Movies following the “typical” twenty-something as lost and searching for what to do are far from adequately representing what this age group is about.
If I was anything like the typical twenty-something depicted in movies then I would walk around clueless about what to do and lacking direction. That’s not the case. I’m not like that (for the most part). Career goals fill my future outlook. I dream of the different jobs I want to have and what I am doing to get there.
Actually, a lot of twenty-something’s are like that. At least for the ones I encounter in college. Big ambitions and realistic planning with their future lives fill their days.
This group of ambitious, go-getting, persistent people never seems to be portrayed in films dealing with a twenty-something. It’s similar to when Hollywood movies are made about teens. The twenty-something is put into a stereotype of how the rest of society thinks they act.
Movies dealing with the lost twenty-something and having a quarter-life crisis have grown in popularity. Lena Dunham’s feature film Tiny Furniture was beloved by audiences and received the award for Best Narrative Feature at the South by Southwest Festival. The film follows recent college graduate Aura (Dunham) who moves back home with a lack of direction. 2006’s Accepted shows a group of 18-year-olds as they create their own “college” after being rejected from others and not knowing what to do. Reality Bites depicts a lowly videographer as she lacks guidance and irresponsibly quits her job. Greenberg, Frances Ha and How to Be follow the same suit.
What’s the deal with all of this? Are all twenty-something’s taking longer to grow up? No. It’s quite different. Many of them have dreams (that are realistic), goals and plans for how to achieve them. There are many twenty-something’s that are stuck in a somewhat slow period. They work less than ideal jobs, low-paying jobs and/or still finding a job. It doesn’t mean there lost. Many of them are just stuck in the phase of getting experience to qualify them for jobs they really want.
The appeal to the lost and directionless crowd is understandable. Everyone has been there. It’s something that is a common experience. However it can be overdone.
The coming-of-age “finding yourself” films seem like they are going the way of the parody films. Everyone is tired of them and want to move on.