A lot of movie fans still associate Jonah Hill most strongly with his hilarious performances in comedies like Superbad and 21 Jump Street. It’s easy to forget that he’s actually an Academy Award nominated actor for not one, but two films: Moneyball and The Wolf of Wall Street. And this year he’s expanded his career in two interesting and unexpected ways by taking on a lead role (alongside his Superbad costar Emma Stone) in the trippy miniseries Maniac on Netflix, in addition to directing his first film, Mid90s, which debuted to quite the positive reception at the Toronto International Film Festival last month.
Mid90s is a coming-of-age drama about a skater kid growing up in California in the — you guessed it — mid-1990s. It’s not the first movie about 13 year olds to wow audiences this year, though. Which brings me to my list of 3 Movies That Will Take You Back!
Eighth Grade – This amazing dramedy is such a realistic and intimate look at that awkward time between junior high and high school that it’s been mistaken for a documentary. That’s saying a lot about the skills of its first-time director, YouTube star Bo Burnham, and his adorable leading lady, Elsie Fisher. Elsie plays Kayla, who’s in her last week of eighth grade and is struggling to break free from her “quiet girl” reputation. Her insecurity, innocence and self-absorption are both heartbreaking and comical, and both male and female viewers will find themselves transported back to their younger days when social status at school seemed like such a big deal.
Edge of Seventeen – Take Kayla’s middle school drama, crank it up to 11 and you’re still not even close to the angst Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld) is feeling in Edge of Seventeen. It doesn’t take much to send her on a rollercoaster of emotions in the first place, but when Nadine finds out that her brother and her best friend have been secretly dating, she’s ready to burn everything to the ground. Even if you weren’t quite this over the top in your teen years, you’ll undoubtedly have flashbacks of how difficult it was to be comfortable in your own skin back then.
Lady Bird – And finally we have the story of Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson (Saoirse Ronan), a rebellious Catholic-high-school senior who’s determined to march to the beat of her own drummer and follow her own path, much to the chagrin of her equally headstrong mother (Laurie Metcalfe). This film touched people deeply and went on to earn five Oscar nominations and win two Golden Globes. For male viewers doubting that any of the films on this list could really speak to them, I’ll have you know that Lady Bird was my husband’s favorite movie of 2017, and he was a longhaired guitar-playing teenager in a public school in Montana (as in, about as opposite from the Lady Bird character as you can get)!
What movies take you back to your teen years?