In the Q line for “Only the Young,” a middle-aged man came up and asked his friends if they were going to watch that coming-of-age film.
But if he knew anything about the story, he’d know better than to call it just that.
Coming-of-age stories do two things: remind older audience members the intensity of their fleeting years and prove to younger audience members their similar struggles are not irrelevant.
“Only the Young” did both.
So, if you consider it as just a coming-of-age story, it succeeds on both counts.
But the magic of the film is that it goes beyond – it goes beyond reminding the wise of what they once had and beyond showing the young that their struggles are important.
The magic of “Only the Young” is the characters are too relatable, the storyline too interesting, the film itself too honest to be a documentary. But of course it’s a documentary, because the characters are too well rounded, the storyline too realistic, the film itself too sincere to be anything but a documentary.
The magic of the film is that it features two kids the directors found in a skate park. One of them was wandering around, trying to find the owner to the Jaguar keys he had found, director Elizabeth Mims told the audience after the screening. When his friend came over and the two boys openly started bickering in front of Mims and co-director Jason Tippet, the two directors knew they had found their subjects – Kevin and Garrison.
The magic of the film is that it’s funny and awkward and heartbreaking at the same time. “Only the Young” is magical because it really does touch all ages. The film moves different spectators at different times and in different ways. The older women sitting next to me chuckled at one point, but the next comment elicited the laughter of her husband. And so it went, for most of the film, laughter passing throughout the theater as “Only the Young” gave a unique but lasting experience to all.
The film’s final showing is tomorrow at 4 p.m. at Big Ragtag. Tickets are sold out, but Q-ing for it would definitely be worth it.
By Nomin-Erdene Jagdagdorj