Some Not ‘Not Another Teen Movie’ type movies: 4 thought-provoking ‘coming of age’ movies Part 2

Here’s part two of my post on alternative teen movies! Hope you enjoy! Click here for part one.

Donnie Darko (2001)

Exceptional

‘Sometimes I doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion’. If there is one reason to watch Donnie Darko movie, it is to see the very concerned Kitty Farmer deliver this line. You’ve probably heard of this movie, but I’m sure many of you still haven’t seen it.

Jake Gyllenhaal plays Donnie Darko.  After an accident, Donnie becomes assaulted by unusual hallucinations of a human sized bunny named Frank.  Frank (the creepiest bunny-man I have ever seen… not that I make a habit of befriending bunny-men) asks the troubled Donnie to commit a series of crimes. It is made clear in the movie that Donnie has a number of mental health problems, but something much bigger is at play here. Donnie Darko will surprise, perturb and provoke chills.

It’s no surprise that Donnie Darko has a rather grand cult following, one of my friends has even made a Facebook career as a ‘Doubter’ at ‘Sparkle Motion’.  Best job ever,  if you ask me.

Despite its cult success I still believe deserves to be on this list. Probably because I still haven’t figured out what the hell is actually going on. Jena Malone of The Go-Getter also stars as a love interest in this movie. Well done to Jena for making the list twice, I’m sure the thank you note is in the post.

 

Into the Wild (2007)

Into the Wild

Into the Wild is a bit like The Go-Getter, but with less car. The movie is based on the life of Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch), and is adapted from the 1996 novel of the same name by Jon Krakauer.

Chris has everything going for him: he has just graduated from college with top grades and has the financial backing from his parents to study Law at Harvard. It seems like everything should be golden for him, but that is not the case. Although Chris has led what appears to be a blessed life, his dysfunctional family has left him with a bitter taste in his mouth.

His sense of identity is disrupted by a family secret he discovered. Disillusioned by conventional American life, Chris decides to abandon all comforts. He renames himself ‘Alexander Supertramp’ and begins his journey – you guessed it – into the wild.

He does not tell his parents nor his sister where he is going. Instead we watch his family grow from anxious to desperate; constantly at war with the knowledge Chris could be anywhere, or even dead.

Into the Wild’s non-linear narrative begins in Alaska where he enters what he calls ‘The Magic Bus’: an abandoned bus which he soon makes his home. Everything in Chris/Alexander’s life is incredibly romantic. He is a noble savage of sorts, living off the wild and feeding his mind with poetry and the great writers he admires.

One of the only problems I have with this movie is the main character’s headstrong ‘I don’t need anyone’ nature. At times, I had to remind myself that he is based on a real person and there would have been no adventure at all if he had not been so stubborn. Christopher is a fascinating person and I think many people would love to have his courage and sense of adventure.

That concludes this blog post! Thank you very much for reading.

If you enjoy any of these movies you should also take a look at What’s Eating Gilbert GrapeGood Will HuntingEdward Scissorhands and Almost Famous.

Also, if you can think of any great ‘coming of age’ movies with female protagonists, please let me know in the comments. I would love to include another female driven movie in this list –or perhaps another blog post – without resorting to the likes of Jane Eyre… Although I do love the book!

 

Feel free to read my blog posts on ASMRShouting at Planes and Poetry!