In need of comforting stories for uncertain times?
One of the best coming of age films of the last few years, Booksmart (Olivia Wilde, 2019) follows best friends Amy and Molly as they decide to party through their last night of high school. The film is a celebration of friendship and an encouragement to live life as your most authentic self. The supporting cast shine – Jason Sudeikis, Lisa Kudrow and Will Forte make hilarious cameos – and the soundtrack and production design make for a lovely watch. Including a stop-motion animation scene where the pair take drugs and turn into Barbies, this is not one to miss.
The pair worry about college when Amy’s plans change unexpectedly, but the ultimate message of the film is clear. A good friendship will last forever, regardless of where different paths lead.
Watch the teaser trailer for Olivia Wilde’s new film, Don’t Worry Darling, starring Harry Styles and Florence Pugh (get excited!)
The King of Staten Island
The King of Staten Island (Judd Apatow, 2020) centres around Scott (Pete Davidson), a 24 year old with little direction in life still mourning the death of his father. Scott is an aspiring tattoo artist and inflicts his terrible designs on his trusty best friend Igor (Moisés Arias). Davidson shines in this incredibly moving story that encapsulates the feeling of being young, lost, and angry at the world. There were many moments where I found myself tearing up, as well as scenes of genuine hilarity. You’ll be rooting for Scott the whole way through.
In Dating Amber (David Freyne, 2020), closeted teenagers Eddie and Amber (Fionn O’Shea and Lola Petticrew) decide to fake date each other in order to convince their school and families that they’re both straight. Both from rural Ireland, they begin to gain confidence on a trip to Dublin. While Amber is ready to embrace her sexuality, Eddie continually struggles as a result of his familial relationships, especially due to pressure from his father.
The pair share a touching friendship and the promise that life after secondary school is a time to fully express yourself and come into your own.
The Kings of Summer
Three friends decide to run away and build a house in the woods to escape nagging parents and responsibilities. Moisés Arias also makes an appearance here as Biaggio, alongside Joe (Nick Robinson) and Patrick (Gabriel Basso). The trio navigate the usual trials of living with friends – cooking, cleaning, house repairs – but find themselves dealing with unforeseen challenges. Their attempt to maintain a balance between family and independence makes for some heartwarming moments.
Kicking and Screaming
Fans of classic 90’s movies look no further than Noah Baumbach’s first film, Kicking and Screaming (1995). It follows a group of college students as they graduate and go down different routes. I watched this for the first time during my final year of college, and found it captures an uncertainty around graduation, friendships and relationships. This one isn’t just for the freshers: the mild existentialism might recommend it more to stressed out third or fourth years.
Read our Unusual Sports to Try in College article here.