Monday, 12 March 2018

Coming of age

I saw Lady Bird two weeks ago. I had just been at a lunchtime awards ceremony with work that had overran, so I had to jump out of my lift at traffic lights, heels in a bag in my hand and run through Newcastle in a party dress in order to get to Tyneside Cinema in time to buy a ticket for the afternoon

As Lady Bird’s character played out on screen, my journey and attire felt quite fitting.

Lady Bird was a perfect coming of age film – it was charming and quirky with just the right amount of realism and emotion. Without giving away any spoilers, the queer storyline really tugged on my heartstrings and I think a lot of women will be able to relate to aspects of Lady Bird’s relationship with her mother.

I came out comparing how much I had enjoyed it with my current favourite (and probably forever favourite), Call Me By Your Name and it made me think about how often the films that hit home the hardest for me fall into the coming of age genre.

I’m not quite sure why this is. I’m not even completely sure if coming of age is classed as its own genre in film but I’m sure it brings a couple of movies to your mind all the same.

The films I think of are honest, vulnerable and touching. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Boys, Juno, Sing Street, Lady Bird.

I think they resonate with me so much because I have begun to feel like I am constantly in a state of coming of age. I turn 23 in a few days so I am by no means saying I feel like a child, but at the same time I don’t feel like I have fully transitioned into an ‘adult’. At least, not in the ‘if you’re in trouble then go find an adult’ way that seemed like such a solid distinction when I was younger. So what else does that leave?

I know some people argue that the millennial generation are in a limbo state between the two. More of us are living with our parents for longer, staying in education for longer, struggling to find jobs and of course - spending all our expendable income on avocados.

And with that logic I guess it’s no wonder that the coming of age genre proves so endearing.

Like I said before, I turn 23 on Thursday and I do feel like I’ve undergone a great change since my last birthday. Looking back at the way I started 22, what I really felt was lost, more than a little bit hopeless and utterly confused. A little bit like the beginning of Lady Bird.

A lot has happened in the last year but a lot seems to happen every year and by the end of it I never seem to get any closer to a solid understanding of where I am. And I guess it’s quite comforting seeing that reflected back in a film.

I hope I’m more of a Christine now than I am a Lady Bird but, like her position at the end of the film, it’s definitely a work in progress. 

And I think I'm okay with that.

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