As summer begins, many of us are reminded of all of the classic summer movies we wish resembled our lives more. Congrats if you’ve got a picture-perfect summer planned, but most of ours just can’t stack up to these movies.
We didn’t meet the soft-spoken, introspective guy of our dreams or work that crappy summer job that changed our entire outlook on life. Although in reality, we’d probably dump the guy after getting frustrated with his constant mumbling and quit the crappy job because they didn’t pay us enough. Ah, c’est la vie!
Since our summer may not really stack up to our idealistic dreams, we can live vicariously through our favorite coming-of-age films.
Incredibly quotable and a constant reminder that we’ll never be married to young Patrick Swayze, this ‘80s hit stars Swayze and Jennifer Grey as Johnny Castle and “Baby.” A great soundtrack, awesome dance sequences and a lot of heart make this a summer film we watch at least once every summer.. As a rule of thumb, we believe every coming-of-age flick should have at least three dance numbers.
Set in the summer of 1987, Jesse Eisenberg plays the endearing James Brennan, who takes a job at a local amusement park where he meets a whole cast of characters, including those played by Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Ryan Reynolds, Martin Starr and Kristen Stewart. There are plenty of other summer coming-of-age movies in which the protagonist toils away in a cruddy, minimum-wage summer job, but Adventureland certainly does it best. The best type of indie, it’s sweet, insightful and we can’t help loving it despite its slightly romanticized take on the constant uncertainty that comes with this stage of life.
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that every Feather Girl must love Carmen, Tibby, Lena and Bridget—aka the best friends we wish we had. A perfect movie for a nostalgic sleepover with old pals, Sisterhood follows four friends and their magical pair of pants over one life-changing summer. They deal with depression, divorce, love and friendship—all components of a good growing up movie.
A young and adorable John Cusack plays Lloyd Dobler in this ‘80s classic, co-starring Ione Skye as Diane Court. He’s a noble underachiever and she’s the class valedictorian, but their differences do little to keep them apart as they slowly fall in love. Featuring the classic boom-box-over-head scene that has been lovingly parodied by so many movies and TV shows, it’s a coming of age love story that’s beautifully understated and pretty timeless.
Starring all of director Wes Anderson’s usual partners in crime (Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Edward Norton, Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton, etc.) and relative newcomers Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward, Moonrise Kingdom is about a pair of young lovers who run away together and are sought out by a unique search party. Like Stand By Me, Bridge to Terabithia and The Sandlot, this film focuses on the lives of younger characters.
Summer coming-of-age movies can be science fiction, right? This labor of love from director J.J. Abrams was an homage to the 1970s sci-fi films he grew up on and his early years as an aspiring filmmaker. Set in ‘79, Super 8 is about a group of kids attempting to make a zombie movie, but accidentally stumbling upon evidence of extraterrestrials in their small town. As with many coming-of-age films, Super 8 is set in a small town and focused much on the strained relationship between Joe (Joel Courtney) and his father (Kyle Chandler) as they attempt to heal after the death of Joe’s mother’s and rebuild their relationship.
This is a post from the Feather archives. We lost all of our content from before August 2014, so we’ll be reposting our greatest stories to keep giving you the best we have to offer.