June 15, 2024

In 2023, Hollywood skillfully captured the fundamental idea of the coming-of-age storyline.

The film “Are You There God?” is both sincere and delightful. In “It’s Me, Margaret,” the main character, adolescent Margaret (played by Abby Ryder Fortson from “Transparent”), implores a higher power to address the uncertainties of adolescence. These uncertainties encompass the possibility of relocating to a different town and Margaret’s strong desire to quickly transition into womanhood.

This film is characterized by numerous brief instances, such as making friends at a new educational institution and visiting one’s grandmother in the urban area. These moments collectively contribute to a greater narrative, which aligns with a recurring motif in the entertainment industry this year: the portrayal of the transition from childhood to adulthood in a nuanced, amusing, and emotionally resonant manner, encompassing both the uncomfortable and joyous aspects of this journey. Undoubtedly, 2023 did not originate the genre of coming-of-age films, but it certainly executed it flawlessly.

Despite the potential for this 70s-era adaptation of Judy Blume’s novel to become trite, “Margaret” manages to maintain a genuine and sincere quality, largely due to Fortson’s portrayal and the performances of Rachel McAdams, who portrays her harried yet well-intentioned mother, and Kathy Bates as the domineering grandmother.
Netflix’s adaptation of Fiona Rosenbloom’s 2005 novel “You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah” impresses with skillful and charming performances.

The series successfully avoids blatant favoritism towards family members, instead captivating viewers with a perceptive exploration of the complex social structures in middle school. “Bat Mitzvah,” a film produced by and costarring Adam Sandler, also showcases his kids Sadie and Sunny Sandler, as well as his wife Jackie. However, it is particularly the daughters who successfully divert the attention of the audience from the fact that this is primarily a Sandler family production. They engage us in the dynamics of their onscreen family, particularly in Stacy’s (portrayed by Sunny Sandler) predicament when a charming boy at school and a significant misunderstanding result in her being excluded from her best friend’s bat mitzvah.

 

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