Top 10 Coming of Age Movies Like "The Edge of Seventeen"
What Films Are Like The Edge of Seventeen?
We love our teen coming of age films because we see ourselves through the quirky, awkward, angst-filled teenage characters. We are able to relive our youths through them from the safety of our screens.
Take The Edge of Seventeen for example. A story of a girl whose high school life becomes more unbearable when her one and only friend begins to date her older brother is one a lot of us can relate with. Well, maybe not the dating the big brother bit, but definitely the difficulty in getting through high school. These stories remind us of the past, teach us about life, and, most importantly, entertain us.
Which is why for our list, I’ll be looking at 10 coming of age movies like The Edge of Seventeen. If you loved this hearty pic, maybe check these out, too.
Movies Similar to The Edge of Seventeen
- Lady Bird (2017)
- Sixteen Candles (1984)
- Charlie Bartlett (2007)
- Paper Towns (2015)
- Juno (2007)
- The Fault in Our Stars (2014)
- Real Women Have Curves (2002)
- The Diary of A Teenage Girl (2015)
- The Perks of Being A Wallflower (2012)
- The Spectacular Now (2013)
1. Lady Bird (2017)
Lady Bird follows a young girl and her loving yet rocky relationship with her mother. Written and directed by the very talented Greta Gerwig, the story follows both their lives as they must both look inwards and explore what makes them individually and collectively, better people.
With stellar acting from Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird was voted by Time magazine as one of the ten best films of the year in 2017 and earned five nominations for Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Director at the 90th Academy Awards.
Lady Bird is available for purchase on Amazon Prime and the Google Play store.
2. Sixteen Candles (1984)
It’s pretty tough being a teenager and Samantha has more of said toughness to look forward to. As the day of her big sixteenth birthday arrives, Samantha must contend not only with the event being completely overshadowed by her older sister’s wedding, but with the feelings she has for a senior at the more desirable end of the popularity totem pole who seems to have noticed her.
Throw in some embarrassing grandparents, a nerd who is conspicuously in love with her, and a foreign student named Long Duk Dong, and you have the recipe for an interesting twenty-four hours that make the movie, Sixteen Candles.
Starring ‘80s Hollywood sweetheart, Molly Ringwald, Paul Dooley, and Justin Henry, Sixteen Candles is a comedic. It's pretty relatable take on a young girl’s journey into womanhood. Those looking for some hearty flicks like The Edge of Seventeen will love what Sixteen Candles has to offer.
3. Charlie Bartlett (2007)
When it comes to coming of age stories, Charlie Bartlett offers an alternative for awkward students who just can’t seem to fit the old adage, “if you can’t beat them, join them". For him, it's “if you can’t join them, diagnose them."
The film begins with an intelligent, well-dressed but awkward Charlie Bartlett who has his fair share of problems. His father is in prison for tax evasion, his mother is depressed, and he keeps getting expelled from private schools. When he’s finally put in a public school system, he realises he’s completely out of his comfort zone, having to deal with bullies and a social system that sees him at the bottom of the popularity poll.
That is until he comes up with an idea. Striking a deal with his biggest bully, he begins to play the part of the self-appointed school psychiatrist, dispensing not only advice and therapy but medication as well. Considering the levels of PTSD caused by attending high school, he becomes an instant hit.
Starring Anton Yelchin and Kat Dennings, Charlie Bartlett is a really fun coming of age story with an interesting take. The movie received mixed reviews and didn’t do too well at the box office, actually making a loss for the studio as it was unable to recoup its budget spend. Either way, watching “Iron Man” Robert Downey Jr. play an alcoholic school principal is fun.
Charlie Bartlett is available for purchase on iTunes and the Google Play store.
4. Paper Towns (2015)
Teen angst, infatuation, and self-discovery come rushing into play with Paper Towns. Quentin (played by Nat Wolff), a keeps-to-himself teenager who is in love with his one-time close friend and now popular girl, Margo (played by Cara Delevingne), has a dream-come-true all-night adventure when she enlists his help to exact some revenge on her disloyal friends.
After their tryst, however, she completely disappears. Well maybe not completely, as she leaves behind several clues for whoever might want to actually find her. Paper Towns follows Quentin’s obsessive journey to find the enigmatic love of his life with the help of his friends.
It’s a movie that touches on themes of friendship, loyalty, and love while finding a way to show the wonder in the most normal moments ever.
Paper Towns received mixed reviews with audiences loving it, but critics not so much; leaving it a rating of 56% on Rotten Tomatoes. Paper Towns is available for streaming on Netflix.
5. Juno (2007)
Probably the wildest and best film on this list according to critics, Juno is a coming of age teen comedy that feels like a lot more than a coming of age teen comedy. Starring Ellen Page as the titular character, Juno tells the story of a straight-shooting, no-nonsense high schooler who is trying to figure out life like so many others her age.
Only, she has just one tiny issue that makes her problems a little more complicated than most. She’s pregnant. No, not by some sick pedophile or anything like that, but by her awkward equally teenage friend, played by Michael Cera, who has also been in love with her for the longest time. Painstakingly evident that the two of them are not ready to raise a child and with the support of her progressive parents, she decides to look for parents to adopt her child when it’s born.
