend to go in and out of fashion over the years, from the 60s Western film to the domination of the comic book superheroes in the 2010s. One genre often over looked but never ceasing in popularity or influence would be the ‘coming of age’ film. Films targeted towards the youth of a generation exhibit a longevity not to be overlooked in the market of cinema.

Arguably responsible for the explosion and ‘golden age’ of coming-of-age cinema, John Hughes may be the godfather of the ‘teen film’, directing what is widely known as some of the most influential teen films created such as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Breakfast Club and many more. The continued relevance of his films likely reflects the tropes and stereotypes often found (and frequently mocked) in films of this genre that were popularised in the 80s. They discuss the lives of teens and young adults adjusting to the changing worlds around them and the changes they individually go through both mentally and physically.

Cameron’s meltdown in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off displays issues of mental health more honestly than commonly seen beforehand. However, Hughes still explores these topics within a framework of comedy and doesn’t give name to these issues, just presenting a visual of what is most likely Anxiety Disorder. Although some teen films are just idyllic examples of the geeky girl transforming to become the pretty and popular girl, some of the most influential films of the genre often subvert or make fun of these tropes, as highlighted by Mean Girls, a film I’m sure we’re all familiar with even if it’s hardly viewed as high-brow cinema.

Explorations of illicit activities, or mature topics such as drugs, drinking, and sex allow youths to understand that they are not weird for thinking something and allows each generation to find humour in the awkward periods of growing up. Yet as the decades move on, we also see the genre diversifying. We are moving away from the awkward geek meets hot rebel tropes and towards more open discussions of race and sexuality as exhibited by the critically acclaimed Moonlight.

Moonlight discusses not only sexuality, a topic only recently discussed with such realism, but also race, and being a gay, black male growing up in a deprived neighbourhood in Miami. Moonlight received an overwhelmingly positive reception, such as its Best Picture win at the 2017 Academy Awards. It highlights how coming of age cinema can move into complex and sensitive portrayals of life, rather than the displays of comedic tropes that we have become so familiarised within the genre.

We can see how the genre has transformed and adapted through time to reflect more openly, and discuss in greater depth, topics that should be displayed on screen. The emergence of films such as Moonlight, Ladybird, and more all received global critical acclaim. Through insights into contemporary social issues, they demonstrate a sense of realism rather than the dramatisation we so expect. These films started as commodities, dramatising teen lives. However, they have moved towards more open discussions of the thought processes teenagers frequently possess while growing up.

From explorations of mental health in the 80s to the more recent exploration of race and sexuality in the 10s, coming of age films at times can act as the Holy Books to youth in understanding that old and cringeworthy saying of ‘you are not alone’. They allow each generation to reflect and find the humour in their stresses. The ‘coming of age’ genre possesses a timelessness that is unparalleled.

You Might Also Like...

34 Comments

Avenue South Residence Posted on Sunday 5 Apr 2020

Great article with excellent idea!Thank you for such a valuable article. I really appreciate for this great information.. Avenue South Residence

Reply

cannolo siciliano Posted on Sunday 5 Apr 2020

Excellent .. Amazing .. I’ll bookmark your blog and take the feeds also…I’m happy to find so many useful info here in the post, we need work out more techniques in this regard, thanks for sharing.  cannolo siciliano

Reply

Manufacturing Software Posted on Sunday 5 Apr 2020

This is extremely fascinating substance! I have completely delighted in perusing your focuses and have reached the conclusion that you are right about a hefty portion of them. You are extraordinary.  Manufacturing Software

Reply

top marketing school Posted on Sunday 5 Apr 2020

Nice post! This is a very nice blog that I will definitively come back to more times this year! Thanks for informative post. top marketing school

Reply

زيت باراشوت Posted on Sunday 5 Apr 2020

Your work here on this blog has been top notch from day 1. You've been continously providing amazing articles for us all to read and I just hope that you keep it going on in the future as well. Cheers! زيت باراشوت

Reply

Prediksi Parlay Posted on Sunday 5 Apr 2020

I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share. I want to thank you. Good job! You guys do a great blog, and have some great contents. Keep up the good work. Prediksi Parlay

Reply

zero waste products Posted on Sunday 5 Apr 2020

I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share. I want to thank you. Good job! You guys do a great blog, and have some great contents. Keep up the good work. zero waste products

Reply

Tempered Glass Posted on Sunday 5 Apr 2020

 If someone week i really ashen-haired not actually pretty, whether you will lite grope a present, thought to follow us to displays bursting with ends of the earth considerably? Inside the impeccant previous, sea ever have dried-up, my hubby and i only may very well be with all of you connected thousands of samsara. Tempered Glass

Reply

Industriekletterer Posted on Sunday 5 Apr 2020

I'm impressed, I must say. Very rarely do I come across a blog thats both informative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you ve hit the nail on the head. Your blog is important.. Industriekletterer

Reply

Best mattress Posted on Sunday 5 Apr 2020

First You got a great blog .I will be interested in more similar topics. i see you got really very useful topics, i will be always checking your blog thanks. Best mattress

Reply

Garden design Cotswolds Posted on Sunday 5 Apr 2020

I really loved reading your blog. It was very well authored and easy to undertand. Unlike additional blogs I have read which are really not tht good. I also found your posts very interesting. In fact after reading. I had to go show it to my friend and he ejoyed it as well! Garden design Cotswolds

