Movies for twenty-somethings
When young adults are described in a negative light you often hear that we do nothing but sit around and watch TV. While I argue that we certainly do not laze around all day, I’d also like to ask, “What’s wrong with a bit of small-screen storytelling?” Two hours spent watching a tale unfold before your eyes is not only tolerable, but can be beneficial! Since we twenty-somethings work hard to prove ourselves to the world, we sometimes need a bit of encouragement to keep our chins up, and I unashamedly state that inspiration can come from your Netflix queue. So sit back, relax, and check out a couple of new films that have a special place on a twenty-something’s DVD shelf. I promise to keep spoilers at a minimum!
500 Days of Summer

1. 500 Days Of Summer

Honestly, though the title of this article is meant in jest, I do feel as if every twenty-something should be required to watch this movie. It won’t entirely eliminate heartbreak from your life but it will certainly save you from some stupid misconceptions that we acquire from Disney movies. “500 Days” shatters the romantic comedy mantra that emotional attraction is the only necessity for a lasting relationship.
In fact, that illusion is brilliantly shattered by my two favorite quotes from the film: At the beginning of their romance in the film, Tom, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, gives an emotional voice-over listing the reasons he loves Summer, played by Zooey Deschanel. The reasons are all superficial: Her eyes, her smile, her laugh. Forty minutes later the viewer is treated to another voice-over by Levitt – only this time he’s listing the reasons he hates Summer, and they’re all the same reasons he “loved” her.
I came close to turning the movie off before I’d finished it because I was so worried I’d be left with a hopeless ending. I can’t give away too much to you readers, but I assure you that the closing 10 minutes will leave your emotions reeling and you rethinking your own perceptions on whether someone is “the one” just because it feels like it.
The Life And Adventures Of Nicholas Nickleby

2. The Life And Adventures Of Nicholas Nickleby

Technically this is a filmed play that also happens to be nine hours long, but it’s on DVD, so I’m counting it as a movie! This adaption of Dickens’ lengthy work perfectly captures the social issues of 1830’s London. I’m sure you’re wondering, then, what influence it would have on a 21st century twenty-something. While the flowery bonnets and horse-driven carriages may have faded with time, the portrayal of a twenty-something trying to find his way in the world while holding close to his principles and battling manipulative and selfish forces is well-needed inspiration that will never die.
13 Going on 30

3. 13 Going On 30

OK, so maybe thirty is pushing it a little bit for us, but this charming comedy addresses a relevant topic: What does it mean to grow up? At the beginning of the film 13-year-old Jenna is hell-bent on growing up, and to her that means banishing childish things from her life. The viewer watches as 17 years down the road Jenna (now being played by the adorable Jennifer Garner) struggles with the consequences of her decisions. As silly as the movie is, I never tire of watching it to remind myself that being a mature twenty-something means taking responsibility, being true to my passions, and exercising kindness, not shunning my sense of wonder and asserting my bitchy side.
In Time

4. In Time

This futuristic political film was a bit of a joke at the box office, but nonetheless I was drawn in by Justin Timberlake and the angel-faced Amanda Seyfried playing a kind of Robin Hood and Bonnie and Clyde hybrid. The fun part of the film is that the entire cast is made up of young, beautiful people. Why? Because in this bizarre capitalist society humans are “programmed” to stop aging at 25 – which is precisely why the film poses a particular interest to us at GenTwenty.
“In Time” is intended solely to entertain, and yet I found myself thinking deeply long after the screen had faded to black. There’s something about being a twenty-something that has enchanted storytellers for decades – but would you want to stay young forever? Can there only be one “best time” of your life? Are your twenties only good for preparing you for life or are they good in and of themselves? I’ve answered these brain-bugs for myself, now it’s your turn! (Oh, and invite some friends over to discuss this flick. It makes for some fantastic political debates!)

Feeling inspired yet? I know it can be hard to really kick back and watch a film without feeling guilty for being “unproductive,” but the truth is that we all need a break sometimes. So why not acquire some wisdom along the way? Look for encouragement in the little things. And… cut!
Thinking of any films that have helped you get through a rough week or inspired you to apply for you dream job? Chime in below!
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