Over time, movies have been able to touch our lives in ways that will never allow us to be the same. As bigger blockbuster hits come to the big screen, we have seen a plethora of emotionally filled movies. There are the comedies that give us quotes to live by, the cult classics that we never forget, and the romantic movies that have defined the relationships that we all want. However, there is one genre of films that has come a long way over the years.
Coming-of-Age movies have always seemed to concentrate on boys. The more popular movies in this genre seem to believe that boys are the only ones that have growing pains. It seems that Coming-of-Age movies about girls are not all that popular. But there are some great themes to look at in many of these movies.
Girls’ problems have not changed all that much over the years. While girls have some strong issues to deal with: pregnancy, drug use, and even promiscuity, the truth is that the most important issue for many girls is dealing with acceptance from their peers. Most teenagers face this problem to some degree and many Coming-of-Age films are themed around this issue.
The problem is that traditionally girls are often not portrayed in the best light in movies. Take the movie Mean Girls for example. It is one of the best known films in the past ten years. This may be due to the presence of Lindsay Lohan and other popular up-and-coming actresses, but most people know the movie well. This film concentrates on how catty teenage girls can be. It focuses on the need and desire to be accepted. The fact of the matter is that most teenage girls often end up in cliques that will dictate how one is treated in school. This movie takes things to extremes and seems to make us want to believe that there are no nice girls anywhere. Other films such as Heathers, Clueless, Hairspray, and Sixteen Candles show the cruel intentions that girls have.
Then there are those movies that concentrate on sweetness and innocence. Many of these heartfelt films show that there are good solutions to the many problems that girls have growing up. One such film, The Man in the Moon, is set in the 1950’s. This era of innocence finds a young girl dealing with her strong feelings for the boy next door. When her sister falls in love with the same boy, we find both girls at a great divide in their relationship. The only thing that brings them back together is his accidental death. This movie concentrates on the importance of family during times of trouble. These are the types of movies that need to be created.
Another film that shows the courage of a girl is Juno. While one may not consider this to be a movie that sets a good example, it really does if you dig deep. This teenage girl is faced with a pregnancy. After closely considering several different options, she decides to give the child up for adoption. This movie shows a girl with courage, strength and the ability to turn a bad situation into something positive for another family. Movies that teach a moral lesson are always better than those that teach someone to be mean and cruel.
Girls, like boys, pass through a period when they learn to recognize the difference between right and wrong and form an opinion on their own. Through its portrayal of girlhood to womanhood, a good Coming-of-Age movie that empowers its heroine with a strong moral voice and an identity that communicates to its viewers from the screen in a way that had not been so accessible before, can be a very positive influence on young, developing female minds. Quoting the French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir “One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.“
Further reading :
Top 5 Coming of Age Films for Girls , Coming Of Age Films For Girls Have Finally Come Of Age , Coming of age films – boy`s or girl`s thing , The Benefits of Watching Coming of Age Films with Children , The Psychology of the Coming of Age Movie , The Role of Nostalgia in Coming-of-Age Movies , The Top 5 Coming of Age Books for Girls