She finds a willing couple in Mark and Vanessa Loring. Mark is a laid-back punk rock enthusiast while Vanessa is an anxious control freak. Things start to get complicated when Mark starts to see Juno as more than just the biological mother for his soon to be adopted child.
The reception for the film was immense. It received a standing ovation at its premiere at the Toronto Film Festival, winning an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay along with three nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress.
The performances by the entire cast, which included Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, and J.K. Simmons were widely praised. The movie currently holds an IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes score of 7.5/10 and 94% respectively. Juno is available for purchase on iTunes and the Google Play store.
If you're looking for a coming of age film like The Edge of Seventeen, Juno should be your best bet.
6. The Fault in our Stars (2014)
Directed by Josh Boone, The Fault in our Stars is one of those tear-jerkers you might want to stay away from if you don’t like feeling things. This heart-breaking love story adaptation from the book of its same name follows Gus and Hazel, two teenagers who deal with cancer as they fall in love.
Hazel carries around an oxygen tank with her all the time, making things a little difficult for our star-crossed lovers. Gus, on the other hand, has just beat cancer. Knowing their fate in advance, they look to enjoy whatever little time they have.
The thing that may probably strike you the most about this film is the character development and how quickly you find yourself falling in love with these two. Their story will tear at your heartstrings, so keep a box of tissue handy. Watch The Fault in our Stars on Netflix.
7. Real Women Have Curves (2002)
Tradition faces off with ambition in this 2002 coming of age comedy, Real Women Have Curves. The story follows Ana, a first generation Mexican-American teenager living with her very traditional parents as they all try to make do with what little they have in a predominantly Latin community in Los Angeles.
Ana receives a full scholarship to Columbia University, something she has always dreamed, so she begins to plan life in and after college. However, her parents believe this is the perfect time for her to help take care of the family, not go to college. Ana is faced with a conundrum - follow her dreams or acquiesce to her anachronistic parents. Reluctantly, she agrees to spend the summer mulling over the decision while working with her mother at her sister’s sewing shop.
What follows is a lesson in loyalty, teamwork, and solidarity that leaves her in awe and appreciation of the women she has grown up around. However, she still has a decision to make. Based off a stage play by the same name, Real Women Have Curves is a beautiful story that unveils the very relatable experiences of a young girl growing up in a community with outdated beliefs.
What makes the movie so powerful is that, the experiences are not only unique to the Latin community, but to every teenager who has to deal with parents and/or a society that expects them to conform.
The film received largely positive reviews and holds a rating of 84% on Rotten Tomatoes as well as an IMDB rating of 7/10. Real Women Have Curves is available for purchase on iTunes and the Google Play store.
8. The Diary of a Teenage Girl (2015)
If there’s one thing the comedy The Diary of a Teenage Girl doesn’t shy away from, it’s sex. The story follows a fifteen-year-old aspiring cartoonist named Minnie, who begins her journey of sexual exploration with (wait for it) her mother’s boyfriend.
Finally feeling wanted after feelings of inadequacy and undesirability and with her mother too busy doing drugs to notice, Minnie does it again. And again. Then with strangers. Then boys her own age. All of this, under the supposedly watchful eye of her mother.
Although cleverly and masterfully draped in comedy, what makes The Diary of a Teenage Girl particularly poignant is that Minnie’s actions are not indicative of some deep-seated healthy desire for sex, but of a young girl seeking acceptance, love, and attention from anywhere she can get it - something many teenagers, especially young girls can relate to.
Critics applauded the film’s genuine portrayal of a real underlying issue prevalent in our society and universally rated it 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. The Diary of a Teenage Girl is available for purchase on iTunes and the Google Play store.
9. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)
The Perks of Being a Wallflower has become synonymous with the coming-of-age teen movie genre. First released as a novel by the same name and then directed by its writer Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower follows the story of an awkward teenager named Charlie, played by Logan Lerman who is socially adopted by a free-spirited Sam, played by Emma Watson, and her laidback stepbrother, Patrick, played by Ezra Miller.
With his new mature and exciting friends, Charlie begins to really experience what being a teenager is all about, exploring friendship, love and more. Though this feeling doesn’t last for long as his friends prepare to leave for college, destroying his newfound way of life. Will he go back to his old ways?
This film has achieved cult-like status amongst fans of the genre, holding a strong 86% and 8/10 rating on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB respectively. If you haven’t had the pleasure of seeing this teen classic, you can now purchase The Perks of Being a Wallflower on iTunes and the Google Play store.
10. The Spectacular Now (2013)
There’s no better visual representation of the phrase “opposites attract” than with the film The Spectacular Now. Following the story of an unexpected romance between a popular cool kid and an introverted girl, the two must deal with the individual problems they face and life after school while dealing with their ever-deepening feelings for each other.
What makes this film amazing is how right it gets the human condition, displaying how many people who come across as well put together actually have the worst kind of lives and try to hide it. If you are a fan of people watching and eavesdropping on interesting dialogue, The Spectacular Now should be a point of interest for you.
Did I miss out on any other good movies like The Edge of Seventeen? Let me know in the comments section.