6 Movies That Perfectly Capture What It's Like To Be A 20-Something
It's the best time to be a 20-something. It seems like movies and TV shows are cashing in on showing the struggle of the Millennial. Some older generations (looking at you, Baby Boomers) seem to think we are whiny and self-entitled.
That may be true, but we have a lot to whine about: We are uselessly educated, over-medicated, underemployed and lacking the proper resources to become full-fledged members of society.
Unless you're one of the lucky ones, you probably are familiar with that uncertain feeling that usually happens sometime after graduation. Your 20s are a time for self-discovery, and they have certainly served as that in this generation and past ones.
Below are a handful of movies that perfectly capture what it's like to be a 20-something.
Note: The following movies are picked by accuracy, not necessarily the best rated.
1. "About Alex" (2014)
Every close group of friends in college swears they will forever stay in touch after graduation, but things happen. It's rarely the case that you will stay as close with everyone as you once were, but when one of you is in need, you can be sure everyone will rally together to be there.
Jesse Zwick, son of Edward Zwick, makes his directorial debut with an honest look at what happens when friends grow apart. The premise is very similar to "The Big Chill," with the central character even having the same name.
After Alex attempts suicide, his core group of friends gathers with him at his family's cottage in a weekend meant for healing and reconnecting.
Aubrey Plaza plays a somewhat neurotic, wannabe chef, lawyer. Max Greenfield does a great job playing a Schmidt-esque PhD student who hates the way technology has played out in interactions.
Although Zwick beats his not-so-subtle social media criticisms over our heads, I think this movie is pretty accurate. It will make you want to call up your friends you haven't talked to in a few weeks or months, despite promising Sunday-night weekly Skype dates.
2. "St. Elmo's Fire" (1985)
Although not a John Hughes movie, "St. Elmo's Fire" has all the makings of a Brat Pack movie.
Emilio Estevez, Demi Moore, Andrew McCarthy, Judd Nelson, Rob Lowe, Ally Sheedy and Mare Cunningham play a group of post-graduates who are forced to realize that things don't always work out the way you plan when you're 18.
Almost 30 years later, these sentiments are still as common. We're all just trying to figure it out, choosing between our passions and practicalities, wondering when this thing called "success" will descend upon us.
Cinematically, this isn't the best movie, and it jumps around too much making it seem scattered.
Ensemble dramas are hard, but this is a noble attempt at immortalizing what it means to be in school without a care in the world one second, and have a pile of responsibilities in your lap the next second.
Real life comes at you fast, and we're all just trying to figure out the best course of action.
3. "Frances Ha" (2012)
Noah Baumbach's black-and-white film follows Frances Harrington through her mess of a life as she tries to land on her feet, but pretty much just falls flat on her ass.
Frances is an apprentice at a dance company where she desperately wants to be a dancer, even though it seems as though her dreams get further away.
This movie doesn't follow typical movie structure and is sometimes slow moving, but Frances' stubbornness is an attribute that has plagued 20-somethings since the beginning.
Frances is trying to come to terms with the fact that her life and her best friend Sophie's life are moving at completely different speeds.
This movie is about that period of feeling completely lost before everything you want to do becomes crystal clear. It reminds us to keep pushing and be open to changes in our paths.
4. "Kicking and Screaming" (1995)
"Kicking and Screaming" is another film by Noah Baumbach, who obviously has a talent for capturing the subtleties of 20-something life. This movie follows a group of post-graduates, not through despair or triumph, but through boredom.
I think this film doesn't receive as much recognition as it should. Sometimes, things don't suck after graduation; sometimes, things are just boring.
Whether you get a job your heart isn't in, or you are doing absolutely nothing, being bored after graduation is something a lot of people experience.
You go from having tons of things to do at any given time to having nothing but free time to think about all your failures. It also accurately represents that feeling of "at least my life is more together than that guy."
5. "Happythankyoumoreplease" (2010)
Ted Mosby's (Josh Radnor) directorial debut was actually quite impressive. Although his character essentially kidnaps a kid and serves zero jail time, this movie does a good job of capturing the authenticity surrounding the decade of self-discovery.
If you've ever f*cked up an important opportunity, the first 10 minutes will resonate deeply with you. This movie is, at its core, about the recklessness, idealization and stubbornness of 20-somethings.
Zoe Kazan, from "What If," and Pablo Schreiber (aka "Pornstache" from "OITNB") play a couple trying to decide whose dreams are more important, and figuring out whether sacrifice inevitably leads to resentment.
This movie centers on chasing a dream, but it also deals with finding love you deserve in this decade of settling.
6. "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World" (2010)
It's admirable to be a 20-something following your passions. At this age, most people you date come with baggage, and Romano is no different. Scott has to fight Romano's seven ex-boyfriends, but following his heart is more important to him.
This movie is earnest and gets the emotion right. Playing in a band when you can't even pay the bills may not please your parents, but you can never lose while following your heart.
There you have it; if you find yourself wallowing in 20-something self-pity, watch anyone of these movies and realize that you're not alone.