Whether you are already in your 20s, or you are quickly approaching the milestone; this time in life is very transformative and enlightening. You’re on the verge of adulthood, but still stuck in the mentality of your teenage years and that adjustment period can be confusing. To help manage those feelings, VALLEY has compiled a list of ten movies to get you through your early 20s with confidence.
Someone Great (2019)
For all the twenty-somethings out there struggling with single life and missing a past special someone, look no further than Gina Rodriguez’s character in “Someone Great.” After going through a tough breakup with her longtime boyfriend, she sets out to have one last night of fun in New York City with her best friends and gains a lot of self-awareness in the process.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)
Another great coming-of-age style movie that’s not set in high school for once; “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” is an amazing combination of comedy, romance and action, which somehow work really well together. Though it flopped on its initial release; it has since rose to stardom and garnered quite the following, becoming a 21st century cult classic that you just have to see.
With the same level of quirkiness as the previous recommendation, but a completely different style, “Amélie” is an indie French film that follows an extremely introverted twenty-something as she secretly meddles with the lives of those around her (and eventually her own life as well). It’s a very cute tale of contemporary Parisian love and self-discovery that everybody should see at some point in their lives.
Legally Blonde (2001)
Following with another strong female lead, “Legally Blonde” centers on the classic example of a dumb-blonde as she works to get into Harvard in order to win back her ex. Once there, though, she realizes her passion for law, and defies the odds and the stereotypes that stand in her way. It’s a feel-good comedy with a bit of romance and drama, but there’s no mistaking the life lessons learned throughout.
It may seem a bit weird to see a horror movie among this list, but “Scream” brings so much to the table. What makes it such an enjoyable movie is the fact that it calls itself out at any chance it gets. Wes Craven uses dark comedy and violence to create this perfect satirical scary movie; complete with characters discussing horror movie cliches while enacting them. And if horror isn’t quite your thing, “Scream” isn’t all that scary, and certainly has much more to offer.
After the Dark (2013)
One film that pretty much never makes it onto top ten lists is “After the Dark,” a psychological thriller set and filmed in Indonesia. For fans of sci-fi and movies that make you think, this one follows a class of philosophy students who go through one last thought experiment on their final day of university. With the film following the post-apocalyptic world they envision, it analyzes human nature in an incredibly unique and interesting way, making it a great contender for your 20s.
Spirited Away (2001)
Another movie that doesn’t really get as many recommendations as it deserves is “Spirited Away.” Made by the renowned Japanese animation studio Studio Ghibli, this movie follows 10-year-old Chihiro as she works to free her parents from a spell. Though the true notability lies in the beautiful animation, the visuals still come together to tell a charming story of identity and childhood that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Fried Green Tomatoes (1991)
One movie that tends to go unnoticed though it truly deserves more hype is “Fried Green Tomatoes,” which tells the story of two friends from the 1920s and their experiences with race and sexuality in the South. Though at its core it is a dramedy about love and friendship, the film has a very nostalgic and charming feel overall and it teaches important lessons with realistic characters and storylines for the setting and time.
The Godfather (1972)
Listen, it’s true, “The Godfather” is an incredibly common recommendation. Still, there has to be a reason so many people refer to it as one of the greatest films ever made. It really is a wonderful piece of work that deserves all of the respect it is given (and for that matter, “Goodfellas” is another mafia movie that should be placed on the same pedestal). Just give it a try before making any final judgements!
Rounding off the list with another pretty well-known recommendation, “Inception” sits right next to “The Godfather” on many people’s lists of greatest movies of all time – and for good reason. If mafia shootouts and drawn-out drama isn’t quite your cup of tea, trade it in for a psychological thriller about the mind and dreams. You’ll definitely find yourself looking up different theories about the ending and no matter what you believe, it is sure to leave you perplexed.
Whether you watch any of the movies on this list, or make a top ten list of your own, VALLEY would love to hear your thoughts. Tag us @VALLEYmag on Instagram or tweet us @VALLEYmag on Twitter about your favorite movies!