A few weeks ago I watched the Trainspotting sequel which left me with a few thoughts. First, out of every movie from the ’90’s, who thought that the one about drug addled, heroin peddling drug dealers was the one best suited for a sequel? Second, wow middle age can really make everything and every one depressing. Third, what happens after the big coming of age moments? I mean, at it’s core Trainspotting was a sort of Bildungsroman, right? Teenagers in their formative years, developing addictions and developing behaviors that would become defining characteristics. So what happens after that? After the bildungsroman what is there? The answer is: nothing!
I’m kidding, but really below are basically my favorite movies or at least interesting depictions of coming of age moments and the garbage that follows.
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg moves pretty depressingly between the abject pain of your teenage years to the crushing realities of adulthood. Genevieve, played by the young and blissfully sincere Catherine Deneuve, realizes she’s pregnant after her boyfriend is conscripted into the military leaving her alone, unwed and pregnant (in the 1960’s nonetheless). Aside from being a depressing and difficult situation many women find themselves in, Genevieve’s character growth happens pretty quickly as she is forced to move away from pining for her absent lover in order to make the best decisions for her and her child’s future. I know that this sounds like a bore especially when the word “musical” is never that far behind when describing it BUT 1) the plot is secondary to the set design and movie set up 2) it’s not a musical as much as a movie that’s dialogue is sung and scored to music.
I’ve written about Rocket Science before but in case you have a shoddy memory, don’t read everything I write or weren’t convinced the first time around, here we go again! Rocket Science is from the golden age of Indie Flicks with narrators and “quirky” banjos and shit throughout the soundtrack. But!! Unlike most of the shit I suggest this just a nice, pleasant movie. At the very least it’s an interesting movie premise and it’s Anna Kendrick pre-pubescent and pre-Pitch Perfect.
Antoine and Colette
Antoine and Colette is only a coming of age story when viewed within the broader scope of the adventures of Antoine Doinel (The 400 Blows, Stolen Kisses, Bed and Board etc). It’s here that we see some of his behavioral quirks and deficiencies that define his marriage, divorce and middle age take form.