What Movie Gets “Coming-of-Age” Just Right?

Two of this year’s better-reviewed movies are The Way, Way Back and The Spectacular Now, both examples of the durable “coming-of-age” film. (It could be argued that Mud, which will almost certainly be ranking at or near the top of my own Top 10 of the Year, fits into this genre, too) Whether you’re talking about American Graffiti, The Last Picture Show, or Superbad—the last being one of the films with which I most directly identify as a brilliant and hilarious study of the teenage male friendship—a good “coming-of-age” movie can always transcend the particulars of its generational setting…because, as that old saw goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Movie Irv is eager to share his picks for great “coming-of-age” pictures:

Your turn now to open the yearbook of your movie memories and point out which films of this type are the ones that evoke the most powerful associations with your own feelings about those glorious (and often gloriously confusing) times.