Whatever stage of life you’re currently in, whether you’re a teen finding your place in the world or a millennial facing the complexities of adulthood, the coming-of-age subgenre holds a special place in our hearts. Coming-of-age films provide us a warm sense of nostalgic comfort for the reason that they portray the stories that we find relatable.
Because we have all been there, in situations where we are forced to embrace the reality that we are no longer kids, times have changed, and now is the time for self-discovery. And in the roller-coaster ride of getting to know ourselves better, this is when we experience a lot of firsts: first kiss, first heartbreak, first encounters with life’s big questions such as why are we here, and where do we go from here.
Fortunately, Netflix houses a massive library of these stories– from comedy teen films, romantic flicks, to stories that delve deep into the pains of growing up. Here are our favorite coming-of-age films on the streaming platform.
A 2019 coming-of-age period drama that stars an ensemble cast, it’s the latest and possibly the greatest adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel of the same title. It follows the March sisters—Jo, Meg, Amy, and Beth, as they experience the ups and downs of growing up until they reach womanhood.
The Fault in our Stars
Book-loving folks have had their share of tears and heartbreak when they delved into John Green’s 2012 novel, The Fault in Our Stars. And when the book was turned into a movie in 2014, more tears flowed. In this coming-of-age story, we get to accompany cancer-stricken teens, Hazel and Gus as they embark on a life-affirming journey to visit a reclusive author in Amsterdam.
The Perks of Being A Wallflower
Considered a cult-favorite, this film adaptation of Stephen Chbosky’s novel of the same name is definitely an A-lister in the realm of coming-of-age films. It follows the socially inept teen Charlie (Logan Herman) as he gets his life changed by his two new friends, Sam (Emma Watson) and her stepbrother Patrick (Ezra Miller).
The Half Of It
Directed by Alice Wu, this rom-com is a story about an introverted, Chinese-American high school student who finds herself helping a jock write a love letter to a girl she’s also secretly in love with. While this plot seems like a cliche on the surface, wait until you see how it’s executed.
Critics have found this film a fresh take not just on the rom-com genre, but also on the way lesbian love stories are typically told. While the protagonist, Ellie Chu’s sexuality is an important element of the story, the film shies away from the mistake of focusing too much on it in favor of diving deeply into her development as a friend and as a daughter.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
Released in 2010, this star-studded action-comedy follows the ultimate simp, Scott Pilgrim, on his quest to win Ramona Flowers over the latter’s evil exes by beating each of them in a showdown. Much of the film’s charm can be attributed to its clever take on the teenage comedy flick.
What’s your favorite coming-of-age film on Netflix? Tell us in the comments below!
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