Reply

bridal bouquet Posted on Sunday 5 Apr 2020

Thankyou for sharing the data which is beneficial for me and others likewise to see. bridal bouquet

Reply

Swimming pool contractors Posted on Sunday 5 Apr 2020

I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share. I want to thank you. Good job! You guys do a great blog, and have some great contents. Keep up the good work Swimming pool contractors

Reply

nike outlet Posted on Sunday 5 Apr 2020

I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share. I want to thank you. Good job! You guys do a great blog, and have some great contents. Keep up the good work nike outlet

Reply

employee monitoring software Posted on Sunday 5 Apr 2020

Whoi, excellent, t wondered just how to cure icne. ind found your webstte by google, dtscovered todiy t'm i ltttle obvtous i greit deil. t’ve ilso idded RSS ind sive your webstte. keep us updited. employee monitoring software

Reply

Vietnam Cambodia tours Posted on Sunday 5 Apr 2020

Most of the time I don’t make comments on websites, but I'd like to say that this article really forced me to do so. Really nice post! Vietnam Cambodia tours

Reply

Social Marketing Service Posted on Sunday 5 Apr 2020

Personally, I have found that to remain probably the most fascinating topics when it draws a parallel to. You may find two to three new levels inside L . a . Weight loss and any one someone is incredibly important. Initial stage may be real melting away rrn the body. lose weight Social Marketing Service

Reply

Metal manufacturing Posted on Sunday 5 Apr 2020

Extremely intriguing online journal. A lot of web journals I see nowadays don't generally give anything that I'm keen on, however I'm most definitely inspired by this one. Recently felt that I would post and let you know. Metal manufacturing

Reply

Latest Jobs in Pakistan Posted on Sunday 5 Apr 2020

I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. Really its great article. Keep it up. Latest Jobs in Pakistan

Reply

certified color expert Posted on Sunday 5 Apr 2020

Extremely intriguing online journal. A lot of web journals I see nowadays don't generally give anything that I'm keen on, however I'm most definitely inspired by this one. Recently felt that I would post and let you know. certified color expert

Reply

heets Posted on Sunday 5 Apr 2020

I know your aptitude on this. I should say we ought to have an online discourse on this. Composing just remarks will close the talk straight away! What's more, will confine the advantages from this data.  heets

Reply

Read Posted on Sunday 5 Apr 2020

It turns out that even the hottest port has a few places where you can get off the beaten path. Here are some recommendations that will make you feel like you're in the know Read

Reply

reiki Posted on Sunday 5 Apr 2020

It turns out that even the hottest port has a few places where you can get off the beaten path. Here are some recommendations that will make you feel like you're in the know reiki

Reply

STeven Posted on Sunday 5 Apr 2020

Love to read it,Waiting For More new Update and I Already Read your Recent Post its Great Thanks. Philadelphia kitchen remodeling

Reply

techibuz Posted on Sunday 5 Apr 2020

techibuz will provide all type of articles which people love to read like relationship tips, new technology, health tips, gaming, entertainment, lifestyle tips, new tools and much more techibuz

Reply

handkreissäge test Posted on Sunday 5 Apr 2020

I truly welcome this superb post that you have accommodated us. I guarantee this would be valuable for the vast majority of the general population. handkreissäge test

Reply

how to grow on instagram Posted on Sunday 5 Apr 2020

I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. Really its great article. Keep it up. how to grow on instagram

Reply

COOK Posted on Sunday 5 Apr 2020

I want to say thanks for beautiful blog sharing with us. Your blog really great resource to update my knowledge. hot water tank installer Edmonton

Reply

instagram engagement groups Posted on Sunday 5 Apr 2020

We are truly thankful for your blog entry. You will discover a great deal of methodologies in the wake of going to your post. I was precisely scanning for. A debt of gratitude is in order for such post and please keep it up.  instagram engagement groups

Reply

heets online sk Posted on Sunday 5 Apr 2020

Your article is extremely helpful exceptionally fascinating subject i am looking that sort of post thank for imparting to us keep it up. heets online sk

Reply

Home Care Services Boca Raton Posted on Sunday 5 Apr 2020

Many homework on the continual hunt along with offstage on the road to winning. Definitely not attached, simple to-fall as a result of wayside; And not investigation, afterward into a path travel toward the black. Home Care Services Boca Raton

Reply

Home Care Services Boca Raton Posted on Sunday 5 Apr 2020

Many homework on the continual hunt along with offstage on the road to winning. Definitely not attached, simple to-fall as a result of wayside; And not investigation, afterward into a path travel toward the black. Home Care Services Boca Raton

Reply

ps1 fighting games list with picture Posted on Sunday 5 Apr 2020

ps1 has launched many categories in games, like racing, fighting, horror, shooting, ninja, etc. ps1 fighting is one of them. Lots of players find fun and joy in games and adventure games ps1 is a great way to all. I hope you get a lot of help with this content and you will also get a Joy of Fun. ps1 fighting games list with picture

Reply

COOK Posted on Sunday 5 Apr 2020

A very awesome blog post. We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. I was exactly searching for. Thanks for such post and please keep it up. Great work free movies streaming site

Reply

Leave a comment

Disclaimer: this page is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.