e all have those movies that hit a little too close to home when we watch them. The main character feels a bit too much like us, even though he or she does not have things together for themselves. Here’s some of the movies we’re watching in 2023 that remind us of us– whether that’s a good thing, or a bad thing. 

Becoming an adult is more than just about learning about yourself– it is also about learning how to find new people and to be open to different relationships.

1. The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

No, no, that wasn't a question - Meryl Streep gif from adulting movie A Devil Wears Prada
Courtesy of Tenor.

The Devil Wears Prada is a classic that every person needs to watch in their lifetime. As with most Anne Hathaway movies, you will most likely learn a lesson about adulting that you never thought you needed. When it comes to starting your career after college, it takes a lot to admit to yourself what you are willing to give up and how hard you are willing to work to get to be recognized within your field. Sometimes hard work means making sacrifices for yourself and those around you to get what you want. 

Watch now on Amazon Prime.

2. 13 Going on 30 (2004)

Thirty and flirty and thriving - Jenifer Garner movie quote gif from 13 Going on 30
Courtesy of Giphy.

13 Going on 30 will always be a relatable movie for ladies, whatever the age may be. We all know and understand the feeling of being a pre-teen and wishing that we could grow up fast and finally be an adult. But, once you are an adult (or at least, almost an adult), you start to realize that it is not all it’s cracked up to be. There are so many things that adults do behind the scenes that we don’t see as a kid because our parents are trying to make our lives easier. This movie is all about learning what adulting really means, and holding onto childhood just a little bit longer. You do not want to grow up too fast. 

Watch now on Peacock, Prime, or Apple TV.

3. A Walk to Remember (2002)

It's like the wind. I can't see it, but I feel it. - Mandy Moore quote in adulting movie A Walk to Remember
Courtesy of Fanpop.

Adulting is not always about learning how to make things go right– it can also mean learning that things do not always go the way you originally planned them to. A Walk to Remember is a great reminder of that sentiment. It is also a great reminder that growing up means finding love in unexpected places, and makes us realize that we need to be open to new people and ideas. You have to be open with others in order to encourage others to be open with you. Keeping this in mind will help you create better relationships and make it easier for you to understand yourself. 

Watch now on Prime, Vudu, or Apple.

4. Post Grad (2009)

Today, you're getting a job - Alexis Blendel quote in Post Grad movie
Courtesy of Gifcat.

Pretty much any movie or TV show with Alexis Bledel is going to teach you about becoming an adult and life after your teenage years. Post Grad is no exception to that rule. This movie is all about learning how to function as an adult after graduating college, and how difficult it sometimes is to go back to living in your childhood home when you are trying to figure out your future. Making the decision of whether you let your family help you, or letting them move out of your way is a huge part of becoming an adult, as well. 

Watch on Hulu or Cinemax.

5. Pariah (2011)

Screen grab of Adepero Oduye in the adulting movie Pariah
Courtesy of Criterion.

Pariah is all about trying to find your identity within yourself as you grow into an adult. Often, it may feel like your identity is being chosen by those around you– your parents, friends, family, or mentors. This film is about just that, and more. Learning how to be your own person and how not to let yourself drift away from that can be a difficult feat to accomplish on your own. Identity comes in different forms for different people, and carefully choosing who you let into your life can be a huge factor in finding out who you really are on the inside.

Watch now on Amazon Prime.

6. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

You think I'm especially not a genius? - Owen Wilson in The Royal Tenenbaums
Courtesy of Gifyarn.

The Royal Tenenbaums tells the story of siblings who were prodigies in their younger years, but realized upon arriving into adulthood that those were not their paths– something that many of us realize, graduating highschool, graduating college, and even into post college years. This film is a great reminder that it is always alright to change your path to better suit your needs, even if you believed that was what you were meant to do in life. Looking within yourself and not comparing yourself to your past (or anyone else's) is also a necessary, yet occasionally difficult, task as well. 

Watch now on Apple TV.

7. Kicking and Screaming (1995)

I'm too nostalgic, I'll admit it - Kicking and Screaming movie
Courtesy of Twitter.

In this relatable comedy, the main characters fear life after graduation, so they decide to hang around their college town a bit longer than necessary. This movie is all about finding out about yourself, figuring things out after you graduate– like getting a job, and learning how to “adult.” Movies like this are a reminder, for many people, that things could be much worse, and that you have it much more together than you may think. There is absolutely nothing wrong with staying in your college town forever, but eventually you need to figure out how to be a “grown up” in your college town, whether you choose to utilize your degree, or not. 

Watch now on Netflix.

8. Reality Bites (1994)

I was really gonna be something by the age of 23 - Winona Ryder in Reality Bites
Image courtesy of Gfycat.

This Rom-Com is filled with relatable, “learning how to be an adult” content. Reality Bites is a film about four recent college grads trying to figure out how to be adults together. Losing jobs, finding love, finding your own identity, and trying to keep old friendships intact are all a part of growing up, which the characters in this movie exemplify. It is normal to feel like you are stuck after college, or even if you don’t go to college at all. You just have to take things one day at a time, and try new things in life to see what is right for you. You never know, you could change your mind again– and that is completely okay. It is never too late to restart and reset

Watch now on Peacock.

9. Into the Wild (2007)

I think careers are a 20th century invention and I don't want one - Emile Hirsch in Into the Wild
Courtesy of Pinterest.

Not everyone has the conventional post-grad or “into adulthood” route. If you choose to take an unconventional route, Into the Wild might be a movie you would be interested in. In this movie, the main character gives away all of his belongings and leaves to explore the Alaskan wilderness on his own. If nature and exploration is what you need to find your identity and to help understand yourself better, we encourage it– as long as it is done under safe measures. So go and let nature guide you, you never know what you’ll find out about yourself!

Watch now on Prime Video or Apple TV.

No one’s journey is linear. Everyone is on a different path with a different route to get to their destination.

One thing you may notice is that many of these movies are not recent. This is because although the media changes with the times, the process of growing into an adult never really does. For generations, your parents, their parents, and their parents all struggled with the fear of getting older, and being confused on how to do that properly. Don’t be afraid to ask people questions, and to ask for help sometimes. There were other people who have gone through this before you, and there will always be people who go through it after you. That is the way of life!

Everyone is on their own path, so try not to compare yourself to others. We all operate at different speeds, and everyone’s destination is a different one. Keep this in mind as you work through your own personal journey.

Feb 1, 